The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm for House Democrats, on Monday named 16 candidates to its "Red To Blue" program, which identifies districts in which Democrats have a high chance of winning a seat from a Republican.
“There’s no question – these candidates are on the side of average Americans, and they've shown throughout their careers that they’ll work together to help make the middle class more financially secure and solve our problems – the exact antidote to the flawed priorities of this broken Republican Congress,” said Rep. Steve Israel, DCCC chairman.
But were every one of those candidates to win, it wouldn't be enough to win back the House. Democrats need to win 17 seats to take back a majority -- a target that appears out of reach in a political climate increasingly favorable to Republicans.
Indeed, Democrats appear to recognize the challenges presented in this midterm election year, and they have publicly tried to manage expectations. In an interview on MSNBC on Monday, however, Israel said "it's too early to tell" whether a 17-seat pick-up is out of reach.
In addition to its Red to Blue candidates, the DCCC also named three districts without candidates to the program, and another 16 districts to the second tier of competitiveness.
The first round of Red to Blue candidates hail from districts in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, Nevada, Virginia, two districts in Michigan, and three in New York.