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House GOP re-election arm adds more Dem-held seats to midterm target list

Republicans in the house-of-representatives” target=”_blank”>House of Representatives<, are expanding the list of Democratic-controlled seats they consider vulnerable.

The National house-of-representatives Congressional Committee (NRCC), the House GOP’s re-election arm, on Wednesday upped the number of Democratic-held districts it’s targeting from 70 to 72. The move comes as the once-in-a-decade redistricting process of congressional seats is close to completion.

“As you can see from these targets … we’re going to be playing in Biden territory,” NRCC Chair Rep. Tom Emmer said. 

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The Minnesota Republican, who’s in his second straight cycle chairing the NRCC, noted that nearly half the seats in the updated target list ⁠— 33 districts ⁠— were in areas joe-biden” target=”_blank”>President Biden< won in the last White House race.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota during an interview on Fox News

National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota during an interview on Fox News
(Fox News)

The NRCC’s move to target more blue seats is another sign of the powerful headwinds congressional Democrats face as they try to defend their razor-thin majority in November. 

The party that wins or retains control of the White House in a presidential election historically suffers sizable setbacks in the ensuing midterms. But Democrats are also facing a difficult political climate that’s being fueled in part by Biden’s underwater approval ratings. Thirty-one House Democrats have announced that they’re retiring at the end of the year rather than run for re-election or that they’ll seek another office, compared to only 15 House Republicans.

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“The vulnerable Democrats who choose not to retire are not going to be shown any mercy,” Emmer warned.

Emmer told Fox News Digital that “the 72 are seats that we can play in, and we can be successful with the right candidate, with our message and with enough resources.

“We know this is going to be a dog fight, but we do have the message, the candidates and the resources that we’re going to need to win in November. The message, pretty straightforward ⁠— inflation, the economy, border security, crime.

“If you look at all the polling, we’re winning on the issues that matter most with the voters,” Emmer said.

And he also pointed to recent public opinion polls, noting that it’s “becoming more and more apparent …that our voters are a lot more energized than theirs [Democrats].”

President Biden speaks at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference March 14, 2022, in Washington

President Biden speaks at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference March 14, 2022, in Washington
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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Emmer also touted that there are now 1,428 candidates running as Republicans this cycle in 422 of the 435 congressional districts, and he pointed to increases in the number of women and minorities who’ve filed compared to the already record-breaking 2020 cycle.

Asked how this year’s congressional elections are being impacted by Trump ⁠— who remains the most influential and popular politician in the GOP ⁠— Emmer reiterated that “Trump is a private citizen. I’ve said this before. He can do whatever he sees fit.”

Former President Trump speaks at a rally Jan. 15, 2022, in Florence, Ariz. 

Former President Trump speaks at a rally Jan. 15, 2022, in Florence, Ariz. 
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

He noted that “Trump’s policies are still enormously popular” and thanked the former president for headlining the NRCC’s two largest fundraising galas of the 2022 cycle. But Emmer emphasized that the midterms are “not about President Trump. This next election is going to be a referendum on Joe Biden and the Democrats.”

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Republicans lost their House majority in the 2018 midterms. But in the 2020 elections, while Republicans lost control of the White House and the Senate majority, they defied expectations and took a big bite out of the Democrats’ House majority. The GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber in November to win back the majority.

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