With only a few months to go until election night, it’s time for our end of September ratings update. We have three changes in our House ratings, two in our gubernatorial ratings, and one in our senate ratings, all of them benefitting Democrats.
The House Changes
- AK-AL: Leans Republican to Tossup: Mary Peltola’s surprise special election victory in August put Alaska’s House seat on the map. Considering Sarah Palin lost in August, one would think her first round numbers would have decreased. However, that is not the case, as she is still polling second and is still losing to Peltola in the final round. So with the Palin factor in mind, this race is now a very clear Tossup.
- CA-47: Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic: Katie Porter is already rumored to be taking steps to run for Diane Feinstein’s seat in 2024. That should tell you how well her re-election campaign is going. Porter did well in the June Primary, and while Scott Baugh is a decent candidate, Porter is very unlikely to fall in this environment. It’s not off the board completely, but the Irvine-based seat is almost there.
- NV-01: Tossup to Leans Democratic: Maybe the surprise of our House changes, we’ve moved Dina Titus’s race to Lean Democratic. This was always the toughest lift of the House races for Republicans in Nevada. The seat takes the most in of Las Vegas and is the bluest, by the slightest margin, of the Nevada seats. There’s a lack of money flowing in to this seat as well, and Nevada Republicans seem to be honing in on NV-03 as the key House race. People on the ground from both sides say that race is neck-and-neck.
Statewide Race Changes
- AZ-Sen: Tossup to Leans Democratic: This is a move that has been coming for a long time. Blake Masters has been unable to break through Mark Kelly’s poll numbers. Kelly remains a relatively popular figure, and nothing has so far come out to dent his image. Masters’s general election pivot has not yet yielded much of an impact. Outside spending for Masters has also been lacking – it seems that both sides now instead see Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania as the three most competitive Senate races. For now Arizona isn’t part of that list, and that means that the race slightly favors Democrats
- MI-GOV: Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic: Tudor Dixon was the last choice standing for Michigan Republicans in August. That doesn’t mean she’s any good as a candidate. Dixon has struggled with messaging so far in the general, and Gretchen Whitmer is still above water in approval ratings. Polling hasn’t been any better for Dixon either. Four of the last five polls have her down double-digits to Whitmer. A late change could still happen in this race, but for now, it looks like Whitmer has a very clear path to re-election.
- MN-GOV: Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic: Republican Scott Jensen in Minnesota has a similar problem to the ones Dixon has in Michigan; Tim Walz is still a relatively popular governor, and outside money isn’t coming to Minnesota. Compared to other targets, the GOP isn’t looking at Minnesota this year. The downballot races may end up being the more interesting races come November 8th, as Republicans have a solid shot of holding both houses of the legislature come 2023.. It’s not impossible that we see Jensen make a comeback, but Minnesota looks out of reach statewide for the GOP once again.