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PA8: Cook Moves Race From Toss Up to Leans Democrat

The race in the 8th Congressional District is moving in the Democratic incumbents favor, according to the latest ratings from the election analysts at the Cook Political Report

Rep. Matt Cartwright’s (D-Lackawanna) race has moved from a Toss Up to Leans Democratic. They credit the rating change due to a multitude of reasons including former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania over President Donald Trump in recent polling plus Cartwright’s cash advantage over GOP challenger, Jim Bognet

“In January, this Scranton district looked like a terrific GOP opportunity: Cartwright had just voted for impeachment (the 8th CD voted for President Trump by ten points), and Republicans had a promising candidate in wounded warrior and adaptive athlete Earl Granville,” David Wasserman writes. “But Granville failed to raise money and didn’t make it past the primary. And now, Trump trails Scranton native Joe Biden in Pennsylvania.”

“Former Trump Export/Import Bank official Jim Bognet won the primary with big margins in Trump-friendly Luzerne County, but will need to break through in Democratic Lackawanna County, where Granville ran strongest (read our full evaluation here),” Wasserman continued. “Republicans still hope they can “buy” the seat because the Scranton market is so cheap, but Cartwright led Bognet $2.3 million to $278,000 in cash on hand at the end of June.”

For most of 2019, Cartwright was viewed as the favorite in the race by the ratings analyst, but the rating change to Toss Up happened in late December when Cartwright voted for both articles of impeachment against Trump. Now, the race has moved once again to Leans Democrat.

Cartwright won his most recent reelection bid over GOP businessman, John Chrin, in 2018 by 9 points in the newly drawn congressional boundaries that voted for Trump by 10 points in 2016, making it the most Trump friendly seat held by a Democrat in the state. 

Entering election day in 2018, the Cook Political Report had Cartwright’s race against Chrin as Likely Democrat. 

With the race in PA8 shifting to Leans Democrat, the only congressional race in Pennsylvania left in the Toss Up column is Rep. Scott Perry’s (R-York) reelection bid in the 10th Congressional District. Reps. Cartwright, Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), and Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) have the next closest races in the Cook Political Report with those three races as “leaning” in the incumbents favor. 

The latest Cook report ratings can be found here.

24 Responses

  1. As long as Bognet was going to be the nominee, this seat was and is Likely D. A lot of Republicans won’t vote for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if the House race is several points more Democratic than the Presidential race in the district.

  2. Bognet won the battle but lost the war. He played so dirty for 28% of the vote. He looked like he was crying in his WBRE interview on election night. Probably upset he wasn’t north of 40%. He then had no plan to piece things together with the other candidates. I heard that despite multiple attempts Earl will not call him back. 6 weeks into the general and he barely does any events. I bet he’s actually scared of his own voters. What a wasted opportunity

  3. 55,000 republicans voted in the primaries. 60,000 dems voted Cartwright in the primaries. There’s your answer

    Bognet, who hasn’t stepped into PA8 in years and only did to announce, has absolutely no relationship with the people of PA8. So what if he has the establishment behind him? It comes down to the people. Bognet has no appeal for the democratic voters in NEPA.

    1. You hear Teddys podcast? He’s still whining about the election lol. Go find something to do, Teddy! Get a hobby! By the way, your Minersville PD crew really think you’re a piece of shit. Don’t bring your unethical douche ways up here into NEPA!

  4. Look, there is so much hype in these political predictions. “Leans” is laughable. Come on, man. This is the birthplace of a possible future President and the Dem candidate in that town —Scranton—is only slightly ahead of some dude who is running a shoestring campaign? Cartwright by at least 10 points. This is a laugher. We are on the brink of a massive landslide where the Dems take over the Senate and win the Presidency.

  5. Somebody should tell Wasserman that Earl finished 3rd. And got smoked in Luzerne @ less that 6%. Teddy had a consistent appeal in each region. Would have peaked at the right time if it were a conventional election.

    1. Bognet is garbage. Teddy Daniels won on Election Day at the polls. Bognet won the mail in vote . Enough said. Looking at the counties Bognet won Luzerne and Monroe. He finished 3rd in Pike, Wayne and Lackawanna. Teddy won Pike and pulled a strong second everywhere else.

      1. Actually, Election Day was
        1 Bog
        2 Teddy
        3 Earl

        Then Teddy challenged to make sure all votes were counted…the final count was Granville & Teddy reversed w/ Bognet on top.

        In the general, Daniels was way too right. Dems wouldn’t vote for a guy who talked shit on democrats his whole campaign. Cartwright would have slaughtered him.

      2. Well what are you implying about mail in votes? Why are in person votes better?

        1. People voted by mail before Bognet skipped the debate. And before he sent out hit pieces on Earl / Mike. Then Mike and Teddy hit him back with his Romney and Democratic lobbying firms. Many people said they regretted voting by mail before they had the information

  6. Teddy Daniels would have beaten Matt Cartwright. Granville knew nothing about politics. Ran on being an amputee. The NRCC isn’t backing Bognet. I’ve heard that Granville and Daniels supporters aren’t backing him. At least he has Lou Barletta , Gene Talerico and Keith Eckel. There are 3 votes. He’s done!!!!!

    1. Lol Teddy and his fraud signatures took a stab at democrat voters. You think they would have voted for him? Maybe he should of stayed a Minersville Cop, but he screwed that up as well.

  7. Teddy Daniels was the only one who had any cross party appeal. Granville even had a decent shot. Bognet will be back in DC November 5th looking to leach off of more people as a consultant. Or he’ll go back to being the Vice President of his Clinton founded lobbying firm.

      1. Working class democrats (Trumpocrats) were in Teddy’s wheelhouse. Same outspoken style. Had a chance to follow Trumps formula. Teddy won precincts in Lackawanna

        1. Jumbo…I have no idea what you are drinking but I want some as it must be one great beverage. Look, Teddy Daniels had no chance because the wind is moving the Democratic sails this cycle. You could have Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy Bear or Teddy Ruxpin running and Cartwright would still win because Trump is a political train wreck.

          1. NEPA is the home of the Trump Democrat. The winds could be in Trumps face elsewhere but that district especially Luzerne is going to be strong for him again. Nobody can be Trump to his bade but Teddy was about as close as you could get. You would at least agree It would have been more interesting to watch?

        2. Daniels appealed to Dems? No way. He was way too conservative. All he did was insult the democrats. Good luck getting votes when a majority of the district is democrats. Not to mention his signature fraud. If Cammissa had the money in court, unethical Daniels would have been gone.

          1. NEPA Democrats are more conservative if they still remain democrats. The Republicans are destroying them in registration growth. Many switching parties

  8. There’s nothing “Lean” about this race. Republicans nominated a shit candidate with no money in a district where Joe Biden was born. This is damn near “Safe”.

  9. Cartwright had this sort of cash months ago. This race was downgraded, not because of $, but because Bognet can’t coalesce the Republican Party behind him much less get any cross-party appeal. Bognet got destroyed like 3 to 1 and 2 to 1 in Lackawanna County in the primary by both Granville and Daniels and you got to win there to win the whole thing in the general.

  10. Cartwright has amassed the largest war chest of any congressional candidate in the state. Cartwright having $2M more cash than his challenger is probably why Cook just downgraded this race.

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