Polling Expert Shifts 9 House Races In Democrats’ Favor On Midterm Election Eve

Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, attends VH1's 'Dear Mama' Event
Thos Robinson / Getty Images for VH1

The Cook Political Report has been closely tracking each race of these 2018 midterm elections and just hours ahead of voting day, they have shifted a handful of races to new designations. While some of the changes still favor the Republicans to some degree, in nine of 10 cases, the changes are potentially good news for the Democrats.

In its latest set of updates, Cook Political Report details that there are 75 House races that they consider to be competitive in these 2018 midterms. This includes 70 seats currently held by the Republican party, and just five that have Democratic incumbents.

Late Monday, the day before the election, Cook shifted 10 House races in their forecast. The only race they shifted toward the Republicans is Arizona-01, giving Democrat Tom O’Halleran a “Lean D” rating instead of a “Likely D” against Republican Wendy Rogers.

Darrell Issa is not running for the House again in California’s 49th district, and Mike Levin is hoping to turn that district blue as he runs against Diane Harkey. Cook has just shifted that race from lean to likely to go to Levin.

In Florida, there is a fierce battle happening between Mario Diaz-Balart and Mary Barzee Flores. Diaz-Balart, the Republican incumbent, is fighting to hold onto that seat, but it just shifted from likely to lean Republican.

Karen Handel is running to keep the Georgia House seat she won over Jon Ossoff just a few months ago. This time, Lucy McBath is the Democratic candidate running against her and she’s had some momentum that has people across the country closely watching this race.

McBath is known by many as the woman whose son Jordan Davis was shot and killed in November 2012 in a case that made national headlines. Cook now rates this McBath versus Handel race a toss-up after previously rating it a lean Republican race.

In Michigan, Republican Fred Upton is running for his 17th term in the 6th district. Democratic candidate Matt Longjohn is hoping to flip this seat and this is another race that Cook just moved from likely to lean Republican.

Pennsylvania’s 10th district has Scott Perry battling to keep his seat, but redistricting across the state has put him in a potentially difficult position with this midterm election. George Scott is running against the incumbent Republican and this race just moved from lean Republican to a toss-up.

People all over the country are watching the races playing out in Texas, and Cook just moved two of the House battles from solid Republican to just likely. In the 6th district, Republican Ron Wright is going up against Democratic candidate Jana Lynn Sanchez to take over the seat from retiring and disgraced House Representative Joe Barton.

Over in the 10th district, Michael McCaul is working hard to keep his seat over Democratic candidate Mike Siegel. Ordinarily, this would seem likely to still go to McCaul.

However, Cook points out that Trump carried the area by just single digits in 2016. In addition, the district includes a portion of Austin that is heavy with support for Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. As a result, this could become an interesting one to watch.

In Washington, Republican Dino Rossi seemed to have an early advantage over his opponent Kim Schrier, but it looks as if things have shifted somewhat. Cook is now moving this race from a toss-up to a lean D.

Finally, there’s the battle between Alex Mooney and Talley Sergent in West Virginia’s 2nd district. Mooney has been favored in this race and Cook previously rated it as a solid R battle. Now, they’ve shifted it to likely R.

The FiveThirtyEight forecast still shows the Democrats with a 7 in 8 shot at winning the House on Tuesday. Can they do it? They need to flip quite a few seats to make it happen, and people will be watching these recently-changed battles to see if any of them help the Democrats regain control of the House.