Political analyst calls 10th Congressional race one of Pa.'s most competitive

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
10th Congressional District candidates Republican Scott Perry, left, and Democrat George Scott, take part in a debate held by the Rotary Club of York at the Country Club of York, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

A new congressional race forecast from CNN and FiveThirtyEight political analyst Harry Enten echoes recent polls of the state's 10th District race, calling it "one of the most competitive races" in the state.

Enten was one of the first political analysts to join FiveThirtyEight, a website focusing on opinion poll analysis, politics and economics, when it was created as a polling aggregation website in 2008.

He also works as a senior political writer and analyst for CNN Politics.

CNN published a set of nationwide House and Senate race forecasts, titled "The Forecast," on Friday, Oct. 12. The results update daily as more polling is done in each district.

As of Monday, Oct. 15, two polls have been conducted for the 10th District, and one has been done for the 11th District. All were conducted by Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

More:New poll shows George Scott one point behind Rep. Scott Perry

More:Rep. Scott Perry, George Scott clash over Freedom Caucus during debate

In the report, Enten predicts the Democrats will flip the House and obtain a 23-seat majority, or 229-206 seats. But when it comes to York County delegates, it's a close call — at least in the 10th District.

10th District: In June, PPP surveyed 650 district residents, showing Democratic challenger George Scott four points behind Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township. But a more recent poll last month that surveyed roughly the same number of residents showed just a 1 point advantage on Perry's part.

Enten's predictions share the same findings as the June poll, estimating that it's "most likely" Perry wins the Nov. 6 election by four points. 

But the range of potential outcomes, which shows possible variation of up to 34 points, is wide enough to give Scott as much as an 11-point victory and makes the race "one of the most competitive" in the state, according to the forecast.

On the other side of the spectrum of possibility, Perry could win by as much as 20 points, the forecast adds. 

"Scott Perry is favored, but the margin of error is wide enough that we shouldn't be surprised if George Scott comes from behind," Enten said.

Pennsylvania 11th House District candidate Jess King and incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker debate at the Millersville University Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

11th District: But according to Enten's forecast, 11th District Democratic challenger Jess King isn't giving one-term Republican incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker much of a run for his money.

The most recent PPP poll on the race shows King 9 points behind Smucker. But the recent Enten forecast isn't so kind.

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More:Jess King, Rep. Lloyd Smucker clash over campaign finances at first debate

A victory by King isn't within the range of potential outcomes, which like the 10th District race can vary up to 34 points. The closest predicted election result shows King still losing by 2 points, according to the forecast.

What's most likely, the report states, is that Smucker wins by 20 points and as much as 35 points on the opposite side of the spectrum of possibility.

Still, in some cases King could still manage an upset, Enten added.

"A victory by Jess King is outside the margin of error, but remember the margin of error only covers 95 percent of race outcomes," he said. 

The full analysis, including graphics, can be found on the CNN website.

Regardless of polling and forecasts, all of the local congressional candidates have squeezed in debates to further market their respective political platforms before the Nov. 6 elections.

Candidates in both races have participated in one public debate so far. 

The 10th District will see another debate 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, via live coverage on WGAL-TV, and the 11th District will see another debate 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Eastern York High School.

More:York County congressional candidates squeeze in October debates

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.