The party flipped areas long held by Republicans, from Texas' 32nd District outside of Dallas, to Colorado's 6th District on the outskirts of Denver to New Jersey's 7th and 11th Districts west of New York City. In its list Monday, the DCCC identified several similar seats, such as Georgia's 7th District near Atlanta, Indiana's 5th District outside of Indianapolis and Missouri's 2nd District close to St. Louis.
Some of the districts will prove tough to flip: for example, Rep. Susan Brooks won Indiana's 5th District election by about 13 points last year. Other red seats such as Hunter's and Collins' may only be in reach because of the scandals hanging over the lawmakers.
Still, the DCCC sees affluent districts, combined with rapidly diversifying areas, as where it can find a "new Democratic coalition" in the coming years, according to a DCCC aide who declined to be named.
In a statement, Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, argued that House Democrats "have shown folks across the country how unfit they are to govern." McAdams pointed to a 70 percent top marginal tax rate floated by N.Y. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the party's opposition to Trump-backed border security plans.
"The policies of Nancy Pelosi's Democratic Party are at complete odds with a majority of Americans, and we look forward to them trying to sell their out-of-step agenda," McAdams said.
The House GOP's campaign arm has already gone on the offensive against numerous freshman House Democrats who won Republican-leaning districts last year. The earliest targets include Reps. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., and Kendra Horn, D-Okla., two of the most improbable 2018 winners.
At the same time, the districts the DCCC did not include on its initial target list tell the story of how supporters of the two major parties have diverged. The campaign arm did not list Minnesota's largely white, rural 8th District, which Republican Rep. Pete Stauber flipped in November after years of Democratic representation. In that area and others with a Democratic tradition such as Illinois' 12th District, voters have increasingly gravitated toward Republicans.
The fact that Democrats would stop focusing on those seats but go after "a bunch of historically Republican districts tells you something about the shifting demographics of both parties," said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of nonpartisan elections forecaster Sabato's Crystal Ball.