Cook Political Report shifts 10 Biden-won House districts toward GOP
Nonpartisan election handicapper The Cook Political Report shifted its ratings toward the GOP in 10 House races, all of which lie in districts President Biden carried by at least 8 points in 2020.
The announcement marks the latest warning sign for Democrats that their support is declining in critical blue-state districts, including in Long Island, N.Y., suburban Portland and California.
“The scariest Halloween reality for House Democrats is the number of seats President Biden carried comfortably in 2020 that are at genuine risk a week out,” wrote Dave Wasserman, CPR’s House editor.
“And if you’re looking for House upsets, the best places to watch might be blue states where there’s no competitive statewide races driving turnout, Democratic governors are underperforming and GOP candidates have been able to seize on high crime and inflation,” he added.
Wasserman suggested that in three of the 10 districts, the GOP benefits from the lack of a Democratic incumbent, allowing Republicans to maintain more competitive fundraising levels.
In Oregon’s 5th Congressional District, CPR changed its rating from “toss up” to “lean Republican” as progressive Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner faces a barrage of attacks largely funded by national Republican groups.
In the 5th District primary, McLeod-Skinner defeated incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), a staunch moderate who has represented the district since 2009, setting up the contest as a focal point of the intraparty divide between moderates and progressives.
The election handicapper also changed the ratings for two Long Island districts with no Democratic incumbent from “lean Democrat” to “toss up.”
CPR also noted that in half of the races with changed ratings, the incumbent Democrats running for reelection face newly drawn maps with at least 45 percent of voters new to them.
Those Democrats include Reps. Josh Harder (Calif.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Sean Casten (Ill.), Lauren Underwood (Ill.) and Andy Kim (N.J.).
Porter’s district, which includes Irvine, Calif., and other parts of Orange County, is now rated as a “toss up,” while the others’ races are rated as “lean Democrat.”
In the remaining two races, Democratic Reps. Julia Brownley (Calif.) and Joseph Morelle (N.Y.) face redder districts following redistricting.
Brownley’s district, now rated “lean Democrat,” will this year include Simi Valley, a conservative area northwest of Los Angeles that is home to former President Reagan’s presidential library, which CPR indicated shifted the district 5 points to the right.
Morelle, meanwhile, represents Rochester and other parts of upstate New York and is now vying to court voters in a map that now also includes parts of deep-red Orleans County.
Biden won Morelle’s district by 19 points in 2020 and Democrats are still favored to win, according to CPR, but the handicapper no longer considers it a done deal.