Vowing to expand their majority, House Republicans have identified seven Democrats they consider top targets for the midterm elections, according to a National Republican Congressional Committee memo obtained by National Journal.
The targeted members are Reps. Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, John Barrow of Georgia, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and Nick Rahall of West Virginia. Each represents a district that has voted for the Republican nominee in the last three presidential elections.
In the memo, NRCC Executive Director Liesl Hickey argues that the vulnerability of those seven Democrats illustrates the advantage Republicans carry into the 2014 House landscape, one in which a solid majority of congressional districts lean toward the GOP. That edge, she says, gives the NRCC a plethora of opportunities. "In 2014, Republicans will employ the same proven strategy that brought us such historic success in 2010 and 2012: Stay on offense," Hickey wrote.
Despite poor results last year, including losing the national popular vote in House races, Republicans escaped relatively unscathed in the lower chamber thanks to the favorable makeup of most congressional districts. That's in part because the GOP controlled redistricting in many important states, allowing the party to pile Democrats into individual districts. It's why Mitt Romney, while losing the popular vote decisively, won 227 congressional districts, the NRCC found. President Obama won only 208.