Just ask the widely respected political analyst Charlie Cook in his just released report on the state of the House:
…the chances of Republican gains in excess of 45 seats are now better than their chances of falling short of 40 seats. We currently rate 74 Democratic incumbents as vulnerable, including 28 in the Lean Democratic column, 34 in the Toss Up column, and 12 in the Lean Republican column. Just four Republican incumbents are in real jeopardy.”
Longtime readers will observe that while we rarely rate unindicted incumbents worse than a Toss Up to win reelection, today we are moving 13 incumbents, 12 Democrats and one Republican, into the opposite party’s column to reflect their underdog status. It’s not that these endangered members’ prospects have suddenly taken a turn for the worse, or even deteriorated gradually over the last several months. Most of these members have trailed all year, and it’s simply exceedingly rare to see a candidate in their position in October come back to win reelection, especially now that early voting will be underway in many states very soon.
It should be noted that along with the overall shift, Steve Stivers and Steve Chabot are now considered “Lean Republican” – an improvement from Toss-Up.
In addition, John Boccieri and Zack Space find themselves listed as true toss-ups, Charlie Wilson is vulnerable as a Lean Dem seat, and even Marcy Kaptur made the list of vulnerable incumbents.