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ICYMI: Steve Israel to Democrats: Don’t Be Distracted by 2018 Midterms

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In case you missed it, Roll Call interviewed former DCCC chairman Steve Israel about the importance of winning governor’s races and the role governors play in shaping Congressional elections. Even if Democrats win back the House this year, Republicans still hold an institutional advantage thanks to gerrymandering. Israel is an adviser to the DGA’s “Unrig the Map” initiative which has targeted 8 key states in 2018, where electing a Democratic governor will ensure fairer maps in 2021.
Read the entire article here, or excerpts below.
Roll Call: Steve Israel to Democrats: Don’t Be Distracted by 2018 Midterms
Simone Pathe
Steve Israel, former two-time chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, isn’t giving the DCCC his time this year. He’s taking a longer view of House Democratic campaign politics. 
He’s been sounding the alarm, urging Democratic activists and donors to look beyond flipping the House in 2018, which he’s still not very bullish about, and focus on controlling the state infrastructure that will allow them to hold whatever gains they make in 2018 and pick up more seats after the next redistricting.
“Republican governors in 2012 built a redistricting firewall for the exact environment they are in,” Israel said in an interview Monday. He can see Democrats making gains near the low 20s, but is not yet confident Democrats will gain the 24 seats necessary to win back the House.
The DGA last month announced a $20 million investment in eight governors races where the governor holds veto power and can play a role in redistricting.
The DGA estimates that if there were what they call “fair” maps in those eight states — Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — Democrats would control at least 20 more seats in the House. Those gains would be the same, Israel said, even if Democrats weren’t the ones drawing the maps, and there was some form of nonpartisan redistricting.