With a little over 100 days left for midterm, momentum is with Aftab Pureval

Aftab Pureval
Aftab Pureval; photo credit: https://aftabforohio.com

Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” moves the Ohio 1st district from “Likely Republican” to “Toss up.”

With a little over a hundred days left for the midterm, Indian American Aftab Pureval, who is trying to unseat 11-term incumbent Republican Congressman Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st district, is gaining momentum.

An indication of that came on Tuesday, when “Sabato’s Crystal Ball,” which tracks political races across the country, moved the district from “Likely Republican” to “Toss up.”

The Crystal Ball, a weekly newsletter founded and edited by Larry Sabato, a professor at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, is one of the most authoritative sources in the country that analyses and predicts federal races.

Pureval, who became the first Democrat to get elected as the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts in more than a century, won the Democratic party primary for the 1st district on May 10.

RELATED: Indian American Democrat Aftab Pureval wins Ohio District 1 primary unopposed (May 10, 2018)

He is one of some two-dozen candidates Democrats are banking on to re-capture the US House of Representatives in the November 6 mid-term elections.

Pureval has been outraising Chabot by more than 2 to 1 margin, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Through June 30, the 35-year-old challenger had raised more than $1.5 million, compared to $950,000 raised by the incumbent.

The Crystal Ball’s ratings switch of the 1st district, won by Trump by roughly 6 percentage points, is partly due to the fundraising advantage held by Pureval, whom it describes as a “high-quality” candidate.

“Pureval raised more than double what Chabot raised last quarter and is approaching the long-time incumbent’s cash-on-hand total,” Crystal Ball writes.

According to the Center, which tracks money in federal politics, Pureval has $1,593,824 cash on hand, while Chabot has $1,349,288.

RELATED: Indian American Aftab Pureval running from Ohio’s first congressional district (February 19, 2018)

Another nonpartisan newsletter that analyses congressional races still gives Chabot a 5-point advantage in the district, which includes Cincinnati suburbs and borders with the conservative Kentucky and Indiana.

Pureval, son of an Indian father and Tibetan mom, was born and raised in southwest Ohio. (He is also the first ever candidate of Tibetan origin to run for Congress.)

While doing undergraduate degree in political science at the Ohio State University, he served as a student body president at the university.

Pureval earned a law degree from University of Cincinnati College of Law. He moved to Washington, D.C., to work for White & Case LLP, a large law firm, before returning to Hamilton County to work as a Special Assistant US Attorney for the Department of Justice.

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