Comes as Democrats put health care front and center
With 19 days left in the election, House Democrats are continuing to improve their positioning, resulting in Sabato’s Crystal Ball shifting seven more races in Democrat’s favor. This piles onto the recent shifts toward Democrats from the Cook Political earlier this month, as Democrats continue to run strong, aggressive campaigns across the massive battlefield the DCCC has built in the last 22 months.
AZ-02: Kirkpatrick – Likely D to Safe D
GA-06: McBath- Lean D to Likely D
KS-03: Davids – Likely D to Safe D
MI-08: Slotkin – Lean D to Likely D
MO-02: Wagner – Lean R to Toss-up
NE-02: Bacon – Lean R to Toss-up
NJ-03: Kim – Lean D to Likely D
- Democratic and Republican operatives monitoring the House battlefield report seeing the same thing that many of the public polls have shown over the past couple of weeks — the president’s numbers are either not improving or are getting worse.
- This erosion for the president plays a major role in some of our rating changes this week. Most notably, we’re moving Reps. Ann Wagner (R, MO-2) and Don Bacon (R, NE-2) from Leans Republican to Toss-up. Wagner holds a highly-educated and affluent suburban St. Louis district that Trump won by 10 points but that could very well flip to Biden, and she is being pushed hard by state Sen. Jill Schupp (D).
- We are also upgrading the chances of several Democratic incumbents who appear well-positioned for reelection: Reps. Lucy McBath (D, GA-6), Elissa Slotkin (D, MI-8), and Andy Kim (D, NJ-3) move from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic; all three hold Trump-won districts, although Biden seems almost guaranteed to carry GA-6, which Trump won by just 1.5 points in 2016, and he might carry MI-8 and NJ-3, which Trump won by about a half-dozen points apiece. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D, AZ-2) and Sharice Davids (D, KS-3) move off the competitive board entirely, going to Safe Democratic. Neither of their races have really engaged.
- Overall, our House ratings now show 232 districts at least leaning to the Democrats, 185 at least leaning to the Republicans, and 18 Toss-ups. Splitting the Toss-ups 9-9 would lead to a Democratic net gain of six seats from the 235 seats they won in 2018. To be honest, though, as we assess the Toss-ups, we’d probably pick the Democrats to win more than the Republicans at this point, meaning that on a good night, Democratic net House gains could reach double digits.