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.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1106796

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284601459
Cuyahoga1155792204
Hamilton812751245
Montgomery524631040
Summit48327999
Lucas43289817
Butler38886603
Stark33275929
Lorain25631502
Warren24554303
Mahoning22327601
Lake21133385
Clermont20095252
Delaware18815135
Licking16643222
Fairfield16552204
Trumbull16520479
Medina15592270
Greene15246246
Clark14216306
Wood13276197
Portage13226214
Allen11904239
Richland11596211
Miami10832223
Wayne9112222
Columbiana9016230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8646122
Marion8633138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8049164
Ashtabula7136179
Hancock6995131
Ross6932161
Geauga6831150
Scioto6525104
Belmont6148174
Union583549
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5433125
Darke5414129
Seneca5342126
Washington5307109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443665
Ashland435097
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4031110
Brown401861
Logan387177
Preble3847103
Clinton378166
Ottawa372581
Highland359165
Williams347578
Champaign343558
Guernsey324153
Jackson317254
Perry297150
Morrow291240
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2697101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220062
Carroll196648
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135739
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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Mostly sunny skies dominate on Monday. A weak cold front may cause a handful of showers to pop up after noon.
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