WASHINGTON – Representative Barney Frank’s race for re-election could be getting tighter, according to DC-based political prognosticators.
The race between the Newton Democrat and Republican nominee Sean Bielat was shifted over the weekend from a rating of “solid Democratic” to “likely Democratic” by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
The “likely Democratic” category is reserved for races that are not currently considered competitive but have the potential to move in that direction. Previously, the race the Massachusetts Fourth District, was considered so safe for Democrats that it didn't bear mentioning.
“Barney Frank is still a substantial favorite to win this race, but it’s now going to be a $2 million affair,” said David Wasserman, the House editor of the Cook Political Report. “This year is volatile, and the political dynamics might be worse right now than they were in January when Scott Brown won.”
Four other Democrats – most, like Frank, long-serving incumbents – also just joined the list races that could become competitive in the final weeks before voters go to the polls. Those races include: Raúl Grijalva of Arizona; Jim Oberstar of Minnesota; Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico; Soloman Ortiz of Texas.
The contest in the Massachusetts Fifth District – between Democratic Representative Niki Tsongas and the Republican nominee Jon Golnik – is also considered likely Democratic.
Only one congressional race in Massachusetts is considered by the Cook Political Report to be competitive. That race – for the Tenth District seat currently held by retiring Representative Bill Delahunt – is one where Democrats are deemed to have a slight edge.
The Bay State's other seven congressional seats, which all feature incumbent Democrats running for re-election, are considered safe for Democrats.
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About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.