It's easy to get lost in the moment: last week, House Democrats were mired in a contentious, emotional senior staff shakeup sparked by the lack of racial diversity in the DCCC's top ranks. But it's wise to take the longer view: next fall's House outcome will depend more on factors like President Trump's standing, the Democratic nominee, and the disparity between the vulnerable open seats each party will be defending.

Republicans are trying to stave off an exodus: in the past two weeks, seven GOP members have announced retirement plans and more departures are likely during the August recess. Between losing control of the house, committee term limits, and a toxic Hill atmosphere, this was always going to be hard to avoid (see: 2008). But every Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05) or Will Hurd (TX-23) bombshell makes the GOP's path back undeniably steeper.

The basic math: Republicans need to capture at least 18 Democratic seats to win the majority but could need 19 or 20 if they don't retain North Carolina's 9th district in a do-over election on September 10 or

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