Another election analyst, another change in PA16’s rating. This time from Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
Sabato changed the rating in Pennsylvania’s newly drawn 16th District from Likely Republican to Leans Republican in the race between incumbent Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) and Erie attorney, Democrat Ron DiNicola.
Sabato believes there are some similarities between the Erie based new 16th District and the current 18th District, in which Rep. Conor Lamb’s won via special election in March. He followed his rational by stating the Republicans should “ultimately” hold onto districts like these, but in the event of a wave, certain seats could flip.
Sabato’s most recent update changed 17 House ratings, all in the favor of the Democrats. This is also its first analysis this cycle with Democrats having a slightly better than 50% change of winning back the house.
The 16th district voted for President Trump by over 20 points against Sec. Clinton.
Just two weeks ago, the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman also changed the rating in this district from Likely Republican to Leans Republican. Wasserman’s reason for the shift was the reuniting of Erie under one Congressional representative, a “credible Democratic contender” and a possible Democratic wave.
After the Cook Political Report moved the race to Leans Republican, DiNicola’s campaign tried to associate its campaign with Lamb’s, while Kelly’s campaign compared DiNicola’s views to House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi.