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Five House races moved towards Democrats as Palin beaten in Alaska, nonpartisan Cook Political Report says

Comes after Democrat beat the one-time Republican vice-presidential candidate in a special election

Eric Garcia
Thursday 01 September 2022 17:45 BST
Sarah Palin reacts to losing Alaska house race

The nonpartisan Cook Political report moved five House races toward Democrats the day after Mary Peltola beat former Republican governor Sarah Palin in a special election to fill a vacant congressional seat in Alaska.

Democrats currently have 220 seats in the House, though Representative Charlie Crist announced his resignation and Ms Peltola has not been sworn in yet. Republicans currently hold 211 seats, meaning they only need nine seats to win back the majority in November’s midterms.

Ms Peltola’s special election means she will serve for the next four months to fill out the duration of the late Representative Don Young’s term. But she will have to face Ms Palin, as well as fellow Republican candidate Nick Begich III and Libertarian candidate Chris Bye in November to win a full term in Congress.

Ms Peltola is the first Democrat to win the seat in nearly half a century. In response, the Cook Political Report changed its rating for the race in November from “Likely Republican” to “Toss up.”

In addition, it also changed its rating for Virginia’s 7th district – which Democratic Representative Abigail Spanberger won in 201 – from “Toss up” to “Lean Democratic.” Ms Spanberger is running against Yesli Vega, a former police officer, who came under fire when she doubted whether someone could become pregnant after they were raped.

The report also moved New York’s 3rd district from a “Toss up” to “Lean Democratic.” Representative Tom Suozzi is leaving congress at the end of this term after a failed primary challenge to Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul.

Arizona’s 4th district, which Representative Greg Stanton holds, and Maryland’s 6th, which Representative David Trone occupies, that the report had previously rated “Lean Democratic” now moved to “Likely Democratic.”

The new outlook means that there are total of 32 “Toss up” races, with Democrats holding 24 of the current seats and Republicans holding eight of them.

Dave Wasserman, who is Cook’s main analyst for House races, tweeted “if the 32 Toss Ups were to split evenly, Republicans would net 16 seats – roughly in the middle of our 10-20 seat range.”

The ratings come a week after Democrats also held a seat in New York’s 19th district in a special election after Representative Antonio Delgado became Ms Hochul’s Lieutenant Governor.

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