UPDATED 4:30 p.m. | A well-known nonpartisan analyst says the race is tightening between U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and his Democratic challenger, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.
The 13th Congressional District was moved Friday from "Likely Republican" to just "Lean Republican" by the forecasters at Cook Political Report, which rates races across the country. Democrats need to win a net of 23 seats to flip control of the House, and the 13th District is one they're targeting.
"It's nice to see that Cook sees what I'm seeing on the ground and have been seeing for a long time: that people are excited about our race," Londrigan told GLT on Friday.
In the rating change, Cook Political Report analyst Dave Wasserman wrote that Davis remains the favorite.
"To win, Democrats will need to convince voters that behind Davis’s likable demeanor lurks a voting record out of step with the district," Wasserman wrote. "And the more GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner looks doomed to defeat, the more plausible Londrigan’s path could become. Davis remains the favorite, but the race moves from Likely Republican to Lean Republican."
Londrigan said she's connecting with voters on issues like health care, education, and nervousness about Social Security and Medicare cuts.
Londrigan said next week's quarterly fundraising report will show her campaign with more than 36,000 individual donors.
"They want change. They're ready to flip the 13th District. And I think what the (fundraising) numbers will show is that we're raising the money we need to raise to communicate our message to voters and win this race," Londrigan said.
Davis' campaign said Friday that "Democrats in Springfield drew this district for a Democrat."
"Rodney's increased support in the district over the last five and a half years is testament to his ability to work with members of Congress and presidents of both parties to get things done," said Davis spokesperson Ashley Phelps. "If they haven't already, voters will see Rodney's bipartisanship is in stark contrast with his opponent who has said she's 'on board' with impeaching President Trump and whose views are more in line with liberal extremists than the majority of the 13th District."
Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, has held the seat since 2013. He’s seen as potentially vulnerable in a 13th District drawn by Democrats specifically to give Democrats a shot. The gerrymandered 13th District includes parts or all of 14 counties and several college towns, stretching from the western half of Bloomington-Normal all the way south to Edwardsville.
Londrigan, a fundraising consultant from Springfield, won a five-way Democratic primary in March by a wide margin.
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