The bipartisan rating agency that evaluates various electoral races nationwide and is considered reliable in calculating the odds of victory, has shifted its assessment of 9 House races, two of which could potentially affect the political fortunes of Indian-American candidates positively.
Cook Political Report, in its newest assessment of “Competitive Races” shows California Congressman Ami Bera, a Democrat in his third term from District 7, as having an easier time getting re-elected. Bera won his first election in 2012. In his 2014 election he won with 50.4 percent of the vote and a lead of just 1,455 votes. In 2016, he won by a larger margin of 51.2 percent and 6,965 votes. This time round, Cook has classified District 7 as “likely Democrat” from the earlier “lean Democrat” category (cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings). The District 7 race has been one of the most expensive in the country targeted unsuccessfully so far by Republicans. Currently, Bera’s fundraising prowess (Cash on hand $829,319) has far outstripped his two main Republican opponents Andrew Grant and Yona Barash, according to Ballotpedia. District 7 in California covers central California including much of Sacramento County and its open primaries are scheduled for June 5.
The other seat reclassified by Cook, is New Jersey’s District 7, held by long-time Republican Leonard Lance. He is being challenged in the upcoming Nov. 6 elections, by two Indian-American Democrats, Peter Jacob and Goutam Jois, among others. However, Democratic candidate Lisa Mandelblatt has so far raised the most in the race in which 6 Democrats are vying for their party’s endorsement in the June 5 primaries. Cook had described NJ-7 as a Republican leaning seat, but has now put it in the “toss-up” column (cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings). Ballotpedia also describes this District as a “race to watch” in 2018. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also targeted it hoping to flip the seat from red to blue. District 7 in New Jersey covers the northwestern portion of the state and encompasses Hunterdon County and parts of Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties.