Donald Trump's uniquely disastrous campaign for president threatens to keep the Republicans out of the White House for a third straight term, and at the same time, he's rendering the GOP's already slim majority in the Senate even more vulnerable. But could this Cheeto-hued dumpster fire of a candidate go one further and actually put the House in play?
The answer is a resounding "maybe"—but the fact that we're even discussing this question at all is remarkable. Republicans currently hold 247 seats in the chamber to just 186 for Democrats, their largest advantage since 1931. But what makes today's majority so daunting is the extreme gerrymandering that GOP-controlled state legislatures performed with savage efficiency after the 2010 red wave swept the party back into power nationwide.
Democrats would therefore need everything to go their way to prevail in these skewed districts, but the last several days of Trump's ongoing implosion suggest they very well could. The effects that The Donald could have on this election are unpredictable, but he might disgust some Republican voters into staying home, convince some others to switch sides, and motivate folks who've never voted before to join the Democratic coalition—or very possibly all three.
Daily Kos has therefore decided to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity and do everything we can to help return the House to Democratic hands. That’s why we’re launching a new slate of endorsements, starting with a half dozen candidates running in Republican-held seats who need our help:
- Former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, an outspoken progressive we've enthusiastically backed in the past, running in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District
- Attorney Bryan Caforio, running in California's 25th Congressional District, which is fast trending toward Democrats
- Professor Paul Clements, a vocal climate change advocate who earned an endorsement from Bernie Sanders, running in Michigan's 6th Congressional District
- Mediator Jane Dittmar, who served on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, running in Virginia's 5th Congressional District, an open seat that Democrats won in 2008
- Former Alaska Public Media CEO Steve Lindbeck, a champion of public broadcasting, running for Alaska's lone at-large congressional district against odious Republican Rep. Don Young
- Businessman Jay Sidie, a major opponent of GOP Gov. Sam Brownback's cuts to education funding, running in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District
More will follow, but in selecting all of these contenders, we're very explicitly trying to expand the playing field. We're supporting longer-shot campaigns that aren't necessarily flush with money but which, if the stars align, could put us over the top. But this is exactly where we love to be: Since our earliest days, we've always thrown our backs into the most difficult contests, where help is most needed—and where our dollars go furthest.
We are keenly aware that Trump is a terrifying thug whose candidacy has already done damage to this country and our standing in the world. But we have to do more than just defeat him: We have to send a resounding message that his brand of authoritarianism is completely unacceptable in any democracy. And there's no better way to do that than by defying the odds and winning back the House.
So please, contribute $1 to each of our six endorsed candidates to help send a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump and turn the House blue.