Top election forecaster moves GOP campaign head's seat toward Dems after Ala. upset

Top election forecaster moves GOP campaign head's seat toward Dems after Ala. upset
© Greg Nash

Cook Political Report, a top election analysis group, has changed its rating for the Ohio seat held by the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), suggesting that the prospect of a Democratic win in the district is now more likely.

Ohio’s 15th District, which is currently held by NRCC chairman Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversHouse Dem campaign chief presses GOP on banning use of hacked materials Trump is wrong, Dems are fighting to save Medicare and Social Security Hillicon Valley: Ex-Trump campaign adviser gets 14 days in jail | Tesla stocks fall after Elon Musk smokes weed on video | Dem, GOP talks over hacked info break down | Russian extradited over massive financial hack | Whole Foods workers trying to unionize MORE (R), has been changed from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican" by Cook.

As the head of the NRCC, House Republicans' campaign arm, Stivers is tasked with ensuring that Republicans are elected to the House.

Dave Wasserman, the House editor at Cook Political Report, tweeted Friday that one poll showed a “surprisingly close” race against Stivers.

Cook announced the change in its rankings on Friday. The handicapper also shifted its rating for Pennsylvania’s 18th District, formerly held by Rep. Tim MurphyTim MurphyJordan weathering political storm, but headwinds remain Saccone loses GOP primary comeback bid in Pa. Nearly half of voters hope for Dems to win majority in 2018: poll MORE (R), from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.”

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Murphy resigned last month after it was reported that he urged a woman with whom he was having an affair to have an abortion.

The two changes follow Tuesday’s Alabama special election and Sen.-elect Doug Jones’s (D) stunning victory over opponent Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreSexual assault is not a game — stop using women to score political points GAO investigating after employee featured in Project Veritas video Roy Moore dismisses Kavanaugh accusation: 'So obvious' when claims come 'just days before a very important event' MORE (R).

The race to fill Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump distances himself from Rosenstein by saying Sessions hired him Gowdy: Declassified documents unlikely to change anyone's mind on Russia investigation Pompeo on Rosenstein bombshell: Maybe you just ought to find something else to do if you can't be on the team MORE’s former Senate seat was vaulted into the national spotlight after Moore was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including one woman who said he initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was a teenager and he was in his 30s.

Jones became the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992, and his victory tightens Senate Republicans’ margin in the Senate, giving them just a 51-49 edge.