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Richard Hudson

Hudson’s take on the House outlook

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — We sat down with NRCC Chair Richard Hudson, the man in charge of protecting the House GOP majority, during the Republican retreat this week. The North Carolina Republican is vowing that not only will Republicans keep the House, they’ll expand their majority.

It’s a bold claim. Here’s how Hudson is viewing the 2024 House map:

Key open seats: Hudson identified four competitive open seats — Michigan’s 7th District, Michigan’s 8th District, California’s 47th District and Virginia’s 7th District — as prime GOP targets. All four are currently held by Democrats who are leaving Congress. Republicans see opportunities to win these districts with the incumbents — Reps. Elissa Slotkin (Mich.), Dan Kildee (Mich.), Katie Porter (Calif.) and Abigail Spanberger (Va.) — out of the picture.

Michigan moment: Hudson predicted that Republicans will perform far better in Michigan this cycle compared to 2022.

Last cycle, Hudson said that the GOP struggled due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s well-funded gubernatorial campaign and a statewide abortion initiative that juiced Democratic turnout.

This time, Hudson is much more optimistic about the Wolverine State, predicting both former President Donald Trump and GOP Senate candidate Mike Rogers will win statewide.

“Tom Barrett is running a stronger campaign this time, raising money and he’s got a much weaker opponent,” Hudson said, referring to the likely general election matchup in the 7th District between Barrett, a former GOP state senator, and Democrat Curtis Hertel.

Vulnerable Democratic incumbents: While Hudson said the NRCC is aiming to knock off all five Democrats who represent Trump-won seats, he singled out Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Matt Cartwright (Pa.) in particular.

Hudson touted both of their likely general election opponents as prime recruits.

“We’ve got kind of a fresh start with Austin Theriault,” Hudson said, referring to Golden’s challenger. “Him being a NASCAR guy got me excited. But he’s also from a multigenerational Maine family and a state legislator. He’s very popular.”

Over in Cartwright’s northeastern Pennsylvania seat, Hudson hailed Republican Rob Bresnahan as a longtime resident known in the community thanks to his family’s traffic light business.

“I think our problem in the past is we haven’t had someone with deep roots in the district,” Hudson said. It’s a reference to failed 2020 and 2022 candidate Jim Bognet, who Democrats painted as a D.C. lobbyist in campaign messaging.

“Bresnahan is a union guy who’s deeply embedded in the district,” Hudson said. “He’s a great campaigner.”

A wild card: Hudson said one vulnerable Democrat flying under the radar is freshman Rep. Val Hoyle (D-Ore.).

— Max Cohen

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.