Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems

Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems
© Getty

Election handicapper Sabato’s Crystal Ball shifted 10 House races toward Democrats on Thursday, including the election involving recently indicted Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterDuncan Hunter's attorneys look to delay trial by over a month Duncan Hunter gets another GOP challenger Overnight 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 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Elsewhere on the map, the Crystal Ball moved races involving Reps. Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungHouse passes bill requiring CBP to enact safety, hygiene standards GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions Ex-GOP lawmakers are face of marijuana blitz MORE (R-Alaska) and Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonTexas faces turbulent political moment Another Texas congressman planning to retire Hurd retirement leaves GOP gloomy on 2020 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 DavisHouse Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 House Democrats target 2020 GOP incumbents in new ad Illinois House Republicans call on Trump to not commute Blagojevich's sentence MORE (R-Ill.), Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenRepublican challenging freshman Dem rep says he raised 0,000 in 6 days Illinois Dems offer bill to raise SALT deduction cap The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority 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 MacArthurRepublicans plot comeback in New Jersey Republicans spend more than million at Trump properties The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority 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 ManafortTrial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer DOJ releases notes from official Bruce Ohr's Russia probe interviews MORE.

"Previous developments related to Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony 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 TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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.