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Republicans' 2018 glimmer of hope

Paul Ryan raising a glass of beer
Outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan could see Republicans lose control of the House. Photo: Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans' chances of keeping four seats in California, Nebraska, and South Carolina just got better — the Cook Political Report has shifted these districts' ratings in favor of the GOP.

Be smart: This doesn't mean Republicans are suddenly favored to win the House in November. Cook's analysis suggests Democrats would be poised to pick up anywhere between 20 and 40 House seats if the election were held next week.

Yes, but: These four districts are great signs for Republicans, especially in California where Democrats are facing their most crucial races to take back the House.

  • Two of them are open seats in California's 39th and 49th districts, where national Democratic campaign organizations are aggressively investing and Democrats have been banking on shifting demographics to help them.
  • One is in Nebraska's second district, where the DCCC-backed candidate (and former incumbent of the district) lost to a more progressive woman — her victory has shifted things away from Democrats.
  • The last is in South Carolina's fifth district, where Trump won by nearly 19 percentage points in 2016 and the seat has been held by a Republican since 2010.

Go deeper: Democrats' California nightmare.

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