House Democrats’ hope for wave election diminishes as Republicans rebound

Stoking divisive culture wars could help the GOP hang onto battleground districts Trump won in 2016. But in many of the 25 districts the Republicans hold that Hillary Clinton carried, they face stiff head winds. In these heavily suburban areas, anger with Trump and the GOP is intense, particularly among women. Democrats are hammering Republicans over health care in an effort to expand their appeal across party lines.

Republicans face other obstacles, including strong Democratic fundraising and enthusiasm, as well as struggling top-of-ticket GOP contenders in some Midwestern states that could hurt candidates down the ballot.

In a newly drawn Pennsylvania district in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where Clinton won by two percentage points, Democrat Scott Wallace, a wealthy philanthropist, said the contentious Kavanaugh fight has improved his chances of ousting first-term GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.

“On the independent and Democratic side, and of course moderate Republicans, there is a sense of anger about how Dr. Ford was treated,” said Wallace, referring to Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when both were teenagers; Kavanaugh denied the allegations. “My observation is that anger is a stronger motivator than gratitude. So, I think by Election Day, you will see the Kavanaugh effect will produce more energy on our side.”