Republican challengers are suddenly threatening once-safe Democrats in New England and the Northwest, expanding the terrain for potential GOP gains and raising the party’s hopes for a significant victory in next month’s elections.
Republican advances in traditionally Democratic states, including Connecticut, Oregon and Washington, may not translate into a wave of GOP victories. But they have rattled local campaigns and forced the Democrats to shift attention and money to races they didn’t expect to be defending.
Rising sentiment against the party in power has washed ashore even in coastal Oregon, where Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio won his 10th re-election two years ago with 82% of the vote.
“I am having the same problem that Democrats are having across the country, which is ennui,” he said, noting that his opponent’s yard signs “are thick” across much of the district. Mr. DeFazio said he is facing the fight of his political life.