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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: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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