It's amazing what a difference two months and a pandemic make. Just ten weeks ago, House Republicans could barely contain their excitement at the prospect of tying 30 Democrats in Trump-won districts to self-avowed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and their votes to impeach President Trump. Today, Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, and impeachment feels like ancient history.
The COVID-19 pandemic has all but frozen House recruitment and fundraising, shielding Democratic incumbents with big financial head starts. Now, Republicans' path to picking up the 18 seats needed to win back the majority now looks slim to non-existent.
The truth is, even if Sanders had fared better in the primaries, Democrats still would have retained important advantages. Republicans are defending more vulnerable open seats than Democrats. And in the affluent suburban districts where Sanders's politics might have alienated the most voters, Democratic freshmen were financially well-prepared to separate themselves from the top of the ticket if necessary.
But today, Democrats enjoy a wide lead in most generic ballot polls, similar to their eight-point margin over Republicans in the 2018 national
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