ICYMI · News · Press Release

BREAKING: RATINGS CHANGE: Cook Political Report Moves 5 Races In Democrats’ Favor

“The median Democrat […] has $2.6 million in cash on hand to just $414,000 for the median Republican challenger — a six to one edge.”

Today, the non-partisan election forecaster Cook Political Report shifted another 5 races towards Democrats. Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman notes that recruiting and fundraising put Democrats in a strong position to take advantage of a political environment that poses major problems for Republicans this November.

“House Democrats are connecting with voters in every corner of the battlefield on the issue of protecting and expanding their healthcare in midst of a global pandemic,” said DCCC Spokesperson Fabiola Rodriguez. “Today’s race shifts make it even more clear that Democrats are in a strong position to protect and expand our majority in November.”

Here’s a roundup of the districts that moved towards Democrats:

  • AK-AL (Don Young)
    • Likely R to Lean R
  • AR-02 (French Hill)
    • Solid R to Likely R
  • GA-06 (Lucy McBath)
    • Toss Up to Lean D
  • NY-02 (OPEN)
    • Lean R to Toss Up
  • OH-10 (Mike Turner)
    • Solid R to Likely R

House Rating Changes: Cash Disadvantage Compounds GOP Woes

Cook Political Report

By David Wasserman


With less than 100 days to go, July FEC reports show House Republicans entering the homestretch at a serious cash disadvantage. At the beginning of 2019, the NRCC unveiled an ambitious list of 55 offensive targets. But the pandemic’s onset halted recruiting and has made fundraising more difficult, and the House battlefield has shifted dramatically in Democrats’ direction.


The bad news is that today, the median Democrat in the other 53 seats has $2.6 million in cash on hand to just $414,000 for the median Republican challenger — a six to one edge. By contrast, the median Republican in the DCCC’s 44 targeted “Offensive Battlefield” seats finished June with $991,000 to $513,000 for the median Democratic challenger, a much more competitive picture.

The bigger problem for Republicans remains the larger political environment. Pollsters of both parties are hard-pressed to identify swing districts where President Trump has a clear lead, or even any lead at all.

At a time when GOP challengers are trying to knock off Democratic incumbents, that’s a brutal headwind. In the past 20 years, 61 challengers have defeated House incumbents in presidential cycles, but only 13 did so while their party’s nominee was losing the district. Rising above the top of the ticket will require creativity, a superior message and, likely, a flawed Democratic incumbent.

As Kyle Kondik of Sabato’s Crystal Ball pointed out, in 2016, there were only two incumbents who lost while their party’s nominee carried the district: GOP Rep. Frank Guinta (NH-01), who was fined by the FEC over illegal donations from his parents, and GOP Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05), who fell out of favor with business groups over his opposition to LGBT candidates.

This week, we’re shifting our ratings in six races, including five moves in Democrats’ favor. If the 26 races we currently rate as Toss Ups were to break evenly down the middle, there would be no net change of seats. View our full ratings here.

[…] AK-AL: Don Young (R) – Entire State
Lean Republican. Young, 87, is not only the dean of the House but might set the all-time record for most races won after trailing in polls. In 2018, he beat Independent (but Democratic Party-backed) school funding activist Alyse Galvin 53 percent to 47 percent, his closest margin since 2008. Young is running for a 25th term, and like clockwork, a new PPP poll shows Galvin ahead 43 percent to 41 percent.

Galvin outspent Young $1.9 million to $1.3 million in 2018, and might outspend him by a similar amount this time (she ended June with a $1.4 million to $961,000 lead). And, Young is cantankerous as ever. The main difference might be that multiple polls show President Trump leading in Alaska by only single digits and Young may not benefit from the same baseline GOP strength as in the past.

AR-02: French Hill (R) – Central: Little Rock
Likely Republican. Hill, a banker who is personally wealthy, survived the 2018 wave against much-touted Democratic state Rep. Clarke Tucker by six points. Now, African American state Sen. Joyce Elliott is running and has a respectable $719,000 on hand. Still, Elliott lost here by 20 points ten years ago and the 2nd CD’s rural counties are likely too much for her to overcome. Read more here.


GA-06: Lucy McBath (D) – Atlanta suburbs: Roswell, Alpharetta
Lean Democrat. This is a rematch after McBath beat GOP Rep. Karen Handel 51 percent to 49 percent in the 2018 wave. But the only difference might be that Trump is even less popular in the Atlanta suburbs than he was in 2018 (he carried this seat by two points in 2016 after Mitt Romney carried it by 24 points). Operatives in both parties now view McBath as having an advantage.

NY-02: OPEN (King) (R) – South Shore Long Island: Islip, Babylon
Toss Up. Longtime GOP Rep. Peter King announced in November he won’t seek reelection and quickly endorsed Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino, who won the June 23 primary with 64 percent. But Garbarino, an attorney, raised an alarmingly anemic $120,000 in the second quarter and has $104,000 on hand against Democratic Babylon Councilwoman Jackie Gordon’s $1.1 million.

The 2nd CD is known as a bedroom for firefighters and law enforcement and voted for Trump 53 percent to 44 percent in 2016, but Barack Obama carried it 52 percent to 47 percent in 2012. The Jamaican-born Gordon worked as a public school guidance counselor and retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army Reserves. Garbarino may need a bailout from outside GOP groups.

OH-10: Mike Turner (R) – Southwest: Dayton, Beavercreek
Likely Republican. Turner’s reputation as a moderate business-minded former two-term Dayton mayor has allowed him to survive three Democratic waves since 2002 despite the district’s underlying competitive nature. In 2018, he beat office solutions businesswoman Teresa Gasper 56 percent to 42 percent – about twice Trump’s 51 percent to 44 percent margin here in 2016.

But Democrat Desiree Tims, 32, outraised Turner by a surprising $382,000 to $76,000 last quarter. The African American graduate of Xavier and Georgetown Law interned in the Obama White House and announced her candidacy days after a fatal mass shooting in 2019. She could be difficult for Turner, 60, to attack. Given the larger environment, this is a long shot to watch.



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