In the working day after Donald Trump shocked the political establishment with his presidential win, everyone heard about the places that former President Barack Obama had won that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had lost. They were counties in Rust Belt areas like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and upstate New York. People blamed her for her inability to connect with the Democratic base and win over blue-collar voters who liked Trump's outsider message.

But in eight congressional districts around the country, Clinton won where Obama never was able to in either 2008 or 2012. These are the eight Republican members of Congress, who now have become prime targets for Democrat hoping to pick up 24 seats in the midterm elections held in recapture the House:

Arizona's 2nd district: Rep. Martha McSally

California's 39 th district: Rep. Ed Royce

California's 45 th district: Rep. Mimi Walters

California's 48 th district: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Kansas' 3rd district: Rep. Kevin Yoder

New Jersey's 7th district: Rep. Leonard Lance

Texas' 7th district: Rep. John Culberson

Texas' 32 nd district: Rep. Pete Sessions

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These districts largely encompass affluent, trained, suburban districts — often with changing demographics — where even Republican voters simply didn't care for Trump.

” A lot of Republican merely never accepted him ,” said Dave Gilliard, a Rep. Mimi Walters campaign consultant, who cautioned against reading too much into the presidential election results for congressional races in 2018.

HuffPost reached out to the National Republican Congressional Committee and all the offices of the members listed, many of whom did not reply.

These seats won't be easy pick-ups. In Texas, for example, a Republican has represented the 7th congressional district — which encompasses wealthy areas of Houston — since 1967, when George H.W. Bush won. The former chairwoman still lives there today.

But Democrats say they have a few things working for them.

” These districts have undergone significant change and the House Republican representing them have grown far out of touch with their constituents ,” said Dan Sena, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.” Frankly, many of these incumbents have not faced a serious challenge in a long time and they're already stimulating the type of unforced errors that could send them into early retirement. As we build the largest battlefield in a decade, there's no question that these districts will be a top priority .”

Below is a look at some of what Democrat see as their strongest advantages.


First, of course, is Trump, whose approval rating is going down.

Carol Donovan, chair of the Democratic Party in Dallas County, where they're looking to oust Sessions, said they're working to tie the congressman to the president as much as possible.

” Pete Sessions has attained the mistake of tying himself too closely to Trump, and Trump is going far down in popularity ,” Donovan said.

Harley Rouda, a Democrat hoping to win in California's 48 th district, is already running after Rohrabacher by using Trump's scandals. He lately called on the FBI to investigate” any and all connects, pays and relations between Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and the Russians .”

He keyed his attack on a comment make use of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy( R-Calif .) last year — and recently reported — that both Trump and Rohrabacher are on the payroll of Russian President Vladimir Putin. McCarthy's office has said he was joking.

” Rohrabacher's connections to Russia are bringing him lots of questions about his credibility as a congressman ,” Rouda told HuffPost.

Bill Clark/ Getty Images
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher( R-Calif .) has been in Congress since 1989. His district voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general elections.