Majority

Initial 2018 Senate Ratings Map Filled With GOP Opportunities
Democrats defending 25 seats next year, compared to just 8 for Republicans

While Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, left, is heavily favored for re-election, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana are facing toss-up contests, according to the first 2018 race ratings by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ready or not, here come the 2018 midterm elections. Resistance is futile.

Even if you don’t want to acknowledge them, aspiring candidates are posturing for statewide bids and vulnerable incumbents are casting votes with re-election in mind.

House Republicans Entrust Majority to Rogers at NRCC
New York native begins fourth cycle at committee, but first as executive director

John Rogers was part of the National Republican Congressional Committee team that limited the party’s losses in the House to a net of just six seats in last year’s election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Midterm elections are supposed to be trouble for the president’s party, but House Republicans are confident that if they have a problem, John Rogers can solve it.

Rogers was born in Amsterdam, New York, a small-town about a half-hour west of Albany, but Republican friends know him best for once identifying an unlikely takeover opportunity three hours south in New York City.

2016 Election Night Viewer Guide
Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night

Final poll closing times across the United States.

Stock up on sleep and buy a case of Mountain Dew, because we could be in for a long election night.

As the most fascinating, frustrating, and even gut-wrenching election cycle comes to a close, a long, drawn-out conclusion seems like a fitting end.

How to Watch Election Night 2016
 

Ratings Change: 7 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
But one change toward Republicans isn’t particularly good news for majority chances

California Rep. Jeff Denham faces a competitive re-election fight with less than two weeks before Nov. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When nearly 90 percent of the batch of House ratings changes are in your favor, it’s normally great news. But with a limited House playing field, Democrats need to win virtually all of the competitive seats, and some initial takeover targets look like they are slipping out of reach.

In the most recent set of ratings changes by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call, seven races shift toward the Democrats. Takeover prospects improved in a couple of California districts (the 10th and 49th), a couple of districts with weakened GOP incumbents (Florida’s 7th and New Jersey’s 5th), and two suburban districts (Kansas’ 3rd and Pennsylvania’s 8th).

Ratings Change: 5 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
But Democrats are still waiting for wave required to win majority

The good news for Republicans is that the bottom hasn’t fallen out from underneath their down-ballot candidates. The bad news is that there are still nearly three weeks left before Election Day, and 24 hours in each day for Donald Trump to torpedo the party’s chances of holding the House.

District-level polling after the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video and the second debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton showed some vulnerability for Republicans, particularly in suburban districts. But we didn’t see a widespread cratering of GOP candidates in the competitive districts or evidence that the number of competitive seats is increasing dramatically.

Ratings Change: Two More Senate Races Move to Tossup
Missouri, Indiana are two of six states that will decide Senate control

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt has been on a steep slide in his race against Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander in the Show Me State. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With three weeks to go before Election Day, the fight for control of the Senate is coming down to six states hosting very close contests.

New Hampshire, Nevada, and Pennsylvania have been tossup races for months and are now joined by Missouri and Indiana. Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr’s re-election race in North Carolina is rated as Tilts Republican for now, but may end up in the same category.

Ratings Changes in 5 Senate Races
North Carolina and Missouri replace Ohio and Florida on competitive map

Two of the Republicans’ most vulnerable Senate seats are looking safer by the day, but the GOP’s majority is still in significant doubt with evolving Democratic takeover targets in North Carolina and Missouri.

Democrats outside of Ohio have all but ceded a second term to GOP Sen. Rob Portman. We’re changing The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating from Leans Republican to Republican Favored

Ratings Changes in 12 Competitive House Races
6 races shift toward Democrats but 6 improve for Republicans

Iowa Rep. David Young's' re-election contest in the state's 3rd District moves from Tossup to Tilts Republican, according to The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call's latest race rating. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With five weeks to go before Election Day, Democrats are still waiting for Donald Trump to create the nationwide swell that would be necessary to put the Republicans’ House majority into play. House races are often late to engage but, thus far, the developments have been a mixed bag for Democrats, keeping sizable gains out of reach.

The lack of vulnerable Democrats — and the resiliency of many Republican incumbents in the face of an unpopular presidential nominee — could amount to a historic election in the House, but not in the way one might think. The cycle could produce the fewest number of House seats to flip party control in 60 years.

Rating Change: Democrats Turn Up Heat in New Jersey House Race
Defeating GOP's Scott Garrett has become one of the party's top goals

New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett has drawn national attention for his remarks on gay Republican candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Scott Garrett doesn’t represent one of the most Democratic districts, but Democrats have made the New Jersey Republican one of their top takeover targets this cycle. It’s starting to feel like even if Democrats fall short of the majority on Election Night, defeating Garrett would help them sleep a little easier.

Mitt Romney and John McCain carried New Jersey’s 5th District in the most recent presidential elections, so there are better opportunities for Democrats in more Democratic districts.