The indictment of Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY-27) on insider trading charges by the Department of Justice on Wednesday put a “Safe Republican” seat into play and increased the number of GOP-held seats Republicans must win in November to maintain a majority in the House of Representatives to 62.
Collins’ announcement on Saturday that he will suspend his campaign and fill out the remaining few months of his term in Congress suggests that he will shortly withdraw from the race and a new GOP candidate will be named to run in November for the seat he currently holds.
The Cook Political Report downgraded the race in New York’s 27th Congressional District to “Likely Republican,” and Collins’ initial refusal to withdraw from the race gave Democrats an opportunity for several days to nationalize attacks against all Republicans in competitive House races as a simple choice of “right vs. wrong.”
The potential withdrawal of Collins from the race, however, removes that line of attack by Democrats.
The fact that Collins has been indicted, however, increases the number of competitive House races by one, and also increases the number of currently GOP-held seats Republicans must win to maintain a majority in the House from 61, as Breitbart News identified last month, to 62, with less than 90 days to go until the election.
Given the uncertainty as to the mechanics by which Collins withdraws and is replaced by another GOP candidate, and the uncertainty over the strength of that candidate, New York’s 27th Congressional District will may well remain a “competitive” race up until election day in November, even though President Trump won the district by 24 points in 2016 and Collins easily won re-election by a two to one margin.
If Republicans hold those 62 seats and flip three Democrat held seats, they will retain the majority in the House of Representatives when the 116th Congress convenes in Washington, D.C. in January 2019 with a narrow one vote margin over the Democrats, 218 to 217.
Currently, Republicans hold a 240 to 195 advantage in the House (Republicans currently hold 236 seats, with four previously GOP-held seats up in special elections on election day in November, and Democrats currently hold 193 seats, with two previously Democrat-held seats up in special elections on election day in November). With a net gain of 23 seats in November, Democrats would take a slim one vote margin majority, 218 to 217.
Of these 65 races, 27 are “looking good” for Republicans, while 38 are “hanging in the balance,” according to the latest Breitbart News rating of competitive House races.
In addition, Breitbart News has identified 24 competitive House races for seats currently held by Republicans that the GOP could win and four competitive House races in seats currently held by Democrats that the GOP could win in November to increase their potential majority in the 116th Congress beyond the slim one vote margin victories in the 65 Must Win races would give them.
The bottom line is this: Republicans need to run the table in all 65 MUST WIN seats to maintain a slim one vote majority in the House of Representatives.
And, if Republicans also run the table in the 28 COULD WIN seats, they will also increase their majority in the House by five seats, ending up with a 245 to 190 advantage over the Democrats.
The current Real Clear Politics Average of Polls gives Democrats just a 3.9 point advantage over Republicans in the generic Congressional ballot.
The latest Breitbart News breakdown of the competitive House races in the 2018 midterm elections is as follows:
26 MUST WIN GOP-held seats are “Looking Good”
36 MUST WIN GOP-held seats are “Hanging in the Balance”
1 MUST FLIP Democrat-held seat is “Looking Good”
2 MUST FLIP Democrat-held seats are “Hanging in the Balance”
24 COULD WIN GOP-held seats are “Needing a Big Push”
4 COULD FLIP Democrat-held seats are “Needing a Big Push”
Here is the breakdown of these 93 Competitive Races:
MUST WIN GOP-held seats rated “Looking Good” (26)
NY-27 Chris Collins/Open
MUST WIN GOP-held seats rated “Hanging in the Balance” (36)
WA-03 Herrera Beutler
WA-05 McMorris Rodgers
MUST FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Looking Good” (1)
MUST FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Hanging in the Balance” (2)
COULD WIN Republican-held seats rated “Needing a Big Push” (24)
COULD FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Needing a Big Push” (4)