Cook Political Report shifts 5 races after California, NJ primaries

Cook Political Report shifts 5 races after California, NJ primaries
© Greg Nash

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has changed the ratings for three House contests in favor of Democrats and two in favor of Republicans following Tuesday’s primaries in California and New Jersey.

The races moving in favor of Democrats are all open-seat races where the Republican incumbent is retiring.

ADVERTISEMENT
The seat held by Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaThe Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles Senate throws hundreds of Trump nominees into limbo MORE (R-Calif.) was moved from a toss-up to lean Democrat by Cook. Seats held by Reps. Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority LoBiondo launches consulting firm Live coverage: House elects new Speaker as Dems take charge MORE and Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Top House GOP appropriations staffer moves to lobbying shop Individuals with significant disabilities need hope and action MORE in New Jersey were shifted from lean Democrat to likely Democrat, and from toss-up to lean Democrat.

Democrats have long seen all three districts as pick-up opportunities.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Ex-FBI official: 'Links and coordination' with Russia happen everyday Ex-FBI agent: Americans should be 'disgusted' by Russian interference in Mueller report MORE won Issa’s seat by 7 points in 2016, but was narrowly defeated by President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE in both of those New Jersey districts.

In the race to replace Issa, Democrat Mike Levin, an environmental attorney, will face off against Republican Diane Harkey, a member of the State Board of Equalization.

In the New Jersey races, state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) will square off against attorney Seth Grossman (R) in the race to succeed LoBiondo. Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a Navy pilot and former federal prosecutor, will face Republican state Assemblyman Jay Webber, in the race to replace Frelinghuysen.

The two seats moving in favor of the GOP are held by Reps. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterChallenger outraises embattled California rep ahead of 2020 rematch Republican's campaign accused of racism for referring to Palestinian opponent as a 'national security threat' McCarthy holds courtesy meeting with ex-Rep. Grimm MORE (R-Calif.) and David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoThe 8 House Republicans who voted against Trump’s border wall The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — The political currents that will drive the shutdown showdown Rep. Valadao officially concedes in California race MORE (R-Calif.).

Hunter is running for reelection against Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Obama administration official.

In Tuesday's open primary, Hunter won 40 percent of the vote compared to 16 percent for Campa-Najjar, who finished ahead of a more moderate Democrat, former Navy SEAL Josh Butner.

Hunter faces an FBI investigation into alleged misuse of campaign funds, but Trump won his district by a double-digit margin. Butner's failure to make the general election race could also boost the incumbent.

Cook's rating moved from likely Republican to solid Republican.

Valadao’s seat shifted from lean Republican to likely Republican after he won first place in his primary by a wide margin over Democratic businessman and engineer TJ Cox.