CNN Key Races: House cleaning before Election Day

With 10 days until Election Day, Democrats are poised to make significant gains in the US House, propelled b...

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 5:40 PM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 5:40 PM

With 10 days until Election Day, Democrats are poised to make significant gains in the US House, propelled by eye-popping fundraising hauls from Democratic challengers and a clear edge on the generic congressional ballot.

More than 100 Democratic challengers out-raised their GOP opponents in the third fundraising quarter. More than 60 of them collected more than $1 million. Several recent surveys show Democrats with a high single-digit advantage in terms of party preference among likely voters in November. The latest USA Today/Suffolk poll found Democrats leading 51% to 43% on the generic ballot, with 56% of respondents saying they want a Congress that mostly "stands up" to the President compared with 35% who want a chamber that mostly "cooperates" with him.

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At the same time, President Donald Trump has seen an uptick in his approval rating, giving Republicans hope they'll be able to defend some seats in parts of the country where the President remains popular. The challenge for the GOP is much of the competitive House landscape crosses suburban terrain where the President's standing is on shaky ground, creating a drag on incumbents in tough contests.

With those Democratic advantages in mind, CNN is moving nine contests within the competitive range of races in the party's direction. Two races, meanwhile, are shifting towards Republicans.

House majority math

In CNN's updated race ratings, 14 seats held or vacated by Republicans are leaning toward Democrats (or better) for the party. If Democrats are able to sweep those races they would find themselves nine seats short of the 23 the party needs to gain the House majority.

Among the 30 races CNN now rates as Toss-Ups, only one is currently held by Democrats -- Minnesota's 1st District. Democrats would only need to win a third of those most competitive races that belong to Republicans to claim the majority. Republicans are now favored to pick up two Democratic-held seats, which Democrats would need to make up elsewhere.

To the races:

AZ-02: Former Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick appears to be on track to return to Congress. Polling shows Kirkpatrick running well ahead of Republican nominee Lea Marquez Peterson. The National Republican Congressional Committee cut off funding from Peterson two weeks ago. Race moves from Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic

IL-13: Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, a fundraiser and former staffer for Sen. Dick Durbin, more than doubled GOP Rep. Rodney Davis in third quarter fundraising and leads in cash on hand by $175,000. Outside groups on both sides are pouring millions into this mostly rural district that stretches from the exurbs of St. Louis to Champaign-Urbana in the east. Trump won the district by five points, but Barack Obama carried it with 55% in 2008. Race moves from Likely Republican to Lean Republican

FL-15: A recent New York Times/Siena poll showed Democrat Kristen Carlson and GOP state Rep. Ross Spano tied at 43% in this suburban-exurban Tampa district. Carlson, a former federal prosecutor and general counsel for the Florida Department of Citrus, has more than triple Spano's cash on hand and is getting more outside help on TV in the final days of the campaign. Race moves two categories from Likely Republican to Toss-Up

FL-18: National Republicans are spending more than $600,000 on TV in the closing weeks of the campaign to help first-term Rep. Brian Mast fend off a challenge from Democrat Lauren Baer in this Treasure Coast district. Baer, an attorney and former Obama administration foreign policy adviser, out-raised Mast in the third quarter, but still lags in cash on hand. Race moves from Likely Republican to Lean Republican

MN-08: This open seat is one of the best GOP targets this cycle. Trump carried the district by 16 points. Republicans have a top recruit in Pete Stauber, a former professional hockey player and retired police officer, who fits the northern Minnesota district. Stauber leads Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee Joe Radinovich in a recent New York Times/Siena poll 49% to 34%. Race moves from Toss-Up to Lean Republican

NM-02: Polls in this GOP-leaning southern New Mexico district show Democrat Xochitl Torres Small and Republican Yvette Herrell locked in a tight race. Torres Small has more than double the cash on hand as Herrell and has gotten a boost from the DCCC. Congressional Leadership Fund is spending $700,000 in the final weeks in support of Herrell's bid. Race moves from Lean Republican to Toss-Up

OH-01: GOP Rep. Steve Chabot leads Democrat Aftab Pureval 50% to 41% in the latest New York Times/Siena poll of this Cincinnati-area district, the same margin the survey found when it polled the race a month ago. Pureval has been on the receiving end of nearly $3 million in attacks from Congressional Leadership Fund, which has another $700,000 reserved on TV between now and Election Day, per Kantar Media/CMAG. Race moves from Toss-Up to Lean Republican

OH-12: This rematch of the August special election that Republican Troy Balderson won by less than a point against Democrat Danny O'Connor is again drawing outside attention. The pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is planning to spend some $700,000 on TV in the next two weeks to help Balderson close the financial gap with O'Connor, who has more than double the cash on hand. Race moves from Lean Republican to Toss-Up

