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.

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The seat held by Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaThe Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back Darrell Issa eyes return to Congress Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (R-Calif.) was moved from a toss-up to lean Democrat by Cook. Seats held by Reps. Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority LoBiondo launches consulting firm 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 ClintonMatt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE won Issa’s seat by 7 points in 2016, but was narrowly defeated by President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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 HunterOvernight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border Marine Corps tells Duncan Hunter to stop using official emblem, slogan for campaign Duncan Hunter, Democratic opponent seek money advantage ahead of 2020 rematch 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.