Midterm results shake up national map

A blue wave that washed over Republican-held suburbs across the country in last week’s midterm elections has reshaped the nation’s political map.

Deep dissatisfaction with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorsi sues Mueller for alleged leaks and illegal surveillance Comey: Trump 'certainly close' to being unindicted co-conspirator Trump pushes back on reports that Ayers was first pick for chief of staff MORE and an apparent realignment, both political and geographic, among suburban voters helped Democrats reclaim control of the House of Representatives, where the party won more Republican-held seats than in any midterm election since Watergate.

Now, even before the final races have been decided, Democrats are plotting new forays into what has long been seemingly invincible Republican territory.

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At the same time, Republicans are eyeing some districts held by Democrats still undergoing their new member orientation.

“We’re going to have to be more focused on protecting our front-line candidates,” said Rep. Denny HeckDennis (Denny) Lynn HeckExclusive: Guccifer 2.0 hacked memos expand on Pennsylvania House races Heck enjoys second political wind Incoming lawmaker feeling a bit overwhelmed MORE (D-Wash.), one of several candidates running to become the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “So many members coming in from those swing districts, it’s going to be a higher priority.”

The new Congress will include at least 29 Democrats who represent districts Trump won in 2016, pending the final outcomes of uncalled races in Maine and Utah.

At least 37 Democrats won election on Tuesday by less than 10 percentage points, 21 of whom hold districts Trump won.

Only four Republicans — Reps. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickMeet the lawmakers putting politics aside to save our climate Educated voters breaking hard against GOP Bipartisan group of lawmakers propose landmark carbon tax MORE (Pa.), Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdTexas lawmakers introduce legislation aimed at helping border counties identify missing migrants Members mark 'Repeal Day' with National Beer Wholesalers Association The United States needs better quantum science as a national policy MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoMidterm results shake up national map How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms Republican John Katko wins reelection in NY House race MORE (N.Y.) and David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — The political currents that will drive the shutdown showdown Rep. Valadao officially concedes in California race News media shapes election night perceptions, says Hill reporter MORE (Calif.) — hold districts that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSantorum: Dems have a chance in 2020 if they pick someone ‘unexpected’ Trump should heed a 1974 warning penned by Bush NRCC breach exposes gaps 2 years after Russia hacks MORE won in 2016, pending final results in a few other districts.

But a whopping 42 Republicans won their reelection bids by margins of less than 10 percentage points, and 23 of those members won by fewer than 5 points.

Those ranks include battle-tested incumbents Fitzpatrick and Reps. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisGOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules Democrats make legislative gains over GOP in redistricting battle Midterm results shake up national map MORE (R-Ill.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.), all of whom won close elections this year.

It also includes new members, Reps.-elect Mark Harris (R-N.C.), Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas), who claimed open seats in tight races.

And it includes members who survived unexpectedly close races where national Democratic groups did not spend big money. Reps. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantPuerto Ricans may have elected Rick Scott and other midterm surprises Rise of big cities push Texas to swing-state territory — maybe by 2020 Midterm results shake up national map MORE (R-Texas), Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulPuerto Ricans may have elected Rick Scott and other midterm surprises Midterm results shake up national map Senate passes key cyber bill cementing cybersecurity agency at DHS MORE (R-Texas), Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonPrivacy legislation could provide common ground for the newly divided Congress Midterm results shake up national map GOP lawmaker Olson holds on in Texas district MORE (R-Texas), Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerGOP women face steeper climb in Trump era Midterm results shake up national map House Republicans set to elect similar team of leaders despite midterm thumping MORE (R-Mo.) and Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonMidterm results shake up national map Overnight Health Care: Medicaid's popularity on the ballot in four red states | GOP in a bind on pre-existing conditions | Pelosi urges Dems to push health message day before midterms Election Countdown: Four days out | Early voting exceeds 2014 numbers in many states | Vulnerable Dems throw their party under the bus | Toss-ups to determine Senate control | 10 House GOP seats most likely to flip | Obama campaigns to preserve his legacy MORE (R-Mich.) all won by 5 points or fewer, despite facing underfunded and little-known Democratic challengers.

It is those members, who may not have expected such close races, who some Republicans now worry about.

“The new guys who won, they’re going to be fine,” said Tom Davis, the former Virginia congressman who ran the National Republican Congressional Committee. “It’s the veterans who won these close races in those suburban districts that Trump won.”

Davis pointed to 2008, when Democrats made big gains in a presidential year by beating seemingly entrenched incumbents Reps. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergMidterm results shake up national map Dems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress MORE (R-Mich.) and Virgil Goode (R-Va.), all of whom had survived closer-than-expected contests in the Democratic wave of 2006.

Tuesday’s results gave Democrats hope that they have made serious inroads among suburban women with college educations, voters who may have been loath to vote for Clinton in 2016 but who have since soured on Trump.

In the midterm elections, Democrats picked up at least 14, and likely 15, of the 23 Republican-held districts where more than 40 percent of women have a college degree. Democrats won at least four, and likely all five, of the Republican-held districts where more than half of women have a college degree.

Many of the Democratic candidates who took those most highly educated seats were women, like Reps.-elect Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-Texas).

Though Trump has insisted he is not to blame for the Republican losses in the suburbs, there is ample evidence he was the focal point of voter anger.

Bruce Mehlman, a Republican lobbyist who closely studies election results, pointed to exit poll results that showed a huge number of voters cast ballots either in support of or opposition to Trump, more than those who cast their ballots with George W. Bush or Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaCorsi sues Mueller for alleged leaks and illegal surveillance Santorum: Dems have a chance in 2020 if they pick someone ‘unexpected’ Media once hated HW — before using him to jab Trump MORE in mind during their midterm elections.

“More people voted to support Trump in this election than voted to support Bush in ’02. That was after 9/11!” Mehlman said. “The Republican top of the ticket is known, baked in and understood. In a midterm, everybody’s running against the president and there isn’t an obvious Democratic foil.”

Trump landed with a particularly hard thud in suburban districts. An analysis of congressional districts by CityLab, overlaid with election results, show Democrats won the suburban battleground that has become the fulcrum of American politics.

In the new Congress, Democrats will hold about 70 percent of all suburban districts across the country, and just 19 percent of rural districts.

The new Democratic majority has also consolidated the party’s hold on coastal states. About 150 of the 230 or so Democrats who will sit in the next Congress come from states on the Pacific or Atlantic coasts.

If Rep. Mimi WaltersMarian (Mimi) Elaine WaltersRyan casts doubt on 'bizarre' California election results Election Countdown: Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor's race | Latest on Florida recount | Booker, Harris head to campaign in Mississippi Senate runoff | Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority Warren congratulates former student and researcher on election to Congress MORE (R-Calif.) falls behind in late vote counting, the new Congress will include only two Republicans — Reps. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerMidterm results shake up national map How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms Election Day: An hour-by-hour viewer’s guide MORE (R-Wash.) and Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungHouse GOP and Puerto Rico governor agree on statehood vote GOP approves rule for Don Young Midterm results shake up national map MORE (R-Alaska) — whose districts touch the Pacific.

Heck said Democrats would face a battle in maintaining their gains two years down the road, but they start off with an edge.

“Our biggest gains were in suburbia, but we competed well in some rural districts,” Heck said. “It’s always less expensive to protect a seat with an incumbent than it is to defeat an incumbent.”