Cook shifts two House GOP seats closer to Dem column

Cook shifts two House GOP seats closer to Dem column
© Greg Nash

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has shifted two Republican-held House seats closer to the Democrats' column for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

Cook, a top elections analyst, shifted Rep. Dennis RossDennis Alan RossGOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Reshaping US aid to the Palestinians Trump allies want Congress to find anonymous op-ed author MORE’s (R-Fla.) seat from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican,” while Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeCook shifts two House GOP seats closer to Dem column Five races to watch in the Texas runoffs Five Republican run-offs to watch in Texas MORE (R-Texas) also saw his seat change from “solid Republican” to “likely Republican.”

Ross and Poe both announced they would not seek reelection after completing their current terms.

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State Rep. Ross Spano and former state Rep. Neil Combee, a current political appointee in the Agriculture Department, are battling for the Republican nomination for Ross's seat in Florida's 15th District. Each of the GOP candidates has about $100,000 cash on hand, according to Cook.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE won Florida's 15th District with 53 percent of the vote in the 2016 election.

The report named former general counsel to the Florida Department of Citrus and EMILY's List–backed attorney Kristen Carlson as the likely Democratic nominee in the race to replace Ross after she raised $249,000 for the bid.

“This district is well within the strike zone of plausible Democratic targets, and Carlson's experience with citrus could make her formidable in November, particularly if Republicans struggle to unite,” the report states.

The primaries for the seat will be held on Aug. 28.

Meanwhile, GOP candidate and former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw is running to fill Poe’s seat in Texas and will face attorney and Democrat Todd Litton in November’s election in Texas's 2nd District.

Cook noted that some Republicans are viewing Crenshaw as a possible rising star in the party and that he defeated several other candidates to secure the GOP nomination.

Trump won the district in 2016 with 52 percent of the vote.