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Sabato's Crystal Ball: Two Dozen Changes All Go Democrats' Way

Image: Sabato's Crystal Ball: Two Dozen Changes All Go Democrats' Way
(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 08 March 2018 10:37 AM

Democrats' chances have improved in 26 races, over two dozen in the House and one special election in Pennsylvania, according to Sabato's Crystal Ball. 

The special election in Pennsylvania's 18th District, where Democratic candidate Conor Lamb has dwarfed his Republican opponent in fundraising, has gone from Leans GOP to Toss-up with less than a week until Election Day.

A Democratic win in a district President Donald Trump won by 20 points in 2016 would be a notable victory, and Sabato's Crystal Ball managing editor Kyle Kondik notes that "whether [GOP candidate state Rep. Rick] Saccone wins or not, we wonder if a loss (or a close call) might have some effect on Republican candidate recruitment and/or incumbent retention."

In the House, Republicans have lost ground in 25 races, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose own district has gone from "Safe GOP" to "Likely GOP."

In total, six districts have gone from "Safe GOP to "Likely GOP," six from "Likely GOP to Leans GOP", five "Leans GOP to Toss-up", one "Toss-up to Leans Democratic," three "Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic", and five "Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic."

"None of this cycle's potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbents are embroiled in a major scandal or were accidental winners in 2016 (though several won by small margins), and while many of them face potentially credible Republican challengers, the GOP candidates by and large have not distinguished themselves in fundraising or otherwise," Kondik writes.

"So we're upgrading every single Democratic incumbent to at least the Likely Democratic category, and moving several Democratic incumbents off the competitive board altogether."

Kondik notes that the reason Ryan's district was rated as Likely GOP is not because of unpopularity or a particularly strong opponent, but "to account for the possibility that he may not even be running in the fall," though he has not announced any plan to step down.

"Despite all these changes, we still think the odds of a House flip are only about 50-50, although those odds are probably generous to Republicans at this point. But we're also cognizant of the fact that there's still a long way to go," Kondik concludes.

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Democrats' chances have improved in 26 races, over two dozen in the House and one special election in Pennsylvania, according to Sabato's Crystal Ball.
sabato, crystal ball, democrats, elections
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2018-37-08
Thursday, 08 March 2018 10:37 AM
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