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Election handicapper moves GOP leader's race to 'toss-up'

Election handicapper moves GOP leader's race to 'toss-up'
© Greg Nash

Sabato's Crystal Ball shifted Washington's 5th District, held by House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersTrump 'baby blimp' flies in Washington state for Pence visit The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — FBI widens scope of Kavanaugh investigation | Nightmare vote for red-state Dems | Five weeks to midterms The Hill's Morning Report — Kavanaugh ordeal thrusts FBI into new political jam MORE (R), from leaning Republican to a toss-up.

Sabato's Crystal Ball managing editor Kyle Kondik tweeted that McMorris Rodgers's race was one of eight that that had shifted towards the Democrats' side in the latest edition of the website's House election forecast.

McMorris Rodgers's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on the rating shift. The district, which the congresswoman has held since 2005 and won by nearly 20 points in 2016, once voted to oust a sitting House Speaker, Rep. Tom Foley (D-Wash.), in 1994.

Another race that tilted in the Democrats' favor, according to Kondik, is the race in Pennsylvania's 17th District, where newly-elected Rep. Conor Lamb (D) faces a challenge from Keith RothfusKeith James RothfusMaxine Waters gets company in new GOP line of attack Dems target small cluster of states in battle for House Poll: Lamb has double-digit lead in Pennsylvania House race MORE (R). That race has shifted from toss-up to lean Democratic, according to the forecaster.

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Another positive sign for Democrats is Pennsylvania's 7th District, currently held by retiring Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentMidterms put GOP centrists in peril House GOP group cuts financial support for Coffman, Bishop GOP House candidate placed on leave from longtime position after sexual misconduct allegation MORE (R), which Sabato's Crystal Ball now rates as leans Democratic after previously rating it as a toss-up.

Democrats are hoping to secure a net gain of 23 seats in the House and two in the Senate to retake both chambers of Congress in November's midterm elections.

A recent generic ballot poll showed Democrats with as much as a 12-point advantage for control of the House with less than 100 days left until voters head to the polls.