2016 Senate Ratings

U.S. Senate
Safe D Likely D Leans D Tilt D Tossup Tilt R Leans R Likely R Safe R
Blumenthal (CT) Bennet (CO) Johnson (WI)  Toomey (PA) NV Open (Reid)  IN Open (Coats) Rubio (FL) McCain (AZ) Murkowski (AK)
Schatz (HI) Kirk (IL)  Ayotte (NH) LA Open (Vitter)  Isakson (GA) Shelby (AL)
MD Open (Mikulski) Blunt (MO) Grassley (IA)  Lee (UT)
Schumer (NY)  Burr (NC) Paul (KY)  Crapo (ID)
Wyden (OR) Portman (OH) Moran (KS)
Leahy (VT)  Boozman (AR) Hoeven (ND)
 Murray (WA) Lankford (OK)
 CA Open (Boxer)

Harris

Scott (SC)

 

Safe D:

Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Vermont: No explanation needed.

Oregon: Republican bench in Oregon is pathetic. Every statewide official is a Democrat, and the only U.S. Representative represents a conservative (R+10) district. Wyden, a four-term incumbent with reasonably high approval rating, should win reelection without any trouble. Safe D

Washington:  Murray, although not well-liked by her constituents, should easily beat his token Republican opposition given she won reelection in 2010 against a powerful Republican opponent. Safe D.

Note on WA: While Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, has no trouble facing reelection in his moderately Republican 6th district, she would lose to any Democrat by landslide margins because of her hardcore positions on social issues. The same applies to Jaime Herrera Beutler. The only Republican with a realistic chance of winning a Senate seat in Washington is Rob McKeena, but only if the seat is open.

California: Kamala Harris is arguably the most powerful Democrat in California as the state’s attorney general. Were Loretta Sanchez, the more conservative Senate candidate, to run a campaign on courting Republican voters while holding about 25% of the Democrats, she would win this race. Yet, polls have indicated Republicans are just inclined to skip this race altogether; therefore, Harris would safely win this seat and perhaps a lifetime Senate term. Safe Harris.

Illinois (Updated 11/02/2016 from Likely D): Before Kirk’s inappropriate comment regarding Duckworth’s family’s heritage and military service, Kirk looked all but finished. While the comment might not move the needle (or probably even in his favor) in Southern states, the national attention generated would reduce his chance in Illinois to be effectively nil. An Emerson poll confirms my hypothesis that Kirk would be behind further than he was three weeks ago. Safe D.

 

Likely D:

Colorado: Glenn is a weak candidate and polling indicate a massive distance between the two candidates. Glenn could potentially luck out and get a victory if something very wrong happens. Likely D.

 

 

Leans D:

Wisconsin: Johnson was all but written off bythe national Republicans. NRSC canceled its spending there long ago but there are signs of a Johnson rebound going on. Johnson never led a poll this cycle but there are signs of a close race going on there. If Feingold is absolutely safe, DSCC wouldn’t pump in $2mil to help him, just to push him over the top. Feingold should be fairly safe, likely winning by 7-8 points in a week, but if Comey effect gets more severe, Johnson could sneak out a victory here. Leans D.

Pennsylvania (Updated 11/02/2016 from Tilts D): Katie McGinty has led 10 consecutive polls conducted after October 20, including two polls from Republican-leaning pollsters (Gravis and Emerson), averaging a 5-point lead ahead of incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey in RCP average. While McGinty is clearly not a strong candidate, Toomey is more vulnurable than he was ever. Leans D.

Tilts D:

New Hampshire: Polls show a close race with slight edge going to Ayotte, but given New Hampshire’s electoral votes will almost inevitably go to Clinton, straight-ticket voting might be able to push Hassan over the top. Tilts D.

Pennsylvania: See New Hampshire.

Missouri: Like Bayh (who we can find in the Tilts R column), Blunt’s status as a “Washington Insider” is helping him in no way. Blunt started the race with a 20 point advantage (just like Bayh), but his lead has largely diminished because of Kander’s attacks over his ties to the lobbying industry (lobbying is his family business with his wife and sons all being lobbyists). This would be this year’s closest Senate race with a potential recount. Tilts D.

North Carolina: Richard Burr has made headlines recently regarding his comment on assassinating Hillary Clinton. However the state is so polarized that any token Republican and Democrat would take at least 45% each. With polling showing a deadheat, third party would be determinative here. Tilts D

 

Pure Tossup:

Nevada: With polls showing a deadheat between Cortez Masto and Heck, the presidential winner (of Nevada)’s party would likely carry this seat. Polls show a close race between Trump and Clinton here. Tossup.

 

Tilts R:

Indiana: Bayh’s collapse largely has to do with his ties with the Washington lobbyists, and in this anti-establishment year, “Washington insider” status certainly do not help candidates win election. Bayh started the race with a 25 point advantage, but Young’s powerful attacks and his “anti-establishment” tone has put Bayh into a Blunt position. He and Blunt might end up as victims of anti-establishmentism. Tilts R.

 

Leans R:

Florida: Rubio started with a major advantage–Florida Cubans. According to a PPP survey, Clinton leads this block by 65-22 but Rubio leads by 50-41. There is no way for Murphy to win unless he could court the Hispanic voting bloc onto his hand. Leans R

Louisiana: This one is more likely than just a lean, given Louisiana’s tremendous Republican leaning. But Caroline Fayard and Foster Campbell are both strong candidates, and in the unrealistic situation of them facing each other in the runoff, Democrats would prevail. In every other case (Republican vs. Democrat or Republican vs. Republican), the Republican candidate would almost inevitably win.

 

Likely R:

Arizona: This race was only “lean” for a long time mainly because of McCain’s volatility in the primary. With McCain the Republican nominee he is most likely safe. Likely R

Georgia: This race would be competitive were the Democrats to run Nunn or Carter, but unfortunately this is not the case. With a Berniecrat on the ticket, Isakson is safe barring extremely unlikely conditions. Likely R

Iowa: Grassley is very popular among Iowans and the state is shifting to the right with Trump and Clinton neck-to-neck in this Obama firewall state.  Likely R.

Kentucky: The state has shifted heavily in the Republicans’ favor. While Paul looks potentially vulnerable with scarce polls showing him only up slightly (and Jim Gray being a perfect Kentucky Democrat), the state’s Republican leaning (and difficult of polling) gives Paul a significant (and almost insurmountable) edge