PA-16: Cook and Sabato Move Seat from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican”

christina-hartmanLooks like we officially have two competitive congressional contests in the commonwealth.

The Cook Political Report is moving PA-16 from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican”.

“The conventional wisdom was that construction contractor and GOP state Sen. Lloyd Smucker won this Lancaster-based seat in the April primary,” David Wasserman wrote. “But Democratic non-profit consultant Christina Hartman has run a surprisingly energetic campaign, outraising Smucker $352,000 to $324,000 in the third quarter and taking advantage of both the cheap Lancaster media market and Trump’s unpopularity in the outer Philadelphia suburbs.”

“Hartman is up with an ad using footage from the Access Hollywood tape and a recent rally where Smucker introduced Trump. This week, her campaign released a GBA Strategies poll showing Smucker up just 45 percent to 42 percent. It makes sense: the 16th CD includes the heavily Latino city of Reading, well-educated suburbs in Chester County and Trump-skeptic religious conservatives in Lancaster,” he concluded. “Now, Republicans have no choice but to engage.”

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball also made the same shift from “Likely Republican” to “Leans Republican”.

“Finally, a few other Republican-held seats could be sleeper pickup opportunities for Democrats,” Kyle Kondik writes. “Most promising among this trio is the open PA-16, a Republican-leaning district that contains fast-growing Lancaster County as well as parts of Reading, an old industrial town that is now more than half Hispanic. Trump’s weakness in Greater Philadelphia may extend all the way to this district, perhaps providing an opening to Democrats.”

Hartman received help from the DCCC and EMILY’s List in September. Back in August, we examined what it would take for a Democrat to flip the seat.

The 16th Congressional District includes parts of the Berks, Chester, and Lancaster Counties.

7 Responses

  1. To judge the momentum of this race by fundraising numbers is misleading. The Paul Ryan event which occurred after September 30th raised more money than either candidate received in the 3rd quarter.

  2. I still have my doubts but I an shocked by her fundraising totals. Time to get out my checkbook.

  3. With the changing demographics and a quality candidate like Ms. Hartman, this is a winnable seat, especially this year. It’s an R+6, which means it’s challenging but not impossible. The gerrymandering might actually have helped, since state Republicans wanted to pack more Dems into a ten-year incumbent’s seat.

  4. Hartman will win Berks County, but, otherwise, I will believe it when I see it. Still, wow!

  5. Wow- after all the machine picks and screw ups in SEPA (see: Parrish, Mike), it is great to see an intelligent campaign in a winnable seat. Redistrict all you want Rs- the flow of population is against you.

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