Displaying confidence after this week’s primary election in Pennsylvania, the head of the Democratic National Committee predicted his party could almost triple its share of the state’s Congressional seats in the midterm elections.
"I think Pennsylvania is going to be a real ground zero as we work to take back the U.S. House and, frankly, take back our democracy," DNC chairman Tom Perez said in an interview with NBC10.
Democrats need to gain 23 seats to take control of the House of Representatives.
In Pennsylvania, Democrats started the year with five seats to Republicans’ 13 seats, but Perez suggested his party could flip those numbers in the midterm elections, in part because of the state’s new Congressional map. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the old map and redrew the district lines under a new map that resulted in multiple districts that are now more favorable to Democrats.
Perez said he saw Democratic enthusiasm in Pennsylvania’s primary election on Tuesday, and called it the "year of the woman" in Pennsylvania because of the seven Democratic women nominated to go onto the general election for congressional races.
"Women have been leading the resistance, women have been stepping up to run for office in remarkable numbers and women have been winning," Perez said.
Of the seven women, four are in the Philadelphia region — Madeleine Dean in the 4th district, Mary Gay Scanlon in the 5th district, Chrissy Houlahan in the 6th district and Susan Wild in the 7th district. Republican Pearl Kim had no primary challenger and goes on to the general election in the 5th district.
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Pennsylvania voters will also have a choice in two statewide races this year as two Democrats try to keep their jobs: Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey.
Heading toward November, Perez said the DNC will offer help to both top-of-ticket and smaller races, and use an "every zipcode strategy" to compete in every county.
He cited the party’s success in Virginia as a model for campaign coordination, saying "we understood and always asked 'Where can we be most helpful?'"