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 4:40 PM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 4:40 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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 90942

Reported Deaths: 2021
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26054922
Ramsey10572318
Dakota7216125
Anoka5801132
Stearns381223
Washington361055
Scott245833
Olmsted231927
Nobles193616
Blue Earth16116
Wright15407
St. Louis140034
Carver13607
Rice13088
Mower12935
Clay128140
Sherburne110414
Kandiyohi9332
Winona85218
Lyon6524
Waseca5338
Freeborn5223
Steele5222
Benton5153
Watonwan5064
Nicollet50416
Todd4792
Chisago4581
McLeod4522
Le Sueur4454
Crow Wing43918
Otter Tail4004
Beltrami3795
Goodhue3329
Martin3299
Pine2840
Itasca28213
Polk2754
Isanti2650
Douglas2622
Becker2482
Carlton2451
Cottonwood2190
Pipestone2159
Unassigned21252
Morrison2081
Dodge2020
Chippewa1971
Sibley1843
Meeker1832
Brown1802
Wabasha1800
Yellow Medicine1622
Murray1572
Rock1550
Mille Lacs1503
Redwood1420
Renville1367
Jackson1341
Faribault1320
Cass1313
Swift1231
Roseau1170
Houston1140
Pennington1121
Fillmore1110
Koochiching1113
Kanabec1098
Lincoln1020
Stevens931
Pope890
Hubbard830
Aitkin731
Big Stone700
Wadena670
Grant594
Lake570
Wilkin563
Norman520
Marshall501
Lac qui Parle470
Mahnomen461
Red Lake390
Traverse300
Clearwater260
Lake of the Woods211
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 80698

Reported Deaths: 1275
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15366259
Woodbury504263
Johnson501127
Black Hawk437586
Linn3808108
Story331517
Dubuque282341
Scott281827
Dallas269838
Pottawattamie200238
Buena Vista195112
Marshall176234
Sioux13723
Wapello127157
Webster120214
Clinton107419
Muscatine106854
Plymouth105820
Crawford10145
Cerro Gordo100221
Warren9326
Jasper77232
Des Moines7407
Marion7265
Tama69431
Carroll6375
Henry6204
Lee5997
Wright5631
Dickinson4876
Boone4788
Bremer4687
Washington43211
Louisa42515
Mahaska34619
Delaware3423
Franklin34218
Hamilton3153
Jackson3043
Floyd3023
Winneshiek2995
Clay2963
Benton2871
Hardin2841
Winnebago27511
Butler2622
Lyon2603
Clarke2563
Emmet25210
Poweshiek2528
Buchanan2511
Allamakee2486
Jones2483
Shelby2441
Clayton2343
Guthrie2315
Kossuth2310
Cedar2231
Chickasaw2220
Sac2200
Grundy2062
Madison2062
Cherokee2042
Fayette2002
Iowa1921
Mitchell1830
Howard1826
Harrison1812
Humboldt1763
Hancock1742
Calhoun1722
Mills1691
Palo Alto1630
Pocahontas1542
Lucas1526
Monroe15010
Page1420
Monona1401
Cass1362
Jefferson1341
Osceola1300
Appanoose1253
Taylor1241
Union1223
Davis1164
Van Buren1111
Ida1030
Worth1030
Keokuk911
Fremont900
Greene890
Montgomery885
Wayne842
Audubon681
Adair671
Decatur600
Ringgold442
Adams290
Unassigned70
Rochester
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