>> Emboldened Democrats locked their sights on Congress after sweeping victories at the state level. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where Tuesday's victories are giving Democrats a shot of adrenalin as they set their sights on a bigger target, winning back the House of Representatives which would slam the brakes on President Trump's agenda.
Now there's a few things that we need to keep in mind. Democrats won big, but in many cases these races were held on friendly terrain. They're gonna be competing in tougher races next year. And they're still struggling with internal strife leftover from 2016. So there's a lot that could still go wrong, but momentum is now building for a strong showing in 2018.
>> It's a great day for the Democrats.>> With a lopsided win by Ralph Northam in Virginia behind them, Democrats are already gazing at the much bigger mountain ahead. They need to pick up at least 24 seats out of 435 to win the House. Roughly 50 Republicans are vulnerable at this point.
Democrats are already recruiting serious candidates to take on Republicans and raising money at a healthy clip. The non-partisan Brookings Institution found that at least 73 Democratic challengers have raised a $100,000 or more. Another promising sign for Democrats, at least 23 House Republicans have decided not to run again.
That probably won't matter in conservative districts, but it will help in places like Allentown, Pennsylvania and suburban Seattle. And Republicans are pursuing an unpopular agenda. Polls show that voters widely oppose their failed bid to repeal Obamacare and only one in four support their tax plan.>> So the debate in this next election is who do you want to represent you in Congress.
>> But Democrats are facing an important debate of their own. Should they back candidates who don't necessarily line up with liberal orthodoxy? Last time the Democrats controlled the House, their members included some who opposed abortion and supported gun rights. Since then, the party has moved farther to the left and progressives are saying that they won't back candidates who might break with them on key issues.
We saw these tensions surface in the Virginia race.>> We need to close the wound.>> And we're sure to see them again in the months ahead as the Democratic field takes shape. But right now, both sides of this divided House are claiming vindication in Tuesday's sweep. And that should help with the healing.