In November 2010, House Republicans swung 20 seats, the largest change in seats since 1964. Now, six years later, many of those 2010 winners will term out. And Republicans will have to defend that historic victory in a presidential election year.
Meanwhile, Democrats will be charging hard to win back majority in November 2016. To do that, they will have to flip nine GOP-held seats. To tie at 55-55, they'll need to swing eight.
The map of open seats favors Democrats. The fact that it's a presidential year that will bring higher turnout favors Democrats. And Democrats have already had some victories on the candidate-recruiting trail.
"I feel really good about the folks who are stepping up to run in 2016," said Rep. Adam ZEMKE (D-Ann Arbor), the chair of the Democrats' campaign efforts so far.
"It's clear that a number of folks from different communities around the state have been thinking about this seriously," he continued. "And we feel really confident about the quality of candidates."
Many in Lansing expect Democrats to flip a handful of seats. But the belief is that they'll need a lot to break their way to get all the way to nine.
Republicans will be playing defense in 2016. As a sign of that, there is only one Democratic held-seat on our initial list of the 15 seats most likely to flip.
While Democrats have numerous candidates from 2014 running in 2016, Republicans have a much larger recruiting task on their hands with a laundry list of third-term members to replace in battleground seats.
While some have questioned how that recruiting is going, multiple Republicans, including House Republican Campaign Chair Tom LEONARD (R-DeWitt), push back against the idea.
"I feel very positive where we're at right now in terms of recruitment," Leonard said.
"I feel confident right now that the odds are in our favor," he added of keeping majority. "But it's nothing that we take for granted."
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66th District (R to D) -- Democrats invested here in 2014 against a two-term incumbent, Rep. Aric NESBITT (R-Lawton). That investment was meant to the lay the groundwork for a 2016 run by Nesbitt's opponent, Annie BROWN, in this now open seat. The Republican nominee is expected to be Beth GRIFFIN, a Van Buren County commissioner. With a 46.5 percent Democratic voting base, Democrats will need many things to go their way to flip this seat.