Non-partisan analyst flips 10 House races to favoring Democrats
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House Democrats received a bit of good news on Friday: The nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed the ratings of 10 House races in Democrats’ favor.

And given the unpredictable nature of this cycle, the elections and campaigns newsletter said it could not be certain Republicans will hold the House in November.

“So many assumptions have been wrong this cycle that it's difficult to be definitive about another: that the House majority won't be in play in 2016,” wrote longtime Cook political analyst David Wasserman.


While a Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE or Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHillicon Valley: Big Tech hearing the most partisan yet | Rubio warns about foreign election interference | Trump campaign site briefly hacked Tech CEOs clash with lawmakers in contentious hearing Trump announces intention to nominate two individuals to serve as FEC members MORE nomination “wouldn’t guarantee a down-ballot disaster,” Wasserman wrote, it would make congressional races much more difficult to predict, especially if Trump becomes the GOP standard bearer.

Here are the 10 Cook ratings changes that favored Democrats:

  • Freshman David Young (R-Iowa) moves from Lean R to Toss Up.

  • Freshman Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) moves from Lean R to Toss Up.

  • Freshman Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) moves from Likely R to Lean R.

  • Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) moves from Likely R to Lean R.

  • Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) moves from Solid R to Likely R.

  • Rep. Brad Ashford (D-Neb.) moves from Toss Up to Lean D.

  • California Democratic Reps. Jim Costa, Pete Aguilar and Raul Ruiz all move from Likely D to Solid D.

  • Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) also moves from Likely D to Solid D.

Half of the shifts represent Democratic incumbents who are now safer; the other half are GOP incumbents who are now more threatened.

The ratings change in Reed’s upstate New York district came the same week that he endorsed Trump for president.

“Now is the time to unite behind the candidate who I believe will be our nominee, Donald Trump," Reed said in a statement.

But at least two other vulnerable Republicans, Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) and Bob Dold (Ill.), have made clear they won’t support the New York billionaire if he wins the nomination.

“I support just about anyone who isn't Trump,” Curbelo told The Hill this week.

Responding to the report, a spokeswoman for the House GOP’s campaign arm argued that Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Trump fights for battleground Arizona Biden leads Trump by 12 in new national poll MORE would drag down candidates in her party.

“Folks outside of the beltway understand that House Republicans have and will continue to work towards helping their constituents and being their voice in Washington,” said the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Katie Martin. “Frankly, House Democrats are ignoring the fact that they have a lack of talent when it comes to their candidates and members this cycle and the unfavorable Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket will continue to tank their campaigns.”

For Democrats to take back the House this fall would still be incredibly difficult. Redistricting has eliminated many swing districts, and Democrats would need to flip 30 GOP-held seats to win control of the lower chamber.

But Cook’s March ratings changes bring to 18 the number of GOP-held seats that are now in the “Toss Up or Worse” column — double the number from May 2015, just before Trump entered the race.

There are just four Democrats in the “Toss Up or Worse” column.