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Democrats feel confident that Republican Kris Kobach facing the Democratic front runner, State Senator Barbara Bollier, would lead to a competitive race in Kansas, but unfortunately for Democrats this is likely not the reality. Kobach is weaker than other Republicans, but there is no reason to believe that he is weak enough to lose a seat the GOP has held since 1932.

The New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections are now less than two years away. Most major election outlets rated this year’s general elections in January and February of 2019, and those two dates are also a little less than two years apart. Given the interesting developments that have occurred in both states, I feel it is appropriate to give my initial ratings for these two races.

To a casual observer of American politics, it might be confusing what constitutes a “battleground state” in a presidential election. For instance, in the most recent presidential election, a state might have voted one way by as much as double-digits, but pundits talk as if it might vote the other way in the next. Why would the state in question be treated as competitive?