Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems

Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems
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Election handicapper Sabato’s Crystal Ball shifted 10 House races toward Democrats on Thursday, including the election involving recently indicted Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterGOP Rep. Duncan Hunter accused of violating 'parole' after pretending to cross US-Mexico border Challenger outraises embattled California rep ahead of 2020 rematch Republican's campaign accused of racism for referring to Palestinian opponent as a 'national security threat' MORE (R-Calif.).

The handicapper moved Hunter’s race in California’s 50th Congressional District from a “safe Republican” seat to “leans Republican.”

The Department of Justice alleged in an indictment Tuesday against Hunter and his wife, Margaret Hunter, that the GOP congressman used campaign funds to purchase trips to Italy and Hawaii, pay for his family's dental work, his children's tuition and international travel for nearly a dozen relatives.

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Elsewhere on the map, the Crystal Ball moved races involving Reps. Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungCongress: Pass legislation that invests in America's water future Bipartisan group introduces legislation to protect federal workers' health benefits during shutdowns Deceptions may sink plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Refuge MORE (R-Alaska) and Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonDCCC opens Texas office to protect House pickups, target vulnerable GOP seats The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race House Dems release 2020 GOP 'retirements to watch' for MORE (R-Texas) from “safe Republican” to “likely Republican.” The forecaster did the same with an open seat in Texas’s 2nd Congressional District.

Reps. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisMembers spar over sexual harassment training deadline The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seeks tougher rules on asylum seekers House passes Paycheck Fairness Act MORE (R-Ill.), Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenIllinois Dems offer bill to raise SALT deduction cap The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Lauren Underwood becomes youngest ever black woman to be sworn in to Congress MORE (R-Ill.) and Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) had their races shifted from “likely Republican” to “leans Republican.” 

A trio of seats moved from "leans Republican" to "toss-up," including Rep. Tom MacArthurThomas (Tom) Charles MacArthurThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority 10 things we learned from the midterms New Jersey New Members 2019 MORE’s (R-N.J.) race. The other seats moved into the category include Washington’s 8th District and North Carolina’s 9th District.

Republicans are seeking to stave off a Democratic push to retake control of the House and Senate in November. A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Democrats with a 6.6 point lead over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot.

Sabato’s managing editor Kyle Kondik said Democrats stand to solidify their favored status following developments this week involving former Trump associates Michael Cohen and Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortNadler: I don't understand why Mueller didn't charge Donald Trump Jr., others in Trump Tower meeting Trump Tower meeting: A shining example of what not to investigate Ex-Obama White House counsel's trial set for August MORE.

"Previous developments related to Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation of the 2016 campaign and Russian involvement really haven’t," Kondik wrote. "But it would be wrong to look at what happened earlier this week and argue that the Cohen/Manafort news doesn’t mean anything to the battle for the House."

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony charges, including campaign finance violations that he said he made at the direction of a candidate for federal office. His statement implicated President TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference MORE without naming him specifically.

Manafort was convicted on eight charges of bank fraud and tax fraud, while the judge declared a mistrial on 10 other counts after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.