House Ratings Changes in GA8, IL11, TX17, TX23, WA3

August 23, 2010 · 3:28 PM EDT

Georgia 8. Republicans had a hard time finding a credible challenger to Democratic Cong. Jim Marshall. But now that state Rep. Austin Scott is in the race, this district becomes dramatically more interesting. Marshall has proven his skill since he was first elected in 2002, but he faces a difficult test this year. Marshall has done better in presidential years (2004 and 2008) than in midterms (2002 and 2006), and four years ago, during a huge Democratic wave nationally, he almost lost his seat. Move from Lean Democrat to Toss-up/Tilt Democrat.

Illinois 11. Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D) finds herself in deeper trouble than she expected, as GOP challenger Adam Kinzinger has emerged as a serious threat to her. The state political environment is increasingly toxic for Democrats, and polling shows Halvorson, a former leader in the state legislator, in bad shape. Move from Toss-up/Tilt Democrat to Pure Toss-up as Halvorson’s prospects deteriorate.

Texas 17. Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards is a survivor, but he’s never been in a hole this deep. Multiple polls show him trailing by double-digits, and it’s unclear whether his attacks on GOP challenger Bill Flores will be enough to allow Edwards to pull this one out. Flores deserves to be favored. Move from Toss-up to Toss-up/Tilt Republican.

Texas 23. There is now enough evidence that Cong. Ciro Rodriguez (D) is in a tough fight to move this race from Democrat Favored to at least Lean Democrat. Challenger Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R) lost in the GOP primary in 2008 but now founds himself the nominee in a much better year for Republicans. Keep your eye on this race, since Canseco now appears to be a threat to the incumbent.

Washington 3. This open Democratic district looks more vulnerable now than it did before the primary. While Democrat Denny Heck finished first in the balloting, three Republicans combined for over 53 percent of the vote – and an 11-point margin over the total Democratic primary vote. Since Republican Jaime Herrera appears to have an edge in the race, move this contest from Toss-up to Toss-up/Tilt Republican.