Campaign

Cook Political Report shifts 13 House races toward Dems

The Cook Political Report has shifted several House races toward the Democratic Party ahead of November's midterm elections, the nonpartisan elections analyst said Friday.

A number of House Democrats had their seats shifted to the left by Cook, while the report says a number of Republicans could now face higher chances of defeat in November.

In total, 13 races were shifted by Cook to the left in the latest rankings, including those involving Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), who all saw their districts move from "likely" Republican to the more vulnerable category of "lean" Republican.

Cook also shifted some races involving Democratic incumbents, including Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), from "likely" Democratic to the "solidly" Democratic category.

One big issue the analysis says Republicans will face is Pennsylvania's congressional district map, which was recently redrawn by the state's Supreme Court despite protests from state GOP leaders. The new lines caused Cook to shift a number of districts further to the left.

"Republicans desperately need to catch some breaks to offset the new Pennsylvania map," Cook Political Report House editor Dave Wasserman wrote.

"In this difficult environment, the [National Republican Congressional Committee] and the Congressional Leadership Fund have no choice but to run against Nancy Pelosi and seek to individually disqualify Democratic nominees with negative ads over the summer and early fall - before those nominees can introduce themselves - in order to hold onto their majority," he added.

Democrats currently have an 8-point advantage over Republicans on a generic House ballot, the Cook report notes, and a recent Morning Consult poll showed President Trump with a 41 percent approval rating with 54 percent of those surveyed disapproving of his job as president.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats in the midterms to retake the majority in the House.

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