A political analyst says numerous congressional races could be close in November, including the bids of several Democratic lawmakers with seats on the House Ag Committee. 

But Dave Wasserman, a senior editor for the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, says those incumbent Democrats still have paths to victory despite the overall electoral climate favoring Republican candidates.

Speaking on this week's Agri-Pulse Newsmakers, Wasserman said Democratic Reps. and House Agriculture Committee Members, Angie Craig from Minnesota and Abigail Spanberger from Virginia, are among a long list of incumbent lawmakers expected to run tight races.

“There are probably 30 races that are on the bubble, that are genuine toss-ups in the House right now, and Democrats do have a path to holding them,” said Wasserman. “Particularly if they're able to motivate core constituencies.”

Due to redistricting, Spanberger will now run for office in a district that contains some suburbs of Washington, D.C., instead of her previous district, which contained parts of Richmond. Wasserman said recent Supreme Court decisions could also help Spanberger, Craig and other moderate Democrats in suburban areas.

"These are kind of the blue-state suburbs where the overturning of Roe (vs. Wade) could provide Democrats with a lifeline because voters want a check against the Supreme Court moving the country too far right," he said. 

In the Senate, Wasserman said Republicans need to “stay on message” if they hope to overturn the Democrats' slim majority. He said in 2010 and 2012, Republicans were predicted to win the Senate majority, but the party got in its own way.

“There is a potential for Democrats to win a Senate race that they have no business winning in a year as Republican as this one,” he said.

Newsmakers panelist Randy Russell, a farm policy lobbyist at The Russell Group, said President Joe Biden’s slumping approval ratings may hurt congressional Democrats in November. He believes Republicans could win a majority in the House and Senate.

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“If you look historically, it's something like only twice in the last 87 years has the party in control of the White House picked up seats in the first midterm election,” Russell said. “The first was in 1934 under (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) and the second was in 2002, under George Bush after 9/11. All other times a party in control of the White House in the first midterm elections has lost an average 28 seats.”

Anne MacMillan, a former ag adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and former USDA staffer in the Obama administration who is now with government relations firm Invariant, said although circumstances may not be ideal for the Democratic party, she believes the party still has the potential to change some of the currently expected outcomes by Election Day. 

“You can’t write this ending just yet,” McMillan said. “It’s only July 7, and there is some time to try to turn this around.”

There's more from Wasserman, Russell and MacMillan in the latest episode of Agri-Pulse Newsmakers.

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