PA-01: The polling in this race is split, with first-term GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick up four points in a Monmouth survey and Democrat Scott Wallace, a multi-millionaire philanthropist, leading by seven in a New York Times/Siena poll. The redrawn maps in Pennsylvania shifted this suburban Bucks County district from one Trump narrowly carried to one Clinton would have won by a slim margin. Democratic enthusiasm and disapproval of the President could be the difference in a close race here. Race moves from Lean Republican to Toss-Up

VA-05: Republican Denver Riggleman, an Air Force veteran and Bigfoot enthusiast, is locked in a close race with Democrat Leslie Cockburn -- separated by a single point in a New York Times/Siena poll. Cockburn, an author and journalist, has $270,000 more in the bank than Riggleman. The GOP-bent of this district, home to Charlottesville and much of Southside Virginia, make it tough terrain for Democrats. Race moves from Likely Republican to Lean Republican

WA-03: GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler remains the favorite in this southwest Washington district, but first-time candidate Carolyn Long is mounting a stronger-than-expected challenge. Long, a political science professor, nearly tripled Herrera Beutler in third quarter fundraising and holds an edge in cash on hand. A recent New York Times/Siena poll showed Herrera Beutler with a 48% to 41% advantage. Race moves from Likely Republican to Lean Republican

HOUSE CLEANING: In addition to the races covered above, we are moving five other contests from Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic. Those are: CA-07, FL-07, MN-07, NH-02 and NJ-05. In a different environment these contests would all be more competitive. This year, all five have incumbent Democrats seeking reelection as overwhelming favorites against weakly-funded challengers.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69255

Reported Deaths: 2996
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15029724
Lake7139273
Elkhart463077
Allen3662158
St. Joseph320379
Hamilton2543104
Hendricks1774105
Vanderburgh176312
Cass17549
Johnson1667118
Porter120939
Tippecanoe111811
Clark110945
Madison86265
LaPorte84329
Howard82465
Kosciusko82213
Bartholomew74847
Marshall74422
Floyd71845
Monroe69530
Delaware65452
Boone64446
Dubois64312
Noble63729
Hancock62838
Jackson5544
LaGrange54610
Warrick52830
Shelby52226
Vigo50910
Grant50729
Dearborn47328
Morgan43732
Henry36418
Clinton3603
White34710
Montgomery34221
Wayne33410
Lawrence33127
Decatur31832
Harrison30022
Miami2592
Scott25210
Daviess24919
Greene24034
Putnam2338
Franklin22911
DeKalb2214
Jennings21312
Jasper2102
Gibson2024
Steuben2013
Ripley1907
Perry17212
Orange16424
Starke1647
Fayette1627
Wabash1613
Posey1600
Jefferson1522
Carroll1482
Whitley1486
Fulton1472
Knox1340
Wells1342
Huntington1193
Tipton1176
Washington1171
Spencer1123
Newton11110
Randolph1074
Clay1015
Adams822
Owen821
Jay810
Rush804
Sullivan781
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford552
Ohio514
Parke481
Pike470
Crawford440
Switzerland430
Martin420
Vermillion420
Union330
Warren191
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 95106

Reported Deaths: 3570
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17404515
Cuyahoga12881482
Hamilton9248248
Lucas5035319
Montgomery409280
Summit3338217
Marion289644
Butler274360
Mahoning2437253
Pickaway236542
Stark1713137
Warren166935
Lorain165077
Columbiana158360
Trumbull1451105
Fairfield126427
Delaware121918
Licking115844
Clark109214
Lake105436
Wood95458
Clermont85911
Medina84833
Miami78137
Tuscarawas75614
Portage72460
Allen66742
Greene63511
Belmont59026
Richland54712
Ashtabula54445
Erie53527
Geauga53544
Mercer53513
Wayne50858
Ross4194
Huron3784
Ottawa36125
Athens3501
Sandusky34317
Darke34126
Madison33610
Hancock3332
Holmes3226
Auglaize2265
Lawrence2250
Union2221
Jefferson2103
Muskingum1991
Scioto1991
Putnam19817
Washington19822
Coshocton1856
Knox1857
Preble1722
Crawford1685
Seneca1673
Shelby1644
Morrow1602
Clinton1536
Hardin15312
Champaign1502
Fulton1411
Highland1361
Ashland1333
Defiance1324
Logan1302
Wyandot1257
Williams1243
Brown1181
Guernsey1127
Hocking1119
Carroll1105
Perry1093
Henry1081
Fayette1020
Monroe9118
Pike700
Van Wert701
Jackson680
Paulding620
Gallia581
Adams562
Vinton302
Meigs260
Harrison211
Morgan200
Noble160
Unassigned00
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