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 Rodgers‘Wake up, dudes’ — gender gap confounds GOP women The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — House, Senate leaders named as Pelosi lobbies for support to be Speaker Liz Cheney wins House GOP leadership post 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 RothfusPennsylvania New Members 2019 Pennsylvania Dem: Trump has proven he's 'interested in negotiating' Trump rips pundits for not giving him ‘proper credit’ for ‘great’ midterm 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 DentPennsylvania New Members 2019 Dem wins leave behind a more conservative GOP conference How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms 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.