The Hill’s Campaign Report: Cook shifts 20 House races toward Democrats

Greg Nash

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

LEADING THE DAY: The Cook Political Report shifts 20 House races toward Democrats 

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted 20 House races toward Democrats, reinforcing expectations Republicans will face an uphill climb in their quest to take back the majority in the lower chamber. 

The findings bode well for Democrats who are looking to defend a number of districts that President Trump won in 2016, but were flipped in 2018. Those seats include Rep. Jennifer Wexton’s seat in Virginia’s 10th District, which Cook moved from “likely Democratic” to “solid Democratic.”

The report also shows Democratic strength in districts that were once considered Republican strongholds, including GOP Rep. Chip Roy’s race in Texas’ 21st District, which was moved from “lean Republican” to “toss-up.”

The development from the political website comes as Trump continues to trail former Vice President Joe Biden in a number of national and state-level polls over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Trump’s approval rating has also appeared to have affected down-ballot races. Democrats lead Republicans on the generic congressional ballot, 49 percent to 40.7 percent, according to the FiveThirtyEight average.

However, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he isn’t alarmed by the recent shift, pointing to now-Rep. Mike Garcia’s (R-Calif.) win over Democrat Christy Smith in a special election in May to fill former Rep. Katie Hill’s seat.


You can check out Cook’s latest change in House ratings here.

–Julia Manchester 


Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats, by Julia.



Vice President Pence sought to cast the 2020 election as a choice between “freedom and opportunity” or “socialism and decline,” delivering a clear signal of the Trump campaign’s message as it gears up for the final months before Election Day. The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels.

Former Vice President Biden rolled out a five-point plan to safely reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, calling for the country to meet a series of requirements, such as increased testing capacity, before it sends students back into the classroom. Julia reports.

The GOP is struggling with how to put on its national convention in August as the coronavirus outbreak in Florida worsens. The party has already moved to restrict attendance at the convention in Jacksonville. But experts are warning that the risk level may be exceedingly high, even with additional precautions in place. The Hill’s Tal Axelrod and Rebecca Klar report.

President Trump is relying on his newly appointed campaign manager Bill Stepien to dig him out of an increasingly deep political hole. With his poll numbers tanking and his administration struggling to contain the worsening coronavirus pandemic, the Trump campaign is hoping that Stepien’s no-nonsense, data-driven style will be enough to turn around the president’s electoral prospects. The Hill’s Niall Stanage has more.



Jamaal Bowman, a former middle school principal and progressive, ousted Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) in the Democratic primary to represent New York’s 16th District, dealing a major blow to a congressman who has served in the House for more than three decades. The race was called on Friday — more than three weeks after the primary itself — after absentee ballots were counted. The district is heavily Democratic, almost certainly assuring that Bowman will head to Washington next year. Julia reports.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and a network of liberal groups are rallying to beat back a Democratic primary challenge from Antone Melton-Meaux, whose blockbuster second quarter fundraising numbers have Minnesota Democrats wondering if a major upset is possible. Omar is still the favorite to win reelection this year. But Omar’s political brand has ignited opposition among some who are now throwing their support — and money — behind Melton-Meaux. The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports.



Biden: 49% (+1)

Trump: 41% (-2)



Aug. 4:

Arizona primaries

Kansas primaries

Michigan primaries

Missouri primaries

Washington primaries


Aug. 6: 

Tennesse primaries


Aug. 8:

Hawaii primaries


Aug. 11:

Connecticut primaries

Minnesota primaries

Vermont primaries

Wisconsin primaries

Georgia primary runoffs


Aug. 18:

Alaska primaries

Florida primaries

Wyoming primaries


Aug. 17-20:

Democratic National Convention


Aug. 24-27:

Republican National Convention


Sept. 1:

Massachusetts primaries


Sept. 8:

New Hampshire primaries

Rhode Island primaries


Sept. 15:

Delaware primaries


Sept. 29:

First presidential debate


Oct. 7:

Vice presidential debate


Oct. 15:

Second presidential debate


Oct. 22:

Third presidential debate

Tags Chip Roy Donald Trump Donna Shalala Eliot Engel Ilhan Omar Jennifer Wexton Joe Biden Katie Hill Kevin McCarthy Mike Pence

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