Factbox: Democrats gain steam in analyst forecasts for U.S. House races

(Reuters) – As of Friday, there were 65 U.S. House of Representatives races widely seen as competitive or leaning against the incumbent party.

The outlook for Democrats had improved in 48 of them during the seven weeks since early September in the eyes of at least one of a trio of political forecasting groups: Cook Political Report, Inside Elections and the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

Only seven Republicans saw improved ratings among the competitive races. Those congressional districts are Minnesota-8, Illinois-12, Virginia-2, Ohio-1, West Virginia-3, Texas-23 and Nevada-4.

In two of those races – Virginia-2 and Ohio-1 – one of the three groups saw improved chances for the Republican candidate and another saw odds improving for the Democrat.

An improvement in the odds for a party does not necessarily mean its candidate is now favored to win. Some candidates went from being seen slightly or solidly ahead to being in a race seen as a “toss up.”

Additionally, the three rating groups no longer agree that Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state is very vulnerable. On Friday, Inside Elections upgraded her chances to a “likely” victory, up from a previous view that the odds merely leaned in her favor.   

    Following are the competitive races where analysts upgraded the odds of winning for Democrats and Republicans, together with the number of forecasting groups upgrading each party’s chances.

District Party with improved chances (incumbent (number of handicappers

party) seeing improved odds)

Arizona-2 (R) Democrat (2)

California-10 (R) Democrat (1)

California-25 (R) Democrat (1)

California-45 (R) Democrat (2)

Californa-48 (R) Democrat (1)

California-49 (R) Democrat (1)

California-50 (R) Democrat (1)

Colorado-6 (R) Democrat (3)

Florida-15 (R) Democrat (3)

Florida-26 (R) Democrat (3)

Florida-6 (R) Democrat (3)

Georgia-6 (R) Democrat (2)

Georgia-7 (R) Democrat (3)

Iowa-1 (R) Democrat (1)

Iowa-3 (R) Democrat (1)

Illinois-12 (R) Republican (2)

Illinois-14 (R) Democrat (2)

Illinois-6 (R) Democrat (3)

Kansas-2 (R) Democrat (1)

Kansas-3 Democrat (3)

Maine-2 (R) Democrat (1)

Michigan-11 (R) Democrat (2)

Michigan-8 (R) Democrat (1)

Minnesota-2 (R) Democrat (3)

Minnesota-3 (R) Democrat (3)

Minnesota-8 (D) Republican (3)

North Carolina-13 (R) Democrat (2)

North Carolina-2 (R) Democrat (2)

North Carolina-9 (R) Democrat (1)

New Jersey-11 (R) Democrat (1)

New Jersey-2 (R) Democrat (1)

New Jersey-3 (R) Democrat (1)

New Jersey-7 (R) Democrat (1)

New Mexico-2 (R) Democrat (3)

Nevada-4 (D) Republican (2)

New York-11 (R) Democrat (2)

New York-19 (R) Democrat (1)

New York-22 (R) Democrat (1)

New York-24 (R) Democrat (3)

New York-27 (R) Democrat (3)

Ohio-1 (R) Republican (1) / Democrat (1)

Ohio-12 (R) Democrat (2)

Pennsylvania-1 (R) Democrat (2)

Pennsylvania-10 (R) Democrat (2)

Pennsylvania-17 (R) Democrat (2)

Pennsylvania-6 (R) Democrat (1)

Pennsylvania-7 (R) Democrat (1)

Texas-23 (R) Republican (2)

Texas-32 (R) Democrat (1)

Utah-4 (R) Democrat (2)

Virginia-2 (R) Republican (1) / Democrat (1)

Virginia-7 (R) Democrat (1)

West Virginia-3 (R) Republican (1)

(Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)