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Cook Political Moves Three House GOP Seats to Toss Up

Cook Political Moves Three House GOP Seats to Toss Up

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) gives GOP a shining spot in his swing state.

The Cook Political Report has moved three House GOP seats to Toss Up from Lean Republican after new polling came out. Another race slipped a little, moving to Lean Republican from Likely Republican.

While it may not seem like a big deal, we know the Democrats want the House back and any momentum the Republicans lose, you know the Democrats will jump on the opportunity.

Mimi Walters, California’s 45th District

Toss-Up: California’s 45th District lies in southern Orange Country and is one of four seats in the county held by a Republican.

Incumbent Walters goes up against Katie Porter, who is “a protege of Elizabeth Warren.” Republicans have attacked Porter’s “support for single-payer healthcare and sidestepping taking a position on the gas tax repeal ballot initiative.” David Wasserman wrote that the party needs to concentrate on issues like that instead of President Donald Trump because “Walters voted for the GOP’s healthcare bill and tax bill, which included changes to the SALT deduction that could hit plenty of wealthy voters” in her district.

Porter released a poll a few days ago that shows Walters ahead, 45% to 44%:

The ballot designation is a description California candidates can choose to accompany their names on the ballot. Porter’s designation for the primary was “consumer protection attorney” while Walters’ noted she was the U.S. representative for the district.

Walters had a 38 percent favorability rating, the poll found, and 39 percent of those surveyed gave President Donald Trump a favorable rating. Porter had 40 percent name recognition, despite a heated primary in the district in which four Democrats competed for the chance to face Walters.

The poll, which was conducted by Global Strategy Group, surveyed 600 likely voters, including an oversample of 100 No Party Preference voters, via live telephone interviews with a mix of landline and mobile phones. The survey was conducted from July 26-31.

Tom MacArthur, New Jersey’s 3rd District

Toss-Up: Why is incumbent Tom MacArthur in trouble in a seat that a Republican should win? Trump won the district 51% to 45% and MacArthur won in 2016 with 59% of the vote.

A Monmouth University poll from Tuesday shows MacArthur up only 41% to 40% against his opponent Andy Kim, but other models from the poll have Kim with the advantage:

Like Walters, MacArthur’s voting record could undo him:

The wealthy insurance executive’s greatest exposure is his voting record: he was one of the architects of last year’s failed GOP healthcare bill. He was also the only member of New Jersey’s delegation to vote for the GOP’s tax cut package, despite a reduction of the SALT exemption that could impact New Jersey especially hard. Kim, who has already raised $2 million, will pound those votes over and over again.

OPEN, North Carolina 9th District

Toss-Up: Rep. Robert Pittenger lost this seat in the primary to Evangelical minister Mark Harris back in May. However, it looks like Harris is not having an easy go at it against his opponent, Dan McCready.

The redrawn lines that happened in 2016 doesn’t help Harris because “it’s got enough ancestrally Democratic rural counties. Plus, McCready didn’t have to go through a primary, which led to $1.8 million in the bank. Harris only has $295,000 so it hinders his ability to counter any attacks thrown his way from McCready.

A poll from the conservative Civitas Institute delivered a blow to Harris’s campaign:

McCready has 43 percent of the vote, Harris has 36 percent and Libertarian candidate Jeff Scott has 3 percent, the poll found.

McCready, an Iraq War veteran and owner of a solar energy company, holds a 16-point edge with women. McCready leads across all age ranges and with black voters, unaffiliated voters and those both certain or likely to vote in November. Women represented 53 percent of those polled.

Harris, a Baptist pastor, holds an edge with men and with white voters in the poll.

The poll was being conducted at the same time as news stories broke about a 2013 sermon Harris gave concerning the role of women.

Scott Perry, Pennsylvania’s 10th District

Lean Republican: Even though Perry is an incumbent, he faces an uphill battle “in a Harrisburg district that was redrawn in February to be much more competitive and is 41 percent new to him.” Trump won this new district by 53% to 43%, but he won Perry’s former district by 22 points. That’s a YUGE difference.

Perry faces pastor and veteran George Scott. His campaign tweeted out a poll from Public Policy Polling that shows Perry leading by only 45% to 41%:

With regards to the favorability question on Rep. Perry, 33% said that had a favorable view of him, while 36% had an unfavorable view of the third-term Congressman. 31% were not sure.

Jim Williams, Polling Analyst with PPP stated, “Scott Perry is underwater on favorability and in a direct match-up with George Scott, this poll is within the margin of error.” (The margin of error is +/- 4.1%).

The poll also found in the newly redrawn 10thDistrict, President Donald Trump has a 49% job approval rating, while 48% disapprove of his job performance. The president won the district as it is drawn today by more than nine points in 2016.

George Scott had a Favorable rating of 20% and an unfavorable of 17%, with 62% not sure or don’t know. Williams commented on this point by saying, “George Scott has a lot of running room before November. With over 60% essentially not knowing him well, he is still at 41% in a head-to-head matchup.”

Carlos Curbelo, Florida’s 26th District

Lean Republican: The Cook Political Report had this race as a Toss-Up, but decided to change it due to polls and Curbelo not having fear to go against Trump. He supports immigration reform and a carbon tax. He also criticized Trump’s remarks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Democrats have tried to use Curbelo’s vote on the GOP healthcare bill, but Cook Political believes his opponent Debbie Mucarsel-Powell won’t hold up because she’s “not the most polished or dynamic candidate,” which could lead her to a subpar performance in a debate with Curbelo.

A poll from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from Wednesday has more bad news for the party:

The poll, conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm, had Curbelo at 48 percent and Mucarsel-Powell at 41 percent.

GBA Strategies surveyed 500 likely voters in English and Spanish from July 16 to 22. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The polling memo, released Wednesday by the DCCC Targeting and Analytics Department, points out that Mucarsel-Powell was “largely unknown” at the time of the survey. She has since run an ad on cable TV. Democrats are looking to the poll to show that Mucarsel-Powell can move voters once they know who she is.

Curbelo ended the second quarter of the year with $2.6 million in the bank. Mucarsel-Powell had $1.3 million.


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caseoftheblues | August 16, 2018 at 9:07 am

With how virtually all the Democrats have been acting since the election of Trump that voters might want to give those unhinged anti American loons power is beyond frightening.

    casualobserver in reply to caseoftheblues. | August 16, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Those that are winning outside of NY and CA so far are putting on a VERY moderate face. They are not running with the hard core stance the hard left has adopted in the last months or so. E.g. I doubt the Dem listed above in the NC race would ever shout “abolish ICE” given his military background. Has he?

casualobserver | August 16, 2018 at 9:17 am

I don’t have anything against a conservative and Biblical interpretation of the role of women. And I don’t know much about the demographics in that NC House seat. But I’ve seen some attack pieces about Harris that paint him as badly as the hard left is painting Kavanaugh for SCOTUS >> an anti-woman misogynistic bigot that will take all rights away, maybe even voting….blah blah blah.

Hopefully Dems overdo it and make Harris more sympathetic. If not, since the money imbalance is high I suspect it’s a seat that goes blue.

Carlos Curbelo has turned out to be a mayor disappointment, an unapologetic RINO.

“Porter released a poll a few days ago that shows Walters ahead, 45% to 44%”

The first two words explain a lot. A Democrat claiming to be within one percentage point of the Republican incumbent is a real positive. We should expect a poll commissioned by the Democrat for public release would show the Democrat in the best light possible.

IF Republicans refuse to saddle the Democrats (particularly the ones running as “moderate” to near Republican) with the Democrat themes and ideas like “Abolish ICE”, keeping Obamacare and no restrictions on Illegal Aliens, they deserve to lose. Know your enemy and reveal the enemy to the people.

Blah blah blah. This is like discussing who is going to win a football game that hasn’t been played yet. Didn’t we learn anything from the last major poll? hillary wins in a landslide!

    Colonel Travis in reply to inspectorudy. | August 16, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Predicting House races isn’t as complicated as president. There will be something screwy that happens with some but on the whole they’re accurate.

Cook Political said that Hillary was guaranteed to win 278 electoral votes in 2016, thus winning the presidency. The state of polling is deplorable, and I haven’t heard anyone suggest a convincing way to fix it.

If it were easy to do so, everyone would’ve already done it.

cjharrispretzer | August 16, 2018 at 1:55 pm

MimiWalters is not going to lose CA-45. Even CA-49 is going to go to Diane Harkey. All this “toss up” talk will do is make the Democrats even more crazy when they don’t achieve their goal this Nov., aka—LOSE!!