The Cook Political Report is out with some major rating changes for 12 districts, lowering the likelihood of Republicans keeping their seat without a challenge. Within those 12, there have been five districts that have changed from solid Republican seats to a likely GOP seat, which are not considered competitive but have a potential to be. The other six districts have either changed from likely to leaning Republican, where the seat is considered competitive though one party has an advantage, or from leaning Republican to a tossup between the two parties. The only district that the Democrats had a ratings change was in Arizona’s 9th district, which went from a solid seat to a likely Democratic seat. The primary question is if the GOP can stay in control of the House, with the increasing number of potential upsets and the Democratic leaning political climate. Both parties are watching these races closely.
In New York’s 11th district, Republican Representative Dan Donovan’s seat has gone from a solid seat to a likely GOP seat, even with his popularity as Staten Island’s former district attorney. Former GOP Representative Michael Grimm’s decision to challenge him in the primary has thrown an unpredictable element into the race. Grimm is berating Donovan on voting against the House’s healthcare bill and still has supporters who believe he was unjustly targeted for prosecution. Though the Democrats have not had a win in the last few cycles, they see an opportunity to prevail in the midst of the quarrel. Max Rose is the Democratic frontrunner; he has earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart in Afghanistan and has a close relationship with former Representative Mike McMahon’s political organization.
Republican Representative Pat Meehan’s seat in Pennsylvania’s 7th district has gone from likely GOP to leaning Republican. He has not had a credible or well-funded opponent since his 2010 win, yet Hillary Clinton won the district 49% to 47% in 2016. The Democrats will try to attack Rep. Meehan for voting to advance the healthcare repeal package in committee, despite his vote against the AHCA on the floor. Democratic candidates include state Senator Daylin Leach, who is running as a Main Line progressive and has experience raising money, and non-profit executive Paul Perry.
One of the seats that went from leaning GOP to a toss-up is in California’s 48th district. Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher’s remarks about Russia and his interactions with Julian Assange and Chuck Johnson were not taken well with his constituency. This gives an opening to Democratic candidate, Hans Keirstead, who became a U.S. citizen in 2008 and is a stem cell and cancer researcher that founded and sold a biotech company. His stance includes helping spinal injury victims and breaking through the FDA red tape; he believes he can be victorious against Harley Rouda, a real estate businessman.
In other news, Florida Senator Bill Nelson asked Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer to help him in his race versus a potential opponent, current Republican Governor Rick Scott. Schumer convened a meeting with Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to discuss reworking the budget and underwriting the Florida Democratic Party effort to help Senator Nelson’s re-election. If the Democrats lose Florida, it would likely keep them as the Senate minority for at least another two years.
Due to the expensive cost to run campaigns in Florida, Governor Scott poses a threat to Senator Nelson given Scott’s personal fortune and the fundraising restrictions for federal candidates. Governor Scott has spent $86 million of his own money on his two gubernatorial campaigns which has worried Nelson, who took a month off from fundraising following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Governor Scott heeds caution as well, President Trump’s popularity is dropping and he only won his elections by a minority of votes, 1.2 and 1 percentage points. Of course, this all dependent if Governor Scott runs for the Senate, if not, Senator Nelson seems to lack any real challenge.
Did You Know…
That HUPAC gives annual awards at Capitol Conference to recognize the states and chapters that go above and beyond to support their industry. Below are the awards that will be handed out at the 2018 Capitol Conference.
- Region with Highest Annual Contribution
- Region with Highest Average Donation per Contributing Member
- Region with Highest Percentage of Contributing Members
- Region with Highest Percentage Increase in Contributions
- States with Highest Percentage of Contributing Members
- State Chapter Sizes (1-100), (101-250), (250-500), (500+)
- Chapters with Highest Percentage of Contributing Members
- Chapter Sizes (1-50), (51-100), (101-175), (176+)
- Individual members with the highest contributions ($5,000+)
- “Michael D. Gray, RHU Award” for HUPAC’s Top Contributor
So have you given yet this year? If not, what are you waiting for? Help your chapter, state, and region be the top in its class! Click here to contribute today.
If you have any questions regarding these awards, please contact Anthony Perez, Director of HUPAC, email@example.com or 202-808-0675.