Eight days to Election Day, it’s almost there folks. This Monday though, we only have three ratings changes for you all this week – something we attribute to the unclear environment heaving into this final week. All are in House races, and all three shift seats back into the Tossup column. But with little time left, expect us to start making some calls this Thursday on the key races.
Republican Odds Improve in Another New England Seat
Lots of late money is coming into CT-05, where Democratic incumbent Jahana Hayes seems locked in a tight battle with Republican nominee George Logan. Polling also backs up this late surge of spending in this Biden+11 seat, with two Republican pollsters and an independent poll from Emerson all showing this race basically tied. Hayes faces probably the strongest challenger she’s come up against since she first ran in 2018, as Logan is a candidate with a background that fits Connecticut well for a Republican. Logan held an increasingly blue state senate seat from 2017-2021, which included a major upset over Joe Crisco Jr. in the 17th Senate district. Logan fell to partisanship in 2020, as Joe Biden’s 18-point win was too much for him to overcome. Logan has a reputation from those days as a moderate though, and has effectively deflected the issue of abortion. He’s stated opposition to Lindsay Graham’s 15 week ban, and believes it should be up to states. Hayes also showed little cross appeal, barely beating Biden’s 11-point margin in 2020. The question on whether Logan can win depends fully on if he can overcome the heavily Democratic city of New Britain, which has served as a bulwark for the seat for years. With the late money, plus the polling we’ve gotten though, this race shifts from Leans Democratic to Tossup heading into the last week.
Democrats Fret Losing their Campaign Chair
It’s been a quick shift in New York’s 17th congressional district for both sides. Once again, Democrats find their campaign chair scrambling in the last weeks heading up to the election. This time, Sean Patrick Maloney finds himself in a precarious position in this Biden+10 seat in New York’s Hudson Valley. Republicans found an underrated recruit in Mike Lawler, who upset a long time Democratic incumbent in the 97th District assembly seat in 2020. Money has come into this seat from both sides in the millions. Democrats want to protect their campaign chair, and Republicans badly want to beat him.
The wild card will be the endorsement of the Hasidic Jewish Rabbis in Rockland County. Lawler gained their endorsement in 2020, which helped spark his upset victory. Democrats are so spooked that it will happen again, that President Biden has personally attempted to secure their endorsement by offering an “open door” to the White House if they endorse Maloney. If they don’t though, this race is going to get close. The key for Maloney will be to keep the margins up in the parts of Westchester County that went heavily for Biden in 2020. The plausibility he loses some ground there is not impossible though. It will be a key race all night on Election Night, and if Republicans succeed here, it almost certainly means they’re pushing 240 seats. This seat moves from Leans Democratic to Tossup.
Dina Titus Returns to the Frontlines
Nevada’s 1st congressional district is back in the spotlight, as it all comes down to a high quality poll. The NYT/Siena house polls are one of the few we give some trust too. They polled this race last week, showing a tie between the two candidates. Democrat Dina Titus got a surprise in redistricting, as Democrats gerrymandered the Las Vegas area to strengthen the 3rd and 4th districts. The cost of that had Titus’s 1st district turn into a competitive Biden+8 seat. Titus has been shelled as a campaigner before, and it’s been a while since she’s had to run a competitive race. Nate Cohn also said that in this poll, Titus was running behind Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto. That’s not good for Titus. Republican Mark Robertson isn’t considered the strongest candidate, either. But compared to the list that ran for this seat, he’s not at all a bad option. Outside spending has continued to flow into this seat as well, and with the NYT poll, we are confident in shifting this race from Leans Democratic to Tossup.