Cook Political Report Gives GOP Heightened Chance of Gaining Two Connecticut Congressional Seats

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report updated its analysis of congressional races this week to indicate 10 contests have a heightened chance of favoring Republicans, including two races in Connecticut.

Cook previously deemed Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District, now held by Democrat Joe Courtney, “Solid D[emocratic]”; the journal now considers the district “Likely D.” And the state’s 5th Congressional District, represented by Jahana Hayes, was moved from “Likely D” to “Lean D.” 

Courtney unseated moderate Republican Rob Simmons in 2006 by a razor-thin margin of 91 votes. In 2020 he won his district — which includes New London, Norwich and Mansfield — by 21 percent, while Joe Biden’s presidential campaign carried it by 10 fewer points. 

Cook’s David Wasserman, however, commented that Courtney “hasn’t faced a credible opponent in 16 years” and may find State Representative Mike France (R-Ledyard) an especially formidable challenger. France is a submarine engineer who served in the U.S. Navy and reported having $116,000 in his campaign bank account at the end of March. 

Hayes, a teacher first elected to Congress less than four years ago, represents a district that includes Danbury, Waterbury and Meriden, and that backed Biden by 11 points. Nonetheless, polling so far has buoyed GOP spirits that former State Senator George Logan can defeat Hayes. 

Wasserman observed that, much as Democrats attempt to appeal to culturally liberal Nutmeggers with the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, state residents have pocketbook issues foremost on their minds. And economic concerns presently aid Republicans who point to the Biden administration as having worsened inflation and stalled growth in America’s gross domestic product. 

“As the parties navigate primaries and begin polling and placing fall ad buys, Republicans’ House advantage looks as robust as ever,” he wrote. “For independent voters, inflation has become such a dominant concern that neither a Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade nor January 6 hearings are likely to drastically alter the midterms’ trajectory, and multiple district-level surveys show Democratic incumbents in perilous shape against unknown GOP challengers.”

Wasserman also noted that Biden’s favorability ratings have dipped into negative territory in “dozens” of districts he won a year and a half ago. 

The other districts Cook moved toward likelier GOP success in November are AZ-4, represented by Democrat Greg Stanton; CA-49, represented by Democrat Mike Levin; MN-1, currently vacant; NV-1, represented by Democrat Dina Titus; OR-5, represented by Democrat Kurt Schrader; PA-1, represented by Republican Brian Fitzpatrick; PA-7, represented by Democrat Susan Wild; and PA-10, represented by Republican Scott Perry. 

Cook also moved two congressional districts in the direction of a likelier Democratic win: IL-14, represented by Democrat Lauren Underwood; and CA-40, represented by Young Kim.

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Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Connecticut Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].



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