CNN key House races: New Pennsylvania maps help Democrats in several districts

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court gave Democrats a boost in their effort to gain control of the House this week when it ...

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 10:34 AM
Updated: Feb 21, 2018 10:34 AM

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court gave Democrats a boost in their effort to gain control of the House this week when it unveiled new congressional district maps and ordered them implemented in time for the midterm elections.

Unless Republicans efforts to challenge the new maps in federal court are successful, Democrats look poised to pick up several seats in the Philadelphia suburbs. So we'll start there and move westward through the new districts.

The biggest Republican loser in the redrawn maps: Rep. Ryan Costello.

His winding, Chester County-based district was already a top Democratic target. But he's a moderate incumbent with strong fundraising figures, so he was the slight favorite for re-election. That's no longer the case. The new 6th District voted in favor of Hillary Clinton over President Donald Trump by 10 percentage points in 2016, and given Democrats' surge in suburbia in recent state and special elections across the country, this territory could be even more favorable to Democratic challenger Chrissy Houlahan this fall. This district now leans in Democrats' favor.

Freshman Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick is another Republican already locked in a tough re-election in the Philadelphia suburbs. His Bucks County-based district didn't change much, but now incorporates a more left-leaning portion of Montgomery County than it had before. What's now the 1st District favored Clinton by 2 points. Fitzpatrick's district, which previously was rated lean Republican, is now a toss-up.

One Philadelphia-area seat Republicans are almost certain to lose is the new 5th District, an area previously represented in part by Rep. Pat Meehan, a Republican retiring amid a sexual harassment scandal. The district favored Clinton by an eye-popping 26 points in 2016. For now, we'll rate it likely Democratic while we wait to see if Republicans can recruit someone to make this a race.

Another major shift came in the new Pennsylvania 7th District, an altered version of the Lehigh Valley district where Republican Rep. Charlie Dent is retiring. Previously favorable ground for the GOP, it's now an open seat that voted in Clinton's favor by a point in 2016 and leans Democratic.

The biggest Republican winner under the new maps is Rep. Lloyd Smucker, whose seat now appears safe. His Lancaster-based district, which now becomes the 11th District, moves from a likely Republican rating, which reflected the reality that it was a longshot Democratic target, to a solid Republican rating.

Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright's northeastern Pennsylvania territory becomes the new 8th District. Even though it favored Trump in 2016, Cartwright is an established, well-funded incumbent, and his seat maintains a likely Democratic rating.

Western Pennsylvania

The new congressional map also has the potential to shake things up in the western part of the state.

It won't take effect before the March 13 special election in the 18th District, vacated by former GOP Rep. Tim Murphy. Democrat Conor Lamb is currently within striking distance of Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone in a district that Trump carried by 20 points in 2016.

The 18th District will, with some tweaks, become the 14th District under the new map. The redrawn district appears to be more favorable terrain for Republicans.

However, that means that the newly formed 17th District, just west of Pittsburgh, would present a more appealing opportunity for Lamb, win or lose in March. Should he run there, he would likely challenge GOP Rep. Keith Rothfus, who currently represents what's been much safer turf for Republicans than the new 17th District, which went narrowly for Trump in 2016 and includes suburban areas that have recently been favorable terrain for Democrats.

The new 17th District moves from a solid Republican rating to lean Republican for now, with a Lamb bid having the potential to push it into toss-up territory.

Our ratings account for an oddity of Pennsylvania's new political reality, with the previous maps having a last hurrah in the March special election: The current 18th District is still in place, and still carries a lean Republican rating. As soon as that election takes place, though, it'll drop from our ratings, with the new 14th District appearing to be solidly Republican.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 149166

Reported Deaths: 3960
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24564781
Lake13079350
St. Joseph8788157
Elkhart8371132
Allen7815221
Hamilton5923113
Vanderburgh553050
Tippecanoe350914
Monroe319438
Hendricks3140130
Johnson2972127
Porter293248
Clark282157
Delaware279674
Vigo248837
Madison226991
Cass221020
LaPorte213057
Warrick186563
Kosciusko173121
Floyd172766
Howard157466
Bartholomew138657
Dubois133724
Marshall130626
Henry121828
Boone118648
Grant118039
Wayne117123
Hancock114144
Noble111333
Jackson107412
Morgan91540
Dearborn90328
Daviess83732
Gibson82611
Clinton81316
Shelby78329
Lawrence77832
LaGrange76615
Harrison73324
Knox69610
Putnam69515
DeKalb68611
Posey6745
Steuben5888
Miami5765
Fayette57515
Montgomery56422
White56215
Jasper5464
Greene51237
Scott50613
Decatur49439
Adams4645
Whitley4316
Clay4276
Sullivan42412
Ripley4178
Wells4125
Orange38624
Wabash3859
Starke3847
Huntington3695
Spencer3686
Franklin36325
Jennings35913
Washington3512
Randolph3378
Fulton3292
Jefferson3285
Pike31612
Carroll30813
Perry28914
Jay2816
Fountain2743
Tipton26623
Parke2182
Newton21111
Vermillion2111
Rush2034
Owen1991
Martin1950
Blackford1903
Crawford1481
Pulaski1431
Brown1283
Ohio1187
Benton1070
Union1020
Switzerland840
Warren731
Unassigned0233

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 183624

Reported Deaths: 5075
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin30777635
Cuyahoga19345674
Hamilton16016338
Montgomery10000185
Lucas8123370
Butler7914123
Summit6476260
Warren398160
Stark3632178
Mahoning3605283
Marion333049
Pickaway295846
Delaware278427
Lorain265489
Fairfield256156
Licking244965
Wood242981
Clark237954
Clermont230237
Trumbull2208134
Greene214040
Columbiana209687
Allen201373
Miami192756
Lake186957
Medina177742
Portage154667
Mercer144927
Ross132833
Wayne129668
Richland127524
Tuscarawas119022
Athens11572
Erie113453
Darke109950
Madison102314
Hancock99521
Auglaize93616
Putnam89227
Lawrence89025
Shelby85714
Muskingum8284
Geauga82550
Scioto7919
Belmont77127
Union7263
Ashtabula71448
Huron6989
Sandusky69122
Preble58817
Seneca58214
Ottawa56030
Holmes55010
Fulton4896
Henry44917
Jefferson4474
Defiance44213
Fayette4288
Clinton42613
Jackson4257
Crawford4178
Logan3983
Champaign3793
Highland3774
Ashland3715
Brown3603
Knox35615
Perry35111
Washington33023
Morrow3252
Hardin31413
Williams3144
Coshocton29512
Pike2820
Guernsey2808
Wyandot28013
Gallia27413
Van Wert2213
Meigs20712
Adams1956
Hocking1899
Paulding1871
Carroll1867
Monroe14318
Noble1160
Vinton883
Harrison763
Morgan710
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 50°
Angola
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntington
Overcast
49° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 45°
Decatur
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 50°
Van Wert
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 50°
Morning Rain Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events