After another key couple of weeks of primaries, it’s time for another update to our rankings. We have six changes to our House ratings this week, all in favor of Republicans. We also have a change in one of our gubernatorial races, this one in favor of Democrats.
House Rating Changes
- CA-26: Safe Democratic to Likely Democratic
- NV-01: Leans Democratic to Tossup
- NV-04: Leans Democratic to Tossup
- NM-01: Safe Democratic to Likely Democratic
- TX-28: Leans Democratic to Tossup
- TX-34: Likely Democratic to Lean Democratic
There are two seats we’re bringing on the board this update. First is New Mexico’s 1st, with the new map in theory putting this seat into play. The seat is a Biden+14.4 seat, the only one to vote to the left of the state in 2020. However, Republicans believe they have a good nominee here and it contains the whiter and swingier parts of Albuquerque as well, which could make this seat closer than expected.
The same goes for California’s 26th. Julia Brownley, the incumbent and only Democrat on the ballot only got 54% of the primary vote with basically everything in. Republicans like candidate Matt Jacobs and the NRCC put him on their “On the Radar” list back in March, showing they may spend here if the environment is good enough. The new seat also lost the very blue city of Ventura for the swingier Simi Valley, which gave good margins to Mike Garcia when it was in the 25th. That does leave the door open in this new seat for at least a closer than expected race to occur in 2022. All that plus the primary numbers make us interested enough in the races dynamics to put the 26th on the board in our ratings.
Changes in Response to the 14th
The other four House changes are all in response to the primaries or special elections from June 14th. In Nevada, we’ve moved the 1st and 4th district from Leans Democratic to Tossup. This is in response to Republicans not screwing up their nominees in either seats. Republicans avoided potentially controversial candidates as they nominated Mark Robertson in the 1st and Sam Peters in the 4th. Getting Peters in the 4th was especially crucial, as the next closest candidate was Annie Black, best known for attending the January 6th riot and being censured on the floor of the Nevada State House. Nevada is going to be a key battleground in every aspect this cycle, and the state having three tossup house seats is more proof of that.
Then we come to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. As I stated in an article a couple months ago, this will be one of the key areas to watch in 2022. The results in the TX-34 special only continue to prove that. Low turnout, sure, but it does show the trends we saw upballot in 2020 have moved downballot heading into 2022. With that in mind, TX-28 is moving to Tossup, and the new TX-34 to Lean Democratic. In the 34th, we do see Vicente Gonzales as the favorite still in this newly-drawn double-digit Biden seat. However, Mayra Flores does now have incumbency behind her, something that should not be underestimated.
In the 28th, with the data point we have in the special election, even with Henry Cuellar this seat is a tossup. It’s rather ironic that Cuellar’s hopes in the general may depend on the San Antonio area that thoroughly rejected him in the primary.
GOP Struggles in Michigan leads to Gretchen Whitmer now being favored for Reelection
The Michigan GOP is on fire. That’s the nicest way I can put it. After both James Craig and Perry Johnson were kicked off the ballot for massive signature fraud, the Gubernatorial primary was thrown into chaos. The leader in that primary is now Ryan Kelley. Kelley was recently arrested by the FBI for charges related to January 6th. That means that he actually went into the Capitol. The fact he is leading the primary is a failure of the Michigan GOP to get their ducks in line. It is a failure on the state party to clean this up in the chaos of Craig and Johnson being kicked off the ballot.
With that in mind, we now consider Gretchen Whitmer the favorite, as we move the Michigan Gubernatorial race from Tossup to Leans Democratic.
Complete Elections Daily House Ratings: