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After Youngkin's Victory and Others, GOP Expands Democratic Target Districts for Pickup in '22

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The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Wednesday it has expanded by 13 the districts it is targeting to flip in the 2022 midterms.

The announcement came a day after Republican candidates made impressive gains in off-year elections held in states as varied politically as Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington.

“In a cycle like this, no Democrat is safe,” NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer said in a news release.

“Voters are rejecting Democrat policies that have caused massive price increases, opened our borders, and spurred a nationwide crime wave,” he added.

The group pointed to Republican Glenn Youngkin’s upset win in the Virginia governor’s race over Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

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President Joe Biden had carried the commonwealth by 10 percentage points over former President Donald Trump.

The 13 names added to the list of 70 vulnerable Democrats the NRCC has identified include: Reps. Greg Stanton of Arizona, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Joe Courtney of Connecticut, Darren Soto of Florida, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Frank Mrvan of Indiana, David Trone of Maryland, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, Teresa Leger-Fernandez of New Mexico, Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, Jim Cooper of Tennessee and Jennifer Wexton of Virginia.

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Wexton’s district, located in northern Virginia outside of Washington, D.C., includes Loudoun County and Clarke County, where Youngkin made significant gains compared to Trump’s 2020 showing.

Youngkin wasn’t the only Republican to win statewide in Virginia for the first time in over a decade.

U.S. Marine veteran Winsome Sears took the lieutenant governor’s race, becoming the first African-American woman elected to statewide office in the commonwealth’s history.

Additionally, GOP candidate Jason Miyares won the attorney general’s contest.

Republicans are also on track to take back control of Virginia’s House of Delegates, where the Democrats held a 55 to 45 majority.

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Moving north, the GOP also had an impressive night in deep-blue New Jersey, which Biden carried by nearly 16 points.

Though incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy appeared late Wednesday to pull out a win, the race between Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattarelli was, earlier that afternoon, too close to call.

Meanwhile, the GOP picked up multiple seats in the state General Assembly and Senate with others, including Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney’s race, too close to call, according to NJ.com.

In neighboring New York, Republicans won four contested city council races in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island with the potential of picking up a fifth, the New York Post reported.

One winner was Inna Vernikov, an unabashed Trump supporter, who trounced her Democratic opponent Steve Saperstein by nearly 30 points for an open seat in Brooklyn’s 48th Council District.

Next door in Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Tribune reported that Republicans are poised for a clean sweep in statewide judicial elections, including picking up a seat on the Keystone State’s Supreme Court.

The Democrat-controlled Supreme Court made headlines during the 2020 election cycle when it approved controversial changes to Pennsylvania’s election laws and procedures made by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration.

Republicans also received good news coming out of the Lone Star State, where John Lujan won his special election, flipping a state House seat located in San Antonio from blue to red.

Biden carried the district by 14 points in November, The Texas Tribune reported.

Finally, KING-TV reported that in Seattle, Republican Ann Davidson won the city attorney race against her Democratic opponent Nicole Thomas-Kennedy who supports abolishing the police and reimagining the prosecution of alleged criminal offenders.

With wins in such a wide variety of states, the Republicans appear to like their chances going into the 2022 midterms.

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