GOP House incumbents bracing for losses in Trump country
HERSHEY, PA - DECEMBER 10, 2019:President Donald Trump gestures in total shock during a campaign rally at the Giant Center. (Shutterstock)

House Republicans are being forced to play defense to limit their losses in districts President Donald Trump won in 2016.


Democrats' internal polling in recent weeks show surprisingly close races in previously solid GOP districts in Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio and Texas, and Republican lawmakers are begging for help to save their seats, reported Politico.

“The DCCC's candidates are printing money, and the president's falling poll numbers are devastating to Republicans across the map," said one GOP lawmaker in a competitive district. "That's why [Kevin] McCarthy and the NRCC need to hold the line and focus on saving incumbents first."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee went on the offensive early to capture suburban districts, and that has left many GOP incumbents anxious and angry at McCarthy, the House minority leader, and the National Republican Congressional Committee to which they pay dues.

"Republicans have been banking on 2018 being their rock bottom, particularly in the suburbs. But we’ve built a battlefield that is big," said DCCC executive director Lucinda Guinn. "We took back the House by going on offense in the suburbs, and we are going to continue pushing the boundaries."

The first round of NRCC ad spending went to defend a half-dozen vulnerable incumbents, but polling and fundraising gaps suggest districts in Arizona, Indiana, New York, Ohio and Texas are up for grabs.

"Republicans were jolted by the fact that a lot of white suburban voters abandoned them. The question now is whether that trend will continue," said former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who lost reelection in 2018. "If it does, it could endanger some of those districts, particularly in the Midwest."

Republicans, meanwhile, seem to be in denial about the threat they face.

“These polls being peddled by the DCCC are the same nonsense polls they peddled in ’16 and ’18 that routinely missed the mark by 10-15 points and should be taken with a grain of salt," said NRCC spokesperson Chris Pack.