Nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report shifted its forecasts for five competitive House of Representative races in favor of Democrats in the wake of Republican Sarah Palin’s defeat in an Alaska special election.

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The moves, including Palin’s defeat, follow a rise in Democratic voter enthusiasm after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to Cook Political Report senior editor Dave Wasserman. Democrats have been outperforming expectations in every special election since the landmark ruling overturning abortion rights.

The US Capitol Building via Flickr / Timo Luege

The report also noted that Republicans have had to temper their midterm expectations after previously predicting a “Red Wave” in the November elections.

A different Cook Political Report analysis issued last week said  that the GOP still looks like they will likely win back a majority in House in the midterm elections, but revised its forecast from Republicans winning 15 to 30 house seats to only winning 10 to 20 house seats.

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Cook shifted the following five House districts from GOP to Democrat:

-Alaska’s at-large district, from “likely Republican” to “toss-up” after Sarah Palin lost a special election to Democrat Mary Peltola in the first time since 1971 a Democrat has won that seat.

-Arizona’s 4th District, from “lean Democratic” to “likely Democratic,” with Wasserman explainging that, “Cooper, a Marine veteran who owns BKD’s Backyard sports bar and has questioned the integrity of the 2020 election, might be too far right for this left-trending, Biden +10 Tempe seat.”

Maryland’s 6th District, from “lean Democratic” to “likely Democratic.” Wasserman says “Any Republican scenario for ousting Trone likely involved a Larry Hogan-esque performance in the governor’s race at the top of the ticket. But that went out the window when state Del. Dan Cox, whom Hogan has called ‘not, in my opinion, mentally stable,’ won the GOP primary.”

New York’s 3rd District, from “toss-up” to “lean Democratic,” where DNC member Rob Zimmerman is projected to beat Republican George Santos.

Virginia’s 7th District changed from “toss-up,” to “lean Democratic,” where Rep. Abigail Spanberger, long considered one of the most vulnerable House Democrats, has the momentum after her opponent, former cop Yesli Vega was recorded saying that it was harder for women to get pregnant after rape.

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Christopher Powell