Democrats Make Gains as More Seats Become Competitive
Everyone is working the math. Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to take back the House. Forty-three seats would give them a majority the Republicans now enjoy. The ram-legislation-through kind of majority. And each day it is looking like Democrats will win one of the two in November.
The Cook Political Report currently rates 60 Congressional seats as competitive; 56 of those seats are held by Republicans and four are held by Democrats. Of those 60 seats, 26 are considered toss-ups at the moment. But if we split the toss-up districts evenly down the aisle today, Democrats would pick up 19 seats.
And there’s better news for Democrats. There are currently around 26 GOP-held seats that Cook Political is tracking in the Lean-Republican territory with great potential to become toss-ups. Add to that another 28 Republican seats in the Likely-Republican category that could become more competitive and there’s a lot of upside for Democratic candidates to not only get to the 23-seat majority but possibly an even greater number.
Just last week, Cook Political changed its ratings on 15 Congressional districts, mostly in favor of Democrats. Here’s how that list looks now:
Ariz. District 01: Incumbent Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D) – From Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
Ariz. District 09: OPEN (Former Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) – From Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
Colo. District 03: Incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R) – From Solid Republican to Likely Republican
Conn. District 05: OPEN (Former Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) – From Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
Fla. District 06: (Former Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) – From Solid Republican to Lean Republican
Fla. District 16: Incumbent Rep. Vernon Buchanan (R) – From Likely Republican to Lean Republican
Ill. District 13: Incumbent Rep. Rodney Davis (R) – From Likely Republican to Lean Republican
Maine District 02: Incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) – From Lean Republican to Toss-Up
Mont. District 01 (entire state): Incumbent Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) – From Likely Republican to Lean Republican
Mich. District 08: Incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop (R) – From Lean Republican to Toss-Up
N.Y. District 11: Incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R) – From Lean Republican to Likely Republican
N.Y. District 25: VACANT (Former Rep. Louise Slaughter (D) – From Solid Democrat to Likely Democrat
Penn. District 01: Incumbent Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) – From Toss-Up to Lean Republican
Penn. District 16: Incumbent Rep. Mike Kelly (R) – From Likely Republican to Lean Republican
Va. District 07: Incumbent Rep. Dave Brat (R) – From Lean Republican to Toss-Up
And bolstering Cook Political’s findings are the national polls. Based on an aggregate of 10 national polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight on a continuous basis, an average of 48.3% of people support Democrats in the race for Congress as of July 13. That compares with an average of 39.4% who favor Republicans. That’s about how it has been for the past 14 months since the site began tracking this polling question. At the lowest point, Democrats only received 42.8% support, back in May of 2017. That still trumps the highest point the Republicans have received, which was 41.3% sometime last May. But at no point have the Republicans received more support than Democrats in this polling.
There’s still a lot of skepticism on whether the Democrats can take back the Senate. But if they take back the House, they can grind to a halt the wheels of Trump’s government, instead of greasing them as have McConnell and Ryan.