The Cook Political Report, a top nonpartisan election forecaster, moved 21 House races away from the GOP and toward the Democratic Party in its latest rankings released on Thursday, pointing to strong Democratic fundraising in the final quarter of 2017 along with a consistent lead in the generic ballot.
“Most new district-by-district fundraising and polling numbers are downright terrible for Republicans, even in seats previously thought to be safe,” Dave Wasserman, a Cook analyst, wrote in a blog post announcing the shift.
“The balance of evidence points towards a very wide — and mostly suburban — House battlefield with up to 75 GOP-held seats and fewer than 20 Democratic-held seats in play,” he added.
The Hill added:
Wasserman went on to describe Democrats as “ever-so-slight favorites” to secure the House majority after 2018, which would mean the party winning a net of 24 seats. And he went on to suggest that the Cook analysis “still understates Democrats’ potential in individual races,” arguing that more Republicans could be at risk if strong challengers emerge in those districts.
He also added that more GOP retirements or an upset victory by Democrats in a special election in Pennsylvania’s red-leaning 18th District could give the party further enthusiasm ahead of November.
Four Republican-held districts were moved to the “toss-up” category, while seven Republican-held seats shifted from a “solid” to “likely” Republican.
Three open-seats previously rated as toss-ups are now rated as Democratic-leaning.
“The DCCC has continued to expand what is likely the largest battlefield in history,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“We have a long way to go and won’t take anything for granted, but are on track to take back the House in November.”