Ratings Changes in Key Senate Contests
With just days to go before Election Day, we’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating in some key Senate contests.
Colorado (Sen. Mark Udall, Democrat): From Pure Tossup to Tossup/Tilts Republican The contest between Udall and Republican Rep. Cory Gardner remains tight, and the state’s first all-mail election adds a dose of uncertainty to the equation. Republican and independent surveys have generally shown Gardner ahead by anywhere from a single point to a larger margin, while a few Democratic polls have shown Udall ahead very narrowly. Given the polls and our view that the GOP ground game has been seriously underestimated, we now believe Gardner has a narrow advantage. Georgia (Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring): From Leans Republican to Pure Tossup Most (though not all) recent polls strongly suggest this race will go to a runoff in January, giving Democrats more time to keep Republican David Perdue under the microscope. The runoff environment will be affected by what happens in November and in Louisiana’s expected runoff.
North Carolina (Sen. Kay Hagan, Democrat): From Tossup/Tilts Democratic to Pure Tossup Voters in the Tar Heel State don’t seem to like Hagan or GOP challenger Thom Tillis, but one of them will win on Nov. 4. Hagan’s lead seems to have all but vanished, and Republicans who a month or two ago were quite pessimistic about the race have grown cautiously optimistic. This race now looks too close to call.
South Dakota (Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson is retiring): From Leans Republican to Favored Republican
This contest has opened up for Republican Mike Rounds, though it was the National Republican Senatorial Committee that deserves the credit for the expected win.
West Virginia (Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller is retiring): From Favored Republican to Safe Republican There is little or no chance that Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will defeat Republican Shelley Moore Capito Tuesday. That fits our definition of safe.
You can get the latest pre-election analysis of all the competitive contests in the October 29 issue of the Rothenberg Political Report ($).
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