House Dems to invest in South Carolina race

House Dems to invest in South Carolina race

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will invest money in resources in an open-seat South Carolina race that they believe has become increasingly competitive.

The DCCC on Thursday announced it added Democratic nominee Joe Cunningham to its “Red to Blue” program, which provides fundraising and organizational support to designated candidates.

Cunningham, an ocean engineer, faces Republican state Rep. Katie Arrington in the general election. Arrington defeated Rep. Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordMulvaney: Trump regularly asks why Roy Moore lost Dems vow to grab Trump tax returns upon taking majority Insurgency shakes up Democratic establishment MORE (R-S.C.), a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE, in the state’s June primary.

Democrats believe that Sanford’s defeat — and Arrington’s strong support for the president — gives the party an opening in the regular GOP stronghold.

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Still, the race will be an uphill climb for Democrats. The Cook Political Report, a top nonpartisan election handicapper, rates South Carolina’s 1st District as likely Republican. Trump won the district by 13 points in 2016. Republicans have represented the seat for nearly four decades.

The DCCC also added five other Democrats to “Red to Blue,” including Democrats Jahana Hayes in Connecticut, Joe Radanovich in Minnesota, Danny O’Connor in Ohio, George Scott in Pennsylvania and Kim Schrier in Washington state.

Hayes, the 2016 Teacher of the Year, won the Democratic primary on Tuesday in the race to replace Rep. Elizabeth EstyElizabeth Henderson EstyRising Dem star in Connecticut says people like me ‘deserve a seat at the table’ in Congress House Dems to invest in South Carolina race Pelosi sees defections from an unusual quarter — the left MORE (D-Conn.). If Hayes wins in November, she’ll be the first African American woman elected to Congress from Connecticut.

O’Connor is still locked in a too-close-to-call race in the Ohio special election from Aug. 7 to fill the seat vacated by Pat TiberiPatrick (Pat) Joseph TiberiAP: Balderson wins hotly contested Ohio special election House Dems to invest in South Carolina race Ohio Dem candidate knocks Trump: He doesn’t know what he’s talking about MORE (R) in January. 

Republican Troy Balderson is likely to maintain his slim lead, but the two will face off again in November for a full two-year term. Democrats touted O’Connor’s performance as a sign that they’ll be able to compete in tougher GOP-leaning districts that will be critical to taking back the House.

“Candidates have always been our greatest asset, and Democrats are well-positioned to take back the House in November because of the strength of our candidates and their grassroots campaigns,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján.

“This next generation of Democratic leaders are energizing voters all across the country with powerful stories to share and deep records of service.”

The DCCC is now up to 73 candidates named to its “Red to Blue” program. Many on the list are running in top swing seats that the party needs to flip, but some are in more reach districts that could become more competitive depending on the political environment.

Democrats need to flip 23 seats in order to regain the House majority.