The party is favored in diverse and college graduate-heavy districts outside Indianapolis, St. Louis, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix and other major metro areas where Republicans ran practically unchallenged only a few years ago. And Democrats are actively tying GOP candidates to Trump in some suburban House seats where the president won by double digits in 2016, a sign that their polling shows him losing in those places now.
House Republicans struggled to fundraise or recruit enough candidates to seriously contest many of the seats they lost in the midterms. But their bigger troubles are caused by deep-seated antipathy to a president who has driven huge swaths of GOP-friendly voters from the party.
Despite well-funded recruits with impressive resumes, Republicans had little chance of reclaiming suburban Texas seats held by Democratic Reps. Lizzie Fletcher or Colin Allred because of top-of-the-ticket drag. Just outside St. Louis, fourth-term GOP Rep. Ann Wagner has aired three television ads using footage of the Democratic presidential nominee to warn voters that “even Joe Biden” thinks her opponent is too liberal — a likely indication that her internal polling shows Trump losing her district. He carried it by more than 10 points in 2016.