GOP Rep. Chris Collins' insider trading arrest puts a deep-red seat on the House battlefield
- GOP Rep. Chris Collins' arrest on insider trading charges makes his deep-red New York district more competitive in November's House elections.
- Supporters of his Democratic opponent, Nate McMurray, have already started to raise money on Collins' indictment.
- Republican Rep. Chris Collins' arrest and indictment on insider trading charges Wednesday suddenly makes his safe red congressional district a lot more interesting in November's midterm elections.The New York 27th District, lodged between Buffalo and Rochester in the western part of the state, has grown more Republican since Collins first won it narrowly in 2012. The area backed President Donald Trump by nearly 25 percentage points in 2016, while Collins breezed to re-election with about 67 percent of the vote.The stain of the insider trading accusations quickly makes the district more competitive — although it still favors Republicans. Regardless, the GOP cannot afford another contested seat in the state as it fights to stop Democrats from winning the 23 Republican-held seats the party needs to take a House majority.Nonpartisan election analysis sites Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball moved their ratings for the district to "likely" Republican from "solid" "safe" Republican, respectively, on Wednesday. A scandal can cause a 10- to 12-percentage-point swing and Collins' arrest is "perhaps on the more severe side," tweeted Nate Silver, data guru and editor in chief of analytics site FiveThirtyEight.
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