PA8: Cook Moves Race to Toss Up
A second House race in Pennsylvania is listed as a “toss-up” according to the latest ratings from the election analysts at the Cook Political Report.
Rep. Matt Cartwright’s (D-Lackawanna) race in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District has moved from Lean Democrat to Toss-Up. The rating change for the fourth term Congressman comes as a result of him joining the rest of the Democrats in the state in voting for both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
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.
Despite Cartwright’s nearly double digit victory in 2018, the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman writes that 2020 “could be a vastly different story” adding that Trump will be on the ballot in the upcoming election and outside GOP groups American Action Network and America First Policies are “on track to spend millions” in the Scranton market.
Another development in the race that played a role in the ratings change was the entrance of Earl Granville, a decorated war veteran and Veterans’ advocate. While serving in Afghanistan, Granville suffered severe battlefield wounds and had his left leg amputated. Wasserman writes that Republicans “may have a candidate out of central casting,” with Granville in the race, saying that he “could be a much better fit for working-class voters than the wealthy Chrin.”
Entering election day in 2018, the Cook Political Report had Cartwright’s race against Chrin as Likely Democrat.
Cartwright’s district and Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District represented by Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) are the two races in the state currently listed as a toss-up. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) is the next closest race in the state with the race rated as Leans Republican.
Three Republicans thus far have formally announced a bid for the seat. In August, Teddy Daniels, a former police officer and wounded combat Army veteran, was the first Republican to launch a bid for the seat, while Luzerne County Councilman Harry Haas joined the race in October and Granville formally announcing a bid in December.
Cartwright is still currently the only Democrat that has filed paperwork to run for this seat in 2020.
The latest Cook report ratings is here.