Cook Political Report moves 5 GOP-held seats towards Dems

Cook Political Report moves 5 GOP-held seats towards Dems
© Greg Nash

Five more Republican-held House seats are moving closer to the Democrats' reach. 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, shifted its ratings for five House races Wednesday, lifting Democrats' chances in GOP-held districts in Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

In Colorado, Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanBottom Line Koch political arm endorses Colorado Sen. Gardner 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform MORE's (R) race moved from the "toss-up" column to "lean Democrat," giving his challenger, Jason Crow, a slight edge in the contest.

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Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingHouse GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues Retiring lawmaker's 2018 opponent won't run for seat, citing 'difficult' pregnancies House panel advances flavored e-cigarette ban MORE's (R-N.Y.) reelection bid in New York's 1st District also moved over from the "solid Republican" column to "likely Republican." It's not yet considered a competitive race, but has the potential to become one.

King, a 13-term incumbent, is facing a challenge from Liuba Grechen Shirley, a nonprofit consultant who's running as a political outsider. 

In North Carolina, Rep. Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats worry about diversity on next debate stage North Carolina congressman says he won't seek reelection after redistricting NC rep explores Tillis primary challenge MORE's (R) race in the 13th District has been moved into the "toss-up" from "lean Republican," signaling that his bid against Democratic philanthropist Kathy Manning is as competitive as can be.

Likewise, Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickOvernight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Billboards calling on House Republicans to 'do their job' follow members home for Thanksgiving Mark Ruffalo brings fight against 'forever chemicals' to Capitol Hill MORE (R-Pa.) has found himself in a "toss-up" race, according to Cook. His race against former lobbyist Scott Wallace was among those moved over from the "lean Republican" column on Wednesday.

And in Texas's 31st District, Democrat MJ Hegar appears to be gaining on Rep. John CarterJohn Rice CarterOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families America's workers and small business owners need the SECURE Act Cornyn faces toughest race yet in changing Texas MORE (R). That race moved from the "likely Republican" column to the "lean Republican" column on Wednesday. 

Cook's latest moves are good news for Democrats, who have mounted an aggressive bid to retake control of the House in November. They're banking on deep dissatisfaction with President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE among Democratic-leaning and independent voters to hand them the majority.

Democrats need to pick up at least 23 seats in November to win control of the lower chamber.

FiveThirtyEight, an elections analysis website, currently gives Democrats a 79.6 percent chance of flipping the House this year.