Duncan Hunter Indictment Bumps Midterm Map: 63 Must-Win Seats for GOP

Duncan Hunter (Win McNamee / Getty)
Win McNamee / Getty

The indictment of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50) by the Department of Justice on charges of campaign finance law violations last week has increased the number of GOP-held seats Republicans must win to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives by one.

Republicans must now win 63 seats they currently hold and flip three currently held by Democrats to maintain a one seat majority in the House of Representatives when the 116th Congress convenes in Washington, D.C. in January 2019.

One month ago, the number of must win GOP-held seats was 61, and two weeks ago, in the immediate aftermath of the indictment of Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY-27), the number increased to 62.

The Cook Political Report has moved the Hunter race from Safe Republican to “Lean Republican,” and Sabato Crystal Ball has moved it Safe Republican to “Leans Republican.”

A poll released on Monday by Survey USA shows that Hunter holds an 8 point rival over his Democrat opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, “the grandson of Muhammed Yusuf al-Najjar, the head of the intelligence wing of the Palestinian political party Fatah, whose members planned the murder of Israeli Olympians in 1972,” as the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

“69% of conservatives say charges that Hunter and his wife Margaret mis-appropriated $250,000 in campaign funds and then filed false finance records with the government are politically motivated,” the poll found.

The weaknesses of his opponent, the perceived political motivations behind the charges in the indictment against Hunter, and the district’s strong Republican voting history all combine to make Hunter’s race now “Competitive” in the Breitbart House race ratings, but keeps it in the “Looking Good” category for Republicans.

“Tuesday’s episode of real-life Law and Order involving two figures close to the president, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, may not directly hurt the GOP in the midterm. But given their current position, the Republicans need a little help, and Tuesday didn’t provide it,” Kyle Kondike, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, wrote on Thursday.

“We are making 12 ratings changes; 10 in favor of Democrats, two in favor of Republicans,” Kondike noted.

These movements were largely in response to the conviction of one time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on charges unrelated to the Trump campaign, and the guilty plea of Michael Cohen, again unrelated to the Trump campaign, particularly by the mainstream media.

Among Trump supporters, however, both the Manafort conviction and the Cohen plea have not lessened support of the president by Trump supporters, as a recent Rasmussen Reports poll showed.

As for reliability of electoral predictions, Sabato’s recent track record on the most important political prediction, the 2016 Presidential campaign, was way off the mark.

On election eve Sabato predicted on Fox News that Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency with 322 electoral college votes, to 216 for Donald Trump.

Less than 24 hours later, however, voters delivered an entirely different electoral outcome than the one Sabato predicted. Donald Trump won the Presidency with 306 electoral college votes, to Hillary Clinton’s 232.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats in the House to win a one vote 218 to 217 majority over Republicans in January.

Breitbart News currently lists 94 competitive House races in the 2018 midterm elections, which are rated as follows:

The 66 House seats Republicans must win to maintain a one vote majority in the House of Representatives are:

27 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”

The 28 House seats Republicans could win and increase their majority in the House of Representatives if they run the table:

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 district-by-district breakdown of these 94 Competitive Races:

MUST WIN GOP-held seats rated “Looking Good” (27)

AZ-06 Schweikert
CA-04 McClintock
CA-21 Valadao
CA-50 Hunter
CO-03 Tipton
FL-06 Open
FL-25 Diaz-Balart
GA-07 Woodall
IN-02 Walorski
MI-01 Bergman
MI-06 Upton
MI-07 Walberg
MO-02 Wagner
NC-02 Holding
NC-08 Hudson
NY-01 Zeldin
NY-11 Donovan
NY-24 Katko
NY-27 Chris Collins/Open
OH-10 Turner
OH-14 Joyce
PA-10 Perry
SC-01 Open
TX-02 Open
TX-21 Open
TX-31 Carter
WI-06 Grothman

MUST WIN GOP-held seats rated “Hanging in the Balance” (36)

AR-02 Hill
CA-45 Walters
CA-48 Rohrbacher
CO-06 Coffman
FL-15 Open
FL-16 Buchanan
FL-18 Mast
FL-26 Curbelo
GA-06 Handel
IL-13 Davis
IL-14 Hultgren
MI-08 Bishop
MT-00 Gianforte
MN-02 Lewis
MN-03 Paulsen
NC-09 Open
NC-13 Budd
NE-02 Bacon
NJ-03 MacArthur
NM-02 Open
NY-22 Tenney
OH-01 Chabot
OH-12 Balderson
PA-01 Fitzpatrick
PA-16 Kelly
TX-07 Culberson
TX-23 Hurd
TX-32 Sessions
UT-04 Love
VA-02 Taylor
VA-05 Open
VA-07 Brat
WA-03 Herrera Beutler
WA-05 McMorris Rodgers
WI-01 Open
WV-03 Open

MUST FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Looking Good” (1)

PA-14 Open

MUST FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Hanging in the Balance” (2)

MN-1 Open
MN-8 Open

COULD WIN Republican-held seats rated “Needing a Big Push” (24)

AZ-02 Open
CA-10 Denham
CA-25 Knight
CA-39 Open
CA-49 Open
FL-27 Open
IA-01 Blum
IA-03 Young
IL-06 Roskam
IL-12 Bost
KS-02 Open
KS-03 Yoder
KY-06 Barr
ME-02 Poliquin
MI-11 Open
NJ-02 Open
NJ-07 Lance
NJ-11 Open
NY-19 Faso
PA-06 Open
PA-07 Vacant
PA-17 Rothfus
VA-10 Comstock
WA-08 Open

COULD FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Needing a Big Push” (4)

NH-01 Open
NH-02 Kuster
NV-03 Open
MN-07 Petersen




Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.