Cook Political Report shifts 5 races after California, NJ primaries

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has changed the ratings for three House contests in favor of Democrats and two in favor of Republicans following Tuesday’s primaries in California and New Jersey.

The races moving in favor of Democrats are all open-seat races where the Republican incumbent is retiring.

ADVERTISEMENTThe seat held by Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaGOP sues California over Newsom’s vote-by-mail order Conservative group files challenge to California vote-by-mail order New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE (R-Calif.) was moved from a toss-up to lean Democrat by Cook. Seats held by Reps. Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoStimulus price tag of .2T falls way short, some experts say Democratic challenger on Van Drew’s party switch: ‘He betrayed our community’ Trump announces Van Drew will become a Republican in Oval Office meeting MORE and Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenBottom line Republican lobbying firms riding high despite uncertainty of 2020 race Ex-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm MORE in New Jersey were shifted from lean Democrat to likely Democrat, and from toss-up to lean Democrat.

Democrats have long seen all three districts as pick-up opportunities.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE won Issa’s seat by 7 points in 2016, but was narrowly defeated by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in both of those New Jersey districts.

In the race to replace Issa, Democrat Mike Levin, an environmental attorney, will face off against Republican Diane Harkey, a member of the State Board of Equalization.

In the New Jersey races, state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) will square off against attorney Seth Grossman (R) in the race to succeed LoBiondo. Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a Navy pilot and former federal prosecutor, will face Republican state Assemblyman Jay Webber, in the race to replace Frelinghuysen.

The two seats moving in favor of the GOP are held by Reps. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterLobbying world Duncan Hunter granted delayed start to prison sentence over coronavirus New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE (R-Calif.) and David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoDemocratic Rep. Cox advances in California primary The 14 other key races to watch on Super Tuesday The biggest political upsets of the decade MORE (R-Calif.).

Hunter is running for reelection against Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Obama administration official.

In Tuesday’s open primary, Hunter won 40 percent of the vote compared to 16 percent for Campa-Najjar, who finished ahead of a more moderate Democrat, former Navy SEAL Josh Butner.

Hunter faces an FBI investigation into alleged misuse of campaign funds, but Trump won his district by a double-digit margin. Butner’s failure to make the general election race could also boost the incumbent.

Cook’s rating moved from likely Republican to solid Republican.

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Valadao’s seat shifted from lean Republican to likely Republican after he won first place in his primary by a wide margin over Democratic businessman and engineer TJ Cox.

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