Top election forecaster moves GOP campaign head’s seat towards Dems after Ala. upset

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Cook Political Report, a top election analysis group, has changed its rating for the Ohio seat held by the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), suggesting that the prospect of a Democratic win in the district is now more likely.

Ohio’s 15th District, which is currently held by NRCC chairman Steve Stivers (R), has been changed from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican” by Cook.

As the head of the NRCC, House Republicans’ campaign arm, Stivers is tasked with ensuring that Republicans are elected to the House.

Dave Wasserman, the House editor at Cook Political Report, tweeted Friday that one poll showed a “surprisingly close” race against Stivers.

Cook announced the change in its rankings on Friday. The handicapper also shifted its rating for Pennsylvania’s 18th District, formerly held by Rep. Tim Murphy (R), from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.”

Murphy resigned last month after it was reported that he urged a woman with whom he was having an affair to have an abortion.

The two changes follow Tuesday’s Alabama special election and Sen.-elect Doug Jones’s (D) stunning victory over opponent Roy Moore (R).

The race to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s former Senate seat was vaulted into the national spotlight after Moore was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including one woman who said he initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was a teenager and he was in his 30s.

Jones became the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992, and his victory tightens Senate Republicans’ margin in the Senate, giving them just a 51-49 edge.