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.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t in as good a shape in Florida as Portman is in the Buckeye State, but he has a distinct advantage over Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy. Democrats are still spending money in the Sunshine State, but are starting to shift some resources to North Carolina and Missouri. We’re changing our Florida rating from Tilts Republican to Leans Republican.
Democrats’ increased attention on the Show-Me State has boosted Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander’s chances of knocking off the GOP’s Roy Blunt. The Republican senator is in considerable danger of underperforming Donald Trump in Missouri and losing re-election. We’re changing the rating from Leans Republican to Tilts Republican.
Increased Democratic attention on Missouri and North Carolina still leaves Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick without air support in her race against GOP Sen. John McCain in Arizona. She probably isn’t strong enough to defeat the former presidential nominee without help from outside groups and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. We’re changing our rating from Leans Republican to Republican Favored.
We’re also changing the our rating in Wisconsin, where GOP Sen. Ron Johnson’s re-election race moves from Tilts Democrat to Leans Democratic. Republicans just aren’t spending the time or money on the race indicative of a competitive contest.
As we’ve said for months, Democrats are poised to gain between 3-6 seats. But that potential range of outcomes is on either side of the 4 seats they need to gain to win Senate control, if Hillary Clinton wins the White House. The Senate majority is firmly up for grabs.
You can get the latest analysis and public polling in most competitive Senate races in the Sept. 30 issue of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report.