While House Republican efforts are mostly focused on defending a historically large majority, the party continues to play offense in a handful of districts.
The GOP’s best pick-up opportunity might be Florida’s Republican-tilting and open 18th District, where Republican Brian Mast faces Democrat Randy Perkins. Republicans believe Mast, a double amputee and combat veteran, offers a compelling contrast to Perkins, a CEO of a natural-disaster recovery company who is heavily self-funding. Perkins is now receiving no outside resources, while GOP groups continue to shell out millions for Mast.
Republicans are also trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford in Nebraska’s 2nd District, which Mitt Romney won by 7 points in 2012. A recent GOP poll found Republican retired Brig. Gen. Don Bacon leading by 4 points, while an Ashford internal in late September showed the incumbent with a 10-point lead. The Hillary Clinton campaign recently announced additional coordinated spending there as it targets the district’s electoral vote.
In California, Republicans remain bullish about their effort to unseat Democratic Rep. Ami Bera. The state’s presidential-year turnout and Bera’s fundraising advantage make the 7th District an uphill climb for Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, while each candidate is hammered on ethics issues. And in Minnesota’s 8th District, Republicans are again intent on trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan, who stands to benefit from higher turnout in the Duluth area than in his previous matchup with Republican Stewart Mills. Both parties continue to send millions to this seat, while Vice President Joe Biden stumped for Nolan at a rally last week in Duluth.
Other targets, such as Arizona’s 1st District, have fallen off the map for Republicans, but the GOP still hopes to cancel out at least a few of their own losses.
— Kimberly Railey
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After taking fire for not forcefully condemning President Trump's statements on Charlottesville, Speaker Paul Ryan today issued a statement that takes issue with any "moral relativism" when it comes to Neo-Nazis. "There are no sides," he wrote. "There is no other argument. We will not tolerate this hateful ideology in our society." Ryan participates in a CNN town hall tonight from Racine, Wis.