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Cook Political Report Updates Rating for PA-1 and PA-17

As the 2018 midterm elections continue to take shape, Cook Political Report is updating its ratings for two of Pennsylvania’s new Congressional districts.  

The 1st district, represented by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), was shifted to ‘toss up’ partially because of the new lines ordered by the state Supreme Court.  

“Last month, Pennsylvania’s court-ordered redistricting swapped out a very GOP-friendly portion of Montgomery County for much more Democratic Lansdale, converting this seat (now the 1st CD) from a narrow President Trump win to a two-point Hillary Clinton win. Bucks County was still kept whole and the partisan shift isn’t as dramatic as it is in some other districts, but the new margins have given Democrats new optimism,” the Report says.  

The 17th district Pennsylvania house seat currently held by Republican Keith Rothfus has been reclassified as a ‘toss-up’ as well.

This district vastly different than the one Rothfus won in 2016. It now includes most of southern Allegheny County and Beaver County, and is now home to Congressman-elect Conor Lamb, a Democrat from Mt. Lebanon. The district now only leans slightly Republican, and is expected to be a close race in the 2018 midterms.

“Both GOP Rep. Keith Rothfus and Democratic Rep.-Elect Conor Lamb live in the new 17th CD and are expected to file to run against each other, but Lamb probably starts out as the favorite thanks to his appeal in the South Hills. Although Rothfus represents 56 percent of the new seat to Lamb’s 20 percent, it’s much less Republican (Cook PVI R+3) than Rothfus’s current 12th CD (R+11) and Lamb’s 18th CD (R+11),” the Report wrote.

11 Responses

  1. One thing I did not see was the prospects for Lamb in the Democratic primary. I saw that one of his opponents pulled out so that should help him. However, Rothfus’ 2016 opponent is a contender this year too. I wonder if he sees Lamb as an involuntary carpetbagger.

  2. Finally Finally Rothfus is going to be sent packing. He was a joke when first elected and proved to be a joke in subsequent terms. He voted against federal aid for the Super Storm Sandy ravaged East Coast in his first term and just recently voted to add $1.5T that’s Trillion to federal deficit. This was after he railed for years about the Obama deficits….I’d say that a little hypocritical on his part….

  3. Anything is better than the outrageously drawn districts that were previously in play. Hey, the voters don’t want “joke districts” because they want their votes to count and the 17th & 1st are fair where both candidates are given an adequate chance to prevail. That is good government. That is all that can be asked! By the way, what is going on with legislation to establish an independent commission to draw congressional districts? Haven’t we learned by now that this is needed???

  4. I still think Rothfus wins the 17th. People are sleeping on the fact that Cranberry township is in the 17th and its high population RRRRR!

    1. Oh Herbie, Lamb just won a R+11 district that Trump won by 20 points. Math isn’t your strong suit is it?

      1. Lamb won by running as a pro-labor R, the same type that’s been winning the district for years.

    2. It does not include all of Cranberry Twp., actually. Only a small southern portion, which is primarily made up of young families and young professionals, a lot of whom work at the tech companies and Westinghouse. Oh and me. And I am an active Democrat. I would bet the 17th portion of Cranberry is a lot bluer than you think.

  5. What they did to the 1st, swapping out a perfectly good portion of MontCo and replacing it with Lansdale is a blatant partisan gerrymander by the courts.

    1. Sour grapes. Any border communities along the MontCo and Bucks county lines make sense and have you ever tried to use a DIY redistricting tool to play around with making your own hypothetical Districts? I have because I am a nerd and it’s really hard to avoid having both of those seats – the MontCo based one (now PA4) and the Bucks based seat be anything other than lean ads or toss-ups even if you TRY to make them more conservative—provided you abide by creating maps which make geographic sense, which are nice and compact and which don’t divide community entities overmuch…which, of course, the GOP did not abide by when they controlled redistricting in 2012.

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