Today Cook Political Report downgraded two Washington congressional races in the blood-red districts of WA-3 and WA-5.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a shameless Trump apologist and the fourth most powerful Republican in the U.S. House, lords over the 5th District in Eastern Washington. Cook moved her seat from "Likely R" to "Lean R."
Jaime Herrera Beutler, an anti-choice gun nut, represents the 3rd District. Cook moved her seat from "Solid R" to "Likely R."
I'm sure Cook added its own analysis for making the changes they did, but they put it behind a paywall and I'm cheap. It's not to hard to figure out what they're probably thinking, though.
In the 5th Congressional District, Democratic challenger Lisa Brown is doing surprisingly well. According to a DCCC poll released on Tuesday, Brown's only running 5 points behind McMorris Rodgers. That's insane. McMorris Rodgers is a seven-term Congresswoman who won her last race by 19 points. Trump won the district by 13 points. But special election results across the country show Democrats beating Republicans in districts Trump won by much more than that, and Brown's no slouch.
In terms of fundraising, Brown is outpacing many previous Democratic challengers, though of course she's behind the incumbent by about a million dollars. Plus, she's a longtime state rep for Spokane, and as chancellor for Washington State University she spearheaded the campaign to build a medical school there, so she enjoys wide name recognition and speaks with authority on healthcare.
McMorris Rodgers's predecessor, George Nethercutt, rode in on the Republican wave of 1994. As a first-time campaigner, he beat then Democratic Speaker of the House Tom Foley, who'd held the seat for 30 years. If a Republican can ride in on a wave in this district, one could ride out on a wave, too.
Washington's 3rd is a little tougher. Herrera Beutler has held onto her seat since 2010, buoyed by redistricting that made the 3rd more conservative. Trump won that district by 8 points.
Democratic challengers include Carolyn Long, a professor at WSU-Vancouver; Dorothy Gasque, a progressive combat veteran; and David McDevitt, a businessman. All have low name recognition, and all trail Herrera Beutler when it comes to raising money.
According to The Daily News, however, Long recently announced that she's raised $275,000 so far. She's second to McDevitt, but he's mostly funding his own campaign.
Polling from Lake Research Partners, a progressive firm, shows that Long might do well with independents. "After positive profiles of both candidates and two short messages," Long comes within 4 points of Herrera Beutler in a head-to-head race. If Long makes it through the August primary, she might just have a chance.