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 HunterIndicted lawmaker angers GOP with decision to run for reelection Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency Indicted GOP lawmaker to stay on ballot in New York this fall: report 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 YoungElection handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems Dunleavy, Begich win party nods in 3-way race for Alaska governor Alaska congressional candidate has never visited the state: AP MORE (R-Alaska) and Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonOvernight Energy: Trump pick to lead mining regulator withdraws | Watchdog questions ethics of ,000 in Zinke concert tickets | House votes to ease natural gas exports Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems Worst-case scenario for House GOP is 70-seat wipeout 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 Republicans push for vote on Violence Against Women Act Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems GOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts MORE (R-Ill.), Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenJordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker Doubts shadow GOP push for tax cuts 2.0 Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems 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 MacArthurMillionaires group endorses Dem House candidates opposed to GOP tax law Election handicapper moves 10 races toward Dems Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' 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 ManafortDem warns Trump: 'Obstruction of justice' to fire Rosenstein Ex-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report Former White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report 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 TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown 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.