Ratings changes in 25 House and Senate races; only three move toward GOP

In Senate, Kansas is more competitive, Colorado now more likely to flip

Colorado GOP Sen. Cory Gardner’s reelection is looking less likely, according to the newest race rating by Inside Elections, especially given President Donald Trump’s weakness in the state. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Colorado GOP Sen. Cory Gardner’s reelection is looking less likely, according to the newest race rating by Inside Elections, especially given President Donald Trump’s weakness in the state. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted October 16, 2020 at 2:45pm

ANALYSIS — With scant evidence that the overall political environment is improving for President Donald Trump, Republicans down the ballot continue to suffer. With a little more than two weeks before Election Day, Democrats are poised to have a good set of elections. 

Not only does former Vice President Joe Biden have the advantage in the Electoral College, but Democrats are likely to gain control of the Senate. The latest projection is a Democratic net gain of four to six seats. They need a net gain of four for a majority but can control the chamber with a net gain of three seats and a White House win because a Vice President Kamala Harris could then break any tie votes. 

In the House, Democrats are likely to retain and expand their majority. The latest projection is for them to gain between 10 and 20 seats. That would be a stunning result after the party netted 40 seats two years ago. But it’s a reflection of the GOP’s problems when Trump is dramatically underperforming his own marks from four years ago. 

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On the Senate side, Republicans’ Kansas headache won’t go away just because the state rejected Kris Kobach for the nomination. In the race for retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts’ seat, the rating changes from Lean Republican to Tilt Republican. Fundraising reports for the third quarter filed Thursday showed Democrat Barbara Bollier raising more than four times what GOP nominee Roger Marshall did.

And in Colorado, Trump is slated to lose the state by double digits, making it virtually impossible for Republican incumbent Cory Gardner to win against former Gov. John Hickenlooper. That race moves from Tilt Democratic to Lean Democratic. 

In 20 House races, the rating change favors Democrats:

  • Arizona’s 6th (David Schweikert, R): from Tilt Republican to Toss-up 
  • Arkansas’ 2nd (French Hill, R): from Lean Republican to Tilt Republican 
  • Florida’s 18th (Brian Mast, R): from Solid Republican to Likely Republican
  • Florida’s 26th (Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D): from Toss-up to Tilt Democratic
  • Georgia’s 6th (Lucy McBath, D): from Tilt Democratic to Lean Democratic
  • Illinois’ 13th (Rodney Davis, R): from Tilt Republican to Toss-up
  • Iowa’s 3rd (Cindy Axne, D): from Tilt Democratic to Lean Democratic
  • Kansas’ 3rd (Sharice Davids, D): from Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
  • Maine’s 2nd (Jared Golden, D): from Lean Democratic to Solid Democratic
  • Minnesota’s 1st (Jim Hagedorn, R): from Tilt Republican to Toss-up
  • Missouri’s 2nd (Ann Wagner, R): from Tilt Republican to Toss-up
  • New Jersey’s 3rd: (Andy Kim, D): from Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
  • New York’s 1st (Lee Zeldin, R): from Likely Republican to Lean Republican
  • North Carolina’s 11th (Vacant; Mark Meadows, R): from Solid Republican to Likely Republican
  • Pennsylvania’s 8th (Matt Cartwright, D): from Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
  • Pennsylvania’s 10th (Scott Perry, R): from Tilt Republican to Toss-up
  • South Carolina’s 1st (Joe Cunningham, D): from Tilt Democratic to Lean Democratic
  • Texas’ 21st (Chip Roy, R): from Tilt Republican to Toss-up
  • Texas’ 32nd (Colin Allred, D): from Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
  • Virginia’s 5th (Open; Denver Riggleman, R): from Lean Republican to Tilt Republican


In three races, the rating change favors Republicans:

  • Minnesota’s 7th (Collin C. Peterson, D): from Tilt Democratic to Toss-up
  • New Mexico’s 2nd (Xochitl Torres Small, D): from Tilt Democratic to Toss-up
  • Texas’ 23rd (Open; Will Hurd, R): from Lean Democratic to Tilt Democratic

Nathan L. Gonzales is an elections analyst for CQ Roll Call.