Republicans look to reclaim dozens of House seats in 2020 after midterm 'blue wave' wipeout

Key Points
  • The House Republican campaign arm released its list of 55 targeted districts for 2020. 
  • The group is mostly made up of seats the GOP lost last year as Democrats gained a net 40 seats and a House majority. 
  • The National Republican Congressional Committee, like President Donald Trump, will try to win in 2020 in part by casting Democrats as socialists. 
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., at a press conference following the House GOP leadership elections on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

Republicans aim to gain ground in the House next year in part by trying to reclaim dozens of seats lost in November's midterm wipeout.

The House GOP's campaign arm released its 55 targeted districts for 2020 on Friday, as Republicans try to narrow or overcome the chamber's new Democratic majority. It includes 41 of the 43 seats Democrats flipped in 2018 as they won a House majority.

The National Republican Congressional Committee will put an emphasis on states where it suffered the most losses last year, including California, New Jersey and New York. The party will try to knock off freshman Democrats by portraying a leftward drift in the party — a strategy President Donald Trump has already embraced for his 2020 re-election campaign.

"Freedom or socialism — that's the choice in 2020," NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said in a statement. Republicans have pointed to proposals such as Medicare for all or dramatically higher tax rates on the wealthy, embraced by the more liberal wing of the House, to cast Democrats as socialists.

The House Democratic campaign arm has already outlined its initial list of 33 targets for 2020. It includes many highly educated or diverse districts, with a particular emphasis on Texas. Similar areas help to propel Democrats to the majority last year.

The party currently holds a 235-199 majority in the House after gaining a net 40 seats in November. (One seat, North Carolina's 9th District, is vacant amid an investigation into possible election fraud.)

In response to the NRCC list, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Cole Leiter said Republicans "have a very long couple of years ahead of them" if they focus on policies such as repealing Affordable Care Act protections or cutting taxes for the wealthy. Democrats hope to "fortify and build" their majority, "and this list shows Republicans learned nothing" from the 2018 midterms, he added.

The NRCC has recently targeted Democrats in red districts — including 2018's most surprising winners in Reps. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina and Kendra Horn of Oklahoma — by tying them to the party's most liberal members. The group on Thursday hammered the Green New Deal, a sprawling plan to remake the U.S. economy and energy industry proposed by self-described democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

The full list of NRCC targets for 2020 is below. The group said that Trump in 2016 carried 31 of the districts it is targeting.

  • Rep. Tom O'Halleran, AZ01
  • Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, AZ02
  • Rep. TJ Cox, CA21
  • Rep. Katie Hill, CA25
  • Rep. Gil Cisneros, CA39
  • Rep. Katie Porter, CA45
  • Rep. Harley Rouda, CA48
  • Rep. Mike Levin, CA49
  • Rep. Jason Crow, CO06
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy, FL07
  • Rep. Charlie Crist, FL13
  • Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, FL26
  • Rep. Donna Shalala, FL27
  • Rep. Lucy McBath, GA06
  • Rep. Abby Finkenauer, IA01
  • Rep. Dave Loebsack, IA02
  • Rep. Cindy Axne, IA03
  • Rep. Sean Casten, IL06
  • Rep. Lauren Underwood, IL14
  • Rep. Cheri Bustos, IL17
  • Rep. Sharice Davids, KS03
  • Rep. Jared Golden, ME02
  • Rep. Elissa Slotkin, MI08
  • Rep. Haley Stevens, MI11
  • Rep. Angie Craig, MN02
  • Rep. Dean Phillips, MN03
  • Rep. Collin Peterson, MN07
  • Rep. Chris Pappas, NH01
  • Rep. Jeff Van Drew, NJ02
  • Rep. Andy Kim, NJ03
  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer, NJ05
  • Rep. Tom Malinowski, NJ07
  • Rep. Mikie Sherrill, NJ11
  • Rep. Susie Lee, NV03
  • Rep. Steven Horsford, NV04
  • Rep. Max Rose, NY11
  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, NY18
  • Rep. Antonio Delgado, NY19
  • Rep. Anthony Brindisi, NY22
  • Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, NM02
  • Rep. Kendra Horn, OK05
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio, OR04
  • Rep. Susan Wild, PA07
  • Rep. Matt Cartwright, PA08
  • Rep. Conor Lamb, PA17
  • Rep. Joe Cunningham, SC01
  • Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, TX07
  • Rep. Colin Allred, TX32
  • Rep. Ben McAdams, UT04
  • Rep. Elaine Luria, VA02
  • Rep. Abigail Spanberger, VA07
  • Rep. Jennifer Wexton, VA10
  • Rep. Kim Schrier, WA08
  • Rep. Ron Kind, WI03

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