Cook Political Report shifts seven House races toward Dems

Cook Political Report shifts seven House races toward Dems
© Greg Nash

The Cook Political Report has shifted seven House races toward the Democratic Party.

The nonpartisan elections analyst announced Wednesday it had updated the races in seven districts, all currently held by Republicans, to reflect "improved Democratic prospects" ahead of the November midterm elections.

Four of the seats were shifted from "solid" Republican to "likely" Republican, and the other three from "likely" Republican to "lean" Republican.

Cook moved the race for the Arizona House seat formerly held by Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R) — who resigned after reportedly discussing paying a staffer to act as a surrogate mother — shifted from "solid" to "lean" Republican.

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Also no longer considered "solid" by the election handicapper: GOP Reps. Jack Bergman (Mich.), David JoyceDavid Patrick JoyceThe STATES Act will expose flawed marijuana legacy Bipartisan bill to protect legal cannabis businesses introduced EPA chief doubles down on Trump's commitment to fully fund Great Lakes program MORE (Ohio) and Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanRepublicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave Trump says Navy SEAL charged with war crimes will be moved to 'less restrictive confinement' House conservatives ask Trump to declassify documents underlying Mueller investigation MORE (S.C.).

The three Republicans downgraded from "likely" to "lean" by Cook on Wednesday are Reps. French HillJames (French) French HillRestore Pell Grant eligibility to people in prison Here are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown Rep. French Hill wins after unexpected challenge MORE (Ariz.), Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenIllinois Dems offer bill to raise SALT deduction cap The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Lauren Underwood becomes youngest ever black woman to be sworn in to Congress MORE (Ill.) and Tom GarrettThomas (Tom) Alexander GarrettFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Ethics investigation finds outgoing House Republican made staff unload groceries, dog-sit Trump signs bill naming post office after soldier whose parents he attacked MORE (Va.).

Cook now lists 179 House seats as "solid" for Democrats, compared to only 156 for Republicans. 

The rating changes come after the newest Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports show Democratic challengers out-raised Republicans in at least 60 GOP-held seats in the most recent cycle.

“Even before last week, Democratic donors had been demonstrating far more enthusiasm on a race-by-race basis, a fact reflected in the newest House fundraising reports. The newest FEC filings spell danger for Republicans, ” Cook election analyst David Wasserman wrote in a new blog post on Wednesday.

On top of the quarterly reports, 15 Republican incumbents had less cash on hand than their likely Democratic challengers, according to Open Secrets.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats in the midterms to retake the majority in the House. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Democrats currently have a 5.5-point lead over Republicans in a generic congressional vote.

Ben Kamisar contributed.