The indictment of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50) by the Department of Justice on charges of campaign finance law violations last week has increased the number of GOP-held seats Republicans must win to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives by one.
Republicans must now win 63 seats they currently hold and flip three currently held by Democrats to maintain a one seat majority in the House of Representatives when the 116th Congress convenes in Washington, D.C. in January 2019.
A poll released on Monday by Survey USA shows that Hunter holds an 8 point rival over his Democrat opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, “the grandson of Muhammed Yusuf al-Najjar, the head of the intelligence wing of the Palestinian political party Fatah, whose members planned the murder of Israeli Olympians in 1972,” as the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“69% of conservatives say charges that Hunter and his wife Margaret mis-appropriated $250,000 in campaign funds and then filed false finance records with the government are politically motivated,” the poll found.
The weaknesses of his opponent, the perceived political motivations behind the charges in the indictment against Hunter, and the district’s strong Republican voting history all combine to make Hunter’s race now “Competitive” in the Breitbart House race ratings, but keeps it in the “Looking Good” category for Republicans.
“Tuesday’s episode of real-life Law and Order involving two figures close to the president, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, may not directly hurt the GOP in the midterm. But given their current position, the Republicans need a little help, and Tuesday didn’t provide it,” Kyle Kondike, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, wrote on Thursday.
“We are making 12 ratings changes; 10 in favor of Democrats, two in favor of Republicans,” Kondike noted.
These movements were largely in response to the conviction of one time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on charges unrelated to the Trump campaign, and the guilty plea of Michael Cohen, again unrelated to the Trump campaign, particularly by the mainstream media.
Among Trump supporters, however, both the Manafort conviction and the Cohen plea have not lessened support of the president by Trump supporters, as a recent Rasmussen Reports poll showed.
As for reliability of electoral predictions, Sabato’s recent track record on the most important political prediction, the 2016 Presidential campaign, was way off the mark.
On election eve Sabato predicted on Fox News that Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency with 322 electoral college votes, to 216 for Donald Trump.
Less than 24 hours later, however, voters delivered an entirely different electoral outcome than the one Sabato predicted. Donald Trump won the Presidency with 306 electoral college votes, to Hillary Clinton’s 232.
Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats in the House to win a one vote 218 to 217 majority over Republicans in January.
Breitbart News currently lists 94 competitive House races in the 2018 midterm elections, which are rated as follows:
The 66 House seats Republicans must win to maintain a one vote majority in the House of Representatives are:
27 MUST WIN GOP-held seats are “Looking Good”
36 MUST WIN GOP-held seats are “Hanging in the Balance”
1 MUST FLIP Democrat-held seat is “Looking Good”
2 MUST FLIP Democrat-held seats are “Hanging in the Balance”
The 28 House seats Republicans could win and increase their majority in the House of Representatives if they run the table:
24 COULD WIN GOP-held seats are “Needing a Big Push”
4 COULD FLIP Democrat-held seats are “Needing a Big Push”
Here is the district-by-district breakdown of these 94 Competitive Races:
MUST WIN GOP-held seats rated “Looking Good” (27)
NY-27 Chris Collins/Open
MUST WIN GOP-held seats rated “Hanging in the Balance” (36)
WA-03 Herrera Beutler
WA-05 McMorris Rodgers
MUST FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Looking Good” (1)
MUST FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Hanging in the Balance” (2)
COULD WIN Republican-held seats rated “Needing a Big Push” (24)
COULD FLIP Democrat-held seats rated “Needing a Big Push” (4)