Over-Exposed GOP House Members

Via Greg Sargent, we see that Roll Call is out with its initial “Ten Most Vulnerable House Members” list for 2016. Last cycle 6 of the 10 were Democrats. This cycle 7 of 10 are Republicans.

Even that number could be misleading. One of the “most vulnerable” Democrats, Mike Honda of California, is only vulnerable to a challenge from another Democrat, Ro Khanna. Another, Florida’s Gwen Graham, is probably in good shape unless a pending court-orderered redistricting plan screws up her district, and if that happens, someone not on the list, Republican Daniel Webster, will definitely be toast. And the third “most vulnerable” Democrat, Brad Ashford, won his Nebraska seat in a midterm, so it’s hard to figure him as the underdog in a presidential year.

Any way you slice it, Republicans are, thanks to their 2010 and 2014 gains, “overexposed” in the House much as Democrats were after their 2006-2008 gains. The switch from a midterm to a presidential election will likely move votes away from Republicans just about everywhere. The odds are still very high they hang onto control of the House, but there’s no question there will be losses, and it will be interesting to see if they are blamed on Paul Ryan.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.