Can Democrats retake the House?
Yesterday I blogged on the latest Axios poll on a few Senate races, which show that the Democrats face losing seats in the chamber.
The opposite has happened in House races as The Cook Political Report changed ratings in 10 races and seven of those moves favor the Democrats. The publication’s monthly review also revealed that Democrats have a slight edge to win the 23 states they need to take over the House.
Races That Favor Democrats
Arizona 1st District
This district went from Lean Democrat to Likely Democrat mainly because of the fiasco within the GOP primary that will take place on August 28:
In 2016, physical abuse allegations engulfing GOP nominee Paul Babeu helped hand O’Halleran the seat. This year, the GOP field remains divided between state Sen. Steve Smith, attorney and farmer Tiffany Shedd and Air Force veteran/perennial candidate Wendy Rogers. Seven weeks before the August 28 primary, no one’s broken out and O’Halleran looks likely to win a second term.
Cook Political Report wrote that even though Trump won the district by one percentage point in November 2016, Democratic Rep. Tom O’Hallerann fits the district perfectly. He was a moderate Republican when he served in the state’s legislature and is now a Blue Dog Democrat in Congress.
In March, O’Halleron became the chair of the Blue Dog’s Special Task Force on Rural America, which is a “working group aimed at promoting bipartisan policies – largely economic.”
Research in April showed that O’Halleran voted with Trump’s White House 10 out of 11 times in the first three months of 2018.
Arizona 9th District
This district is now Solid Democratic. Its Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has the numbers to take over Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat and her seat will likely stay Democrat. Failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blew Trump out of the water in this district in 2016, 54% to 38%.
Former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton remains unopposed in the Democrat primary.
Colorado 3rd District
Republican Rep. Scott Tipton’s 3rd District went from Solid Republican to Likely Republican. Cook Political Report noted that this district “is increasingly fractured between conservative ranch country and liberal ski resort towns, which makes it difficult to traverse politically.”
The Democrats want a Blue Dog, but cannot find anyone worthy since Tipton took out moderate John Salazar in 2010.
Tipton will run against Democratic state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush. The report said she has tried to appeal “her ranch conservation efforts” to the conservatives, but it may not be enough.
It looks like the report changed the rating because Tipton won the seat in 2016 even though he “didn’t crack 55 percent.” A Public Policy Polling memo in May revealed that Tipton’s vote on an Obamacare repeal has harmed him in his district. Plus only 32% of those surveyed approve of Tipton’s job performance while 44% disapprove.
Trump won this district with 52% of the votes.
Connecticut 5th District
Another district moved to Solid Democratic as the two parties vie for Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s seat. Connecticut’s primary election will take place on August 14:
The August 14 Democratic primary is a two-way race between former Simsbury First Selectman (mayor) Mary Glassman and 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes, who was encouraged by Sen. Chris Murphy to run. It’s a battle of experience versus a powerful personal narrative.
Glassman is regarded as the “establishment” pick: she was a top aide to state House Speaker Moira Lyons and ran for lieutenant governor in 2006 and 2010. In May, she narrowly won the party convention endorsement by running on experience. Hayes, who grew up in public housing projects in Waterbury and was a single mother, is running as the progressive and has Sen. Kamala Harris’ endorsement.
Hillary won this district 50% to 46%.
The Axios poll from yesterday sparked a fascination with Montana politics inside me. Trump won the state by a large margin, but the state also elected a Democrat governor in 2016. Sen. Jon Tester (D) has a double digit lead over his GOP opponent and the state’s other senator is a Republican.
Monatana’s lone House representative is Republican Greg Gianforte. For awhile, the state had a rating of Likely Republican, but now it’s changed to Lean Republican.
Gianforte won the special election in May 2017 even after he assaulted a reporter, an incident that Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. Granted, most of those votes came before the election.
He will face off against Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Williams in November. Polls have her up 49% to 43%. If she wins, it’s an upset because the Democrats have not held that seat in 22 years.
Pennsylvania 16th District
Cook Political Report changed Republican Rep. Mike Kelly’s 16th District from Likely Republican to Lean Republican because the redrawn districts placed more Democrats in Kelly’s hands.
His opponent, Erie attorney Ron DiNicola, has received a warm welcome to the race: “he took 49 percent of the vote here in 1996, nearly beating then-GOP Rep. Phil English. DiNicola, a former Marine Corps boxer, served as Muhammad Ali’s personal attorney for several decades and has most recently served on the board of a non-profit geared towards establishing a community college in Erie.”
It’s not a slam dunk for the Democrat since polls have shown Kelly with the lead.
Virginia 7th District
I blogged on Sunday about Cook Report’s changing of Republican Rep. David Brat’s Virginia district to Toss-Up from Lean Republican.
Brat ousted then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 7th District in 2014 and now he faces the possibility of losing. The courts redrew the 7th District in 2016 and now its “anchored by the professional Richmond suburbs.”
Trump barely won the district in 2016 and a Quinnipiac poll revealed “that by a margin of 53% to 39%, Virginians want Democrats controlling the House.”DONATE
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