Republican candidates in the suburbs across Western states have made significant polling gains as Election Day approaches, according to Politico’s election forecast on Thursday.
The forecast shifted three House races and one Senate race in the GOP’s favor. The seats forecast differently are largely suburban areas of Los Angeles, San Diego and Portland – regions heavily targeted by Republicans during the election on issues of inflation and concerns surrounding crime.
In Arizona, the state’s U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly and Republican candidate Blake Masters has now been listed as a “Toss Up,” instead of “Lean Democratic.” Kelly had been leading Masters by margins of up to 6% as early as August, a gap which has narrowed to 1.5%, according to an average of all major polls aggregated by RealClearPolitics.
Masters’ campaign has received a boost recently, with the Saving Arizona PAC, a conservative Super PAC working to support pro-Trump candidates in Arizona, spending $3.7 million on Wednesday to support his candidacy.
On the House side, California, the 27th Congressional District moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Republican,” per the tracker. The areas placed in the district after re-districting include areas north of Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley, such as Santa Clarita and Palmdale, and is majority non-white, with minorities making up 53.4% of the population.
Republican Rep. Mike Garcia, who in 2020 won a special election to replace sex-scandal-beleaguered Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, is running for a third term in the new district against his three-time opponent, former Democratic Assemblywoman Christy Smith. Polling in the district is sparse.
Garcia’s campaign has focused on affordability, while Smith has emphasized abortion – a common pattern across the country.
.@ChristySmithCA supported policies raising CA gas prices by $0.73/gal. Now with prices over 50% higher than the national average, Smith & Newsom are shifting the blame and looking to raise taxes more. Their plan would only exacerbate the pain at the pump.https://t.co/Nu8hpbUejq
— Mike Garcia (@ElectMikeGarcia) October 21, 2022
In California’s 49th Congressional District, the forecast has shifted from “Lean D” to “Toss Up.” After being represented for over 20 years by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (who has since moved to the 50th district), the seat was won by Democratic Rep. Mike Levin in 2018.
Levin is currently being challenged by GOP businessman Bryan Maryott. The district includes much of the Southern California coastline between Orange County and San Diego, running from San Juan Capistrano through Oceanside to the Del Mar Beach area, and has a median household income of over $100,000.
In Oregon’s 5th district, meanwhile, Politico’s forecast has the race listed as “Lean Republican” after being a “Toss Up.” Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a left-wing candidate who defeated the Biden-backed incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary, is challenging Republican candidate Lori Chavez-DeRemmer, a former Mayor of Happy Valley.
Irregular polling has alternately shown McLeod-Skinner and Chavez-DeRemmer in the lead. In the district, which includes suburbs of Oregon’s capital Salem and its largest city Portland, Chavez-DeRemmer’s campaign has focused heavily on homelessness, a major problem in Oregon, in addition to common themes of the economy and education.
The shifts in forecasting come within two weeks of Election Day, on Nov. 8. Republicans are widely expected to gain control of the House of Representatives after four years in the minority.
The aforementioned candidates’ campaigns did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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