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Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness of the district and candidate vulnerability. The Times put Republican sophomore David Trott’s 11th District in the “Suburban Stragglers” group, which was the third most likely to see Republican losses in GOP-favored districts. The incumbents in the group may be vulnerable because of their short time in office and/or win margins in recent elections. (Trott won about 53 percent of the vote in his district in 2016, down from about 56 percent in 2014.) For the 8th District, The Times placed Congressman Mike Bishop (R-Rochester Hills) in the “Gerrymander Breakdown” category, which they predict is the second to last likely to see upsets. The group, while still favoring Republicans, in part due to gerrymandering, includes districts that have gained Democratic voters. An upset in the 8th District, as posited by The Times piece, includes “the possibility of a midterm turnout mismatch between the high-turnout, well-educated, now highly energized and increasingly Democratic-leaning parts of these districts (like Lansing, Michigan) and the lower-turnout, perhaps deflated Republican countryside that’s supposed to overwhelm it.” GOP losses in each of the groups depend on a wave of Democratic wins in 2018. However, those predicting a similar wave in 2016 ended up being all wet. “The Trump factor has discombobulated everyone,” said political analyst Bill Ballenger. “On paper, you would think these two districts are beyond the Democrat’s reach... but Democrats are hungry.”


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