March 30, 2017

Luján predicts Dems will gain House seats in 2018 midterms

Official photo of U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of Nambe is going to be a key figure for Democrats in the next election cycle.

That’s because he’s the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. As such, he’s tasked with aiding Democrats in their pursuit of retaking the U.S. House of Representatives—and while he won’t say if he’s confident Democrats will do so in the 2018 midterms, he says they will pick up seats.

Luján said this while taping an episode of C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” show to air this weekend, according to Roll Call.

“It’s too early to know what’s going to happen in November of 2018, but I can tell you Democrats in the House are on offensive, and there’s no question that we will pick up seats in 2018,” he said according to the paper.

Luján noted the bungled healthcare push by Republicans (which may not be over) to replace the Affordable Care Act. After just 17 days, they scrapped the plan.

The DCCC already targeted at least two Republicans in Florida, though only through web ads.

The first midterm after a presidential election have typically been a boon for the party not in the White House.

[Nate Silver tweets]People forget how bad midterms usually are for the president’s party. A wave election is almost the default; it’s a matter of magnitude.

Without districting/gerrymandering problems, Dems would be clear favorites to win the House in 2018. With them, it’s a closer call.[/Nate Silver tweets]

In the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans took a whopping 63 U.S. House seats, 6 U.S. Senate seats and six governors’ mansions. In New Mexico, Republicans took back a House seat and Gov. Susana Martinez won her first term.

Luján wouldn’t say Democrats would pick up the 24 seats needed to take control of the chamber, citing gerrymandered districts. As part of that same 2010 wave, Republicans took control of many state legislatures, giving Republicans control over the redistricting that takes place every ten years after the U.S. Census.