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Posted at 11:15 a.m. on March 3, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out the first 35 districts of its “Red to Blue” program Monday, highlighting the GOP-held seats the party believes it can flip and open seats it hopes to keep in the Democratic column in the 2014 midterms.
Needing to net 17 seats to win back the House majority, the announcement makes clear where the party believes its most important fights will take place.
“This is our initial roll out,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.” “There will be more, and we will have a very competitive battlefield as we go deeper into the cycle.”
Sixteen candidates who achieved “aggressive fundraising, organization and infrastructure goals,” according to the DCCC, were listed by name as top recruits in targeted districts. Among the candidates included were:
The DCCC singled out 12 other candidates for its “Emerging Races” program who are “making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive.” Among the candidates listed are venture capitalist Sean Eldridge in New York’s 19th District, and attorney Bill Hughes Jr., running in New Jersey’s 2nd District. Both are challenging incumbents.
Three races with multiple Democratic candidates were listed as Red to Blue districts, including California’s 31st District, Maine’s 2nd District and Iowa’s 1st District. Only the California district is a pickup opportunity. Four districts dubbed “Emerging Districts” were Michigan’s 11th District, North Carolina’s 2nd District, and Pennsylvania’s 6th and 8th districts.
On “Daily Rundown,” Israel said the government shutdown in October — which for a few weeks altered the perception of whether Democrats could conceivably gain control of the House in 2014 — proves that having candidates in place in competitively drawn districts will be key to Democrats’ strategy in November.
“If three weeks can make a difference in the environment, who knows what the next eight months will bring,” Israel said.
The other Red to Blue candidates included in the DCCC’s initial list were:
All of the candidates and districts included can be found here.