The first step of Democrats' path back to the majority is defending the seats they already hold. Fortunately for them, out of the 20 open seats and two vacancies on the Democratic side, 15 are in safely blue territory. Aside from one seat sacrificed in Pennsylvania's new map, Democrats' two most vulnerable open seats are in rural Minnesota: the 1st and 8th CDs, left open by Reps. Tim Walz and Rick Nolan's statewide bids.

Democrats must also defend two open swing seats that narrowly voted for President Trump: Nevada's 3rd CD and New Hampshire's 1st CD. But Republicans nominated a flawed perennial candidate in NV-03 and are struggling to raise money in NH-01. Democrats may need to defend another Trump seat if Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) wins his primary for state attorney general on September 13.

This week, we're taking a brief look at the state of play in each of these 22 seats. Next week, we'll take a look at the state of play in each of Republicans' 42 open seats - a record number of GOP exits

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