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Democrats predict they’ll win House of Representatives in November with possible Ohio gains

September 13, 2018

Democrats predict they’ll win House of Representatives in November with possible Ohio gains

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Democratic party’s top U.S. House of Representatives campaigner predicted Thursday that the House will flip to Democratic control after November’s elections and said as many as seven GOP-held Ohio congressional districts might be in play.

“We have momentum and history on our side,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Ben Ray Lujan, a New Mexico congressman. “Our candidates are polling ahead of Republicans. Our candidates are out-fundraising Republicans. This will come down to turnout and the urgency the electorate feels. Each and every measure is on our side.”

Lujan said voters are disillusioned by Republican efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, which he said has resulted in higher health insurance premiums and deductibles for consumers, as well as concern that preexisting conditions will block them from getting coverage. He also said voters believe last year’s GOP tax bill was a “scam” that Republicans will have to cut Medicare and Social Security to pay for.

He said Democrats around the country will campaign on those issues, rather than controversial statements and actions taken by President Donald Trump.

“We will not talk about President Trump much, if at all,” said Lujan. “He will do it for us. Because the president pays so much attention to himself, it allows our candidates to have conversations with the American people about kitchen table and pocketbook issues.”

Lujan said that Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor’s narrow defeat by Republican Troy Balderson in last month’s Columbus-area special election to replace longtime Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi in a seat that Democrats haven’t held for decades demonstrates the tide is flowing in Democrats’ direction.

He said the race will “continue to be a pickup opportunity” for Democrats in November, as a more favorable electorate for Democrats heads to the polls.

“When more people vote, Democratic candidates win,” said Lujan.

Lujan said he believes that Democratic candidates Betsy Rader and Ken Harbaugh have a good chance to unseat incumbent Republicans Dave Joyce and Bob Gibbs in Northeast Ohio, Democrats Aftab Pureval and Jill Schiller might be able to defeat incumbent Republicans Steve Chabot and Brad Wenstrup in the Cincinnati area, and that Democrats Theresa Gasper and Rick Neal could defeat incumbent central Ohio Republicans Mike Turner and Steve Stivers.

“We’re doing whatever we can to put as many races in play as we can across America,” said Lujan.

Representatives of the National Republican Congressional Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Lujan’s claims.

In a meeting with reporters earlier this year, Stivers, who heads the NRCC, said it’s likely that Democrats will gain a few seats during this year’s election as often happens during off-year elections to the party whose president controls the White House. But he insisted that none of those seats will come in Ohio because the state’s GOP incumbents represent their constituents well.

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