Democrat Conor Lamb's victory in a district that voted for President Trump by nearly 20 points has many House Republicans sitting in less Trump-friendly districts on heightened alert. Of the 120 Republicans sitting in districts where Trump won by less in 2016, 19 aren't running for reelection and 70 more were first elected after 2008 -- in other words, they haven't had to run in this type of political environment before.
"If you aren't running like you're 10 points down - start now. Outside groups aren't your campaign," tweeted Republican ad marker and former NRCC Executive Director Liesl Hickey. Noting that Lamb outraised Republican Rick Saccone $3.9 million to $917,000, Hickey warned, "If GOP candidates don't have their own money to make a connection with voters this year, they will face a similar fate."
Republicans are the heavy favorites in the April 24 special election in Arizona's 8th CD, but they could have bigger problems in another on August 7. Ohio's 12th CD is a lot like Pennsylvania's 18th CD — it combines well-educated suburbs with a lot of old union bastions — except it's even less Republican. Trump won Ohio's 12th CD by just 11 points, and Democrats may have a promising candidate there.
This week, we're changing our ratings in 10 districts, including Ohio's 12th. Please note: in the case of Pennsylvania, we will be updating our site with new district numbers and descriptions for the state's new map in next week's update.