Democrats Hope to Flip These Republican House Seats in 2020

Including another run at California Reps. Devin Nunes and Duncan Hunter.

Bill Clark/AP

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has announced its initial battleground map for 2020, targeting 33 House districts across the country that it hopes to flip.

The list, released Monday by CNN, was part of a broader strategy memo from DCCC Executive Director Allison Jaslow and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, the committee’s chair. The 2018 election, where Democrats took back the House, “was just the tip of the iceberg,” they write. “Today we are announcing our plan to go on offense and grow our New Democratic Majority.” All of the targeted seats are currently held by Republicans except for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, which remains open amid an investigation into possible election fraud.

The DCCC is focusing on districts with large suburban populations, those that have experienced rapid growth, and those with growing levels of education and diversity. Texas has the most targeted districts, with six. California has only two targeted seats in 2020, due to the success of the Democratic effort to flip 10 of the state’s 14 Republican-held districts in 2018. The party flipped seven seats from red to blue, including every single district in Orange County, once a bastion of conservative politics.

However, the two California districts in the crosshairs for 2020 are noteworthy. The Central Valley’s District 22 is represented by Rep. Devin Nunes, best known for his bumbling attempts at running interference for President Donald Trump while serving as the chair of the House intelligence committee. (He lost the position when Democrats took control of the House this month.) The other is Southern California’s 50th District, held by Rep. Duncan Hunter, an early Trump backer who is currently facing a 60-count federal indictment for campaign finance violations and who is scheduled to go to trial in September.

In the DCCC memo, Bustos and Jaslow noted that Trump is “dragging his enablers in Congress down with him.” Both Nunes and Hunter are closely tied to Trump, and the California Republican Party is currently in the throes of an intraparty battle pitting its pro-Trump base against moderates who, as GOP consultant Mike Madrid puts it, see Trump as “an anchor around the neck of the party.”

While both Nunes and Hunter won their 2018 reelection bids, they also faced the hardest races of their congressional careers. Fresno prosecutor Andrew Janz came within 6 points of ousting Nunes. And Ammar Campa-Najjar, a a 29-year-old businessman, took 48 percent of the vote in a blood-red district that has been represented by Hunter and his father for the past 40 years. Considering that Hunter won in 2016 by 27 percentage points, it was a shockingly close race.

Both Janz and Campa-Najjar received precious little DCCC support in 2018, yet still managed to raise $10 million and $4 million, respectively. Janz, who most recently launched a super-PAC dedicated to promoting voting rights, hasn’t yet announced whether he will be running again in 2020. But in a recent interview with Mother Jones, he didn’t rule out the possibility, saying, “I think [Nunes is] now the most vulnerable Republican in the state of California. I don’t think the fight to defeat Devin Nunes is over by any means.”

Campa-Najjar, meanwhile, announced his 2020 bid to unseat Hunter on January 3. “I’m excited to run again. I’m ready to pour my heart & soul into this race, community organize, listen, learn, and become the representative deserves,” he tweeted.

“If 2018 was the new 2006, then we’re already on course for 2020 to shape up as the new 2008, where Democrats expanded the House majority they had just won,” the DCCC memo states. “Similar to the 2008 cycle, Democrats go into 2020 with a House Majority and a battlefield with a clear path taking shape to win more seats.”

Here is the full list of the DCCC’s 2020 targets so far:

  • AZ-06 – Rep. Dave Schweikert
  • CA-22 – Rep. Devin Nunes
  • CA-50 – Rep. Duncan Hunter
  • CO-03 – Rep. Scott Tipton
  • FL-15 – Rep. Ross Spano
  • FL-18 – Rep. Brian Mast
  • GA-07 – Rep. Rob Woodall
  • IA-04 – Rep. Steve King
  • IL-13 – Rep. Rodney Davis
  • IN-05 – Rep. Susan Brooks
  • KY-06 – Rep. Andy Barr
  • MI-06 – Rep. Fred Upton
  • MN-01 – Rep. Jim Hagedorn
  • MO-02 – Rep. Ann Wagner
  • NC-02 – Rep. George Holding
  • NC-09 – Open
  • NC-13 – Rep. Ted Budd
  • NE-02 – Rep. Don Bacon
  • NY-01 – Rep. Lee Zeldin
  • NY-02 – Rep. Peter King
  • NY-24 – Rep. John Katko
  • NY-27 – Rep. Chris Collins
  • OH-01 – Rep. Steve Chabot
  • PA-01 – Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick
  • PA-10 – Rep. Scott Perry
  • PA-16 – Rep. Mike Kelly
  • TX-10 – Rep. Mike McCaul
  • TX-21 – Rep. Chip Roy
  • TX-22 – Rep. Pete Olson
  • TX-23 – Rep. Will Hurd
  • TX-24 – Rep. Kenny Marchant
  • TX-31 – Rep. John Carter
  • WA-03 – Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler

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