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Cook Political Report: Kelly Shifts Down From Solid to Likely GOP, Wild Moves Up From Leans to Likely Dem

The lead for an incumbent Republican in western Pennsylvania shrinks a tad, while an incumbent Democrat in the Lehigh Valley expands her lead, according to the latest ratings from the analysts at the Cook Political Report

Rep. Susan Wild’s (D-Lehigh) race in the 7th District against GOP challenger Lisa Scheller has moved from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic, while Rep. Mike Kelly’s (R-Butler) reelection bid against Democratic challenger Kristy Gnibus in the 16th District has shifted from Solid Republican to Likely Republican. 

Cook’s David Wasserman writes that Scheller “looked like one of Republicans’ most promising challengers of the cycle,” and cited her TV ad that details her overcoming a heroin and alcohol addiction. 

“But as Trump’s numbers have ebbed, Scheller’s math has gotten harder,” Wasserman added. 

He also pointed to a Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll released last week that showed Wild leading Scheller by 13 points, 52%-to-39% in the district that sided with Sec. Hillary Clinton over President Donald Trump by 10 points in 2016.

In the rating change for the 16th District, Wasserman writes that Gnibus, a teacher, was “mostly written off by DC Democrats,” but then lauded her campaign for her first TV ad of the cycle, on the airwaves before Kelly’s first ad, that details her background as a single mother, while also slamming Kelly, a former car dealer, who supporting a tax break for auto dealers. 

Still the race is in a GOP friendly district, which leaves the race as Likely Republican. 

“The district voted for Trump by 20 points in 2016, so it would only come into play in a Biden landslide scenario,” Wasserman writes. 

Wild is serving her first full term in Congress after defeating Republican Marty Nothstein by 10 points for the open seat in the Lehigh Valley. She also defeated Nothstein by a razor thin margin in the special election to represent the old 15th District, which was vacated by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh), giving her a head start in Congress over many of her incoming freshman colleagues. 

Kelly is currently in his fifth term in Congress representing the Western Pennsylvania district. He bested Democrat Ron DiNicola in the 2018 election by just over 4 points in the Trump friendly district. 

On Election Day 2018, Cook Political Report rated Wild’s race for the open seat in the 7th District as Leans Democratic, while Kelly’s reelection bid for the 16th District was rated as Leans Republican.

After this latest ratings change, there are four races that are listed as more competitive in the state, according to the Cook Political Report. The lone race listed as a Toss-Up is Rep. Scott Perry’s (R-York) reelection bid in the 10th District. Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) and Conor Lamb’s (D-Allegheny) races are rated as Leans Democratic, while Rep. Brian Fitzpatricks (R-Bucks) reelection bid is listed as Leans Republican. 

See the full ratings update here.

6 Responses

  1. Trump loves knuckledraggers who abuse people. They make Trump feel so welcome. Just like dear old dad, the Nazi guy.

  2. Rep. Bernstine’s district might as well be in Kentucky, Mississippi, Wyoming, Oklahoma, or Alabama. This may not be enough to cost him the slack-jaws’ votes.

  3. Is the Lawrence County DA investigating child abuser GOP State Rep Aaron Bernstine?

    In one video obtained by the USA TODAY Network, Aaron Bernstine, R-10, New Beaver, Lawrence County, is behind the camera, but his hand is shown holding a cigar and offering it to his son.

    When the young boy takes a puff, Bernstine tells him to “hit it harder” and “breathe in,” followed by a woman’s voice saying, “No.”

    A second video has Bernstine again off camera asking his son, “What are we going to chase in Nashville?” The boy replies in a whisper, “Cadillac p—-,” using a vulgar term for vagina.

  4. Republican state Rep. Aaron Bernstine shared video clips this summer on his now-deleted Snapchat account in which he encourages his 5-year-old son to puff on a cigar and use profane language — and plays an adult-themed game with another youngster.

  5. Serial child abuser Aaron Bernstine –
    GOP Pa. state rep. shared Snapchat videos enticing son, 5, to smoke cigar: ‘hit it harder’

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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