The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday that it's adding Northern California's Rep. Tom McClintock, a conservative Republican, to its list of targets in next year's midterm elections.
The announcement is a sign of increasing confidence after Democrats won sweeping victories in Virginia and New Jersey earlier this week. The party is hoping for a wave of support that could return the House to Democratic control.
“In response to the incredible outpouring of enthusiasm and grassroots support we are seeing across the country, Democrats are building an unprecedented battlefield in California ahead of the 2018 elections," said a statement from Drew Godinich, spokesman for the DCCC.
Beating McClintock could prove difficult, whether or not there's a wave: He's faced little Democratic opposition since winning his seat in 2008. His 4th Congressional District includes some Sacramento suburbs, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. Republicans have a 15-point voter-registration advantage in the district, which President Trump won by more than 14 points.
"To suggest the district is vulnerable is fanciful," said Jon Huey, McClintock's campaign manager.
There are three Democrats — Regina Bateson, Roza Calderon and Jessica Morse — running to replace McClintock. Morse raised more money than McClintock in the third quarter of the year.
Democrats were already going after nine other Republican-held districts in California before Thursday's announcement. They need to flip at least a few of them in order to take back control of the House.