The Cook Report itself is hidden behind a pay wall, so the following comes from the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee):
This afternoon, the Cook Political Report changed their ratings on 14 races in the favor of Democratic Candidates.http://dccc.org/...
The Cook Political Report writes: “Mostly as a result of the damage House Republicans sustained during the 16-day government shutdown, we are making changes to our ratings in 15 House seats, all but one in Democrats' direction. Democrats still have a very uphill climb to a majority, and it's doubtful they can sustain this month's momentum for another year. But Republicans' actions have energized Democratic fundraising and recruiting efforts and handed Democrats a potentially effective message.”
Yesterday, Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Report wrote a piece titled “For GOP, the Damage is Undeniable.”
Rothenberg writes: “The political fallout from the confrontation is very real. Republicans got almost nothing out of the deal to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling except, of course, that they lost another 10 percentage points in their favorable rating and looked less like an organized political party and more like a disorganized, confused rabble. Republican operatives are worried that the showdown will improve Democratic House recruiting considerably for 2014, and it could well damage GOP fundraising, both among small-dollar donors and the party’s bigger hitters.”
The Cook Report changed race ratings in each of these 14 races:
CA-31 Gary Miller (R) Toss Up to Lean D
CA-41 Mark Takano (D) Likely D to Solid D
CO-06 Mike Coffman (R) Lean R to Toss Up
FL-22 Lois Frankel (D) Likely D to Solid D
MI-03 Justin Amash (R) Solid R to Likely R
MI-07 Tim Walberg (R) Likely R to Lean R
MT-AL Steve Daines (R) Solid R to Likely R
NE-02 Lee Terry (R) Likely R to Lean R
NJ-02 Frank LoBiondo (R) Solid R to Likely R
NJ-03 Jon Runyan (R) Solid R to Likely R
NM-02 Steve Pearce (R) Solid R to Likely R
NY-23 Tom Reed (R) Likely R to Lean R
OH-06 Bill Johnson (R) Likely R to Lean R
PA-08 Mike Fitzpatrick (R) Likely R to Lean R
In a related article today, the Cook Report’s David Wasserman summarizes the key development for voters out of the Republican government shutdown.
Wasserman writes: “The GOP's brand has been awful for years, and sustained more damage this month. Yet the biggest boost for House Democrats isn't the downturn in the GOP's brand (NBC News/Wall Street Journal surveys showed negative views of the Republican Party surging from 44 percent in September to 53 percent in October). It's that the shutdown forced voters to actually focus on the House GOP as "the problem" in DC, something Democrats simply could not do amid the noise of the 2012 presidential election.”
Fourteen strikes me as an improbably low number of races to have been affected by the Shutdown and debt ceiling debacle. If the entire GOP just suffered a humiliating, national attention-getting defeat, it stands to reason that dozens more races around the country are also affected.
Not to mention all the ways in which Republicans still have time to make themselves even more loathed by the electorate. And that, so far, appears to be their goal.
Dems need to pick up 17 seats to regain control of the House.
Ed. note: This post originally described the Cook Report as a conservative outfit, which appears to be incorrect. Wikipedia calls them non-partisan, objective. Sorry.