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 FranksFreedom Caucus members see openings in leadership AP Analysis: 25 state lawmakers running in 2018 have been accused of sexual misconduct Jordan weathering political storm, but headwinds remain 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 JoyceDems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests The Hill's 12:30 Report Bipartisan lawmakers agree — marijuana prohibition has failed and it’s time to change the law MORE (Ohio) and Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanMilwaukee County GOP mocks Kavanaugh accusation, says Ginsburg claimed Lincoln 'grabbed my ass' Kavanaugh fight roils an already ugly political climate GOP lawmaker tells people to ‘lighten up’ over joke about Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped MORE (S.C.).

The three Republicans downgraded from "likely" to "lean" by Cook on Wednesday are Reps. French HillJames (French) French HillThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Lawmakers demand answers from Mnuchin on Trump tariffs MORE (Ariz.), Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenJordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker Doubts shadow GOP push for tax cuts 2.0 Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems MORE (Ill.) and Tom GarrettThomas (Tom) Alexander GarrettVirginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence GOP lawmaker: FBI told me Russia contributed to last year's violence at Charlottesville rally Virginia GOP House candidate: I’m not into ‘Bigfoot erotica,’ it’s an ‘anthropological study’ 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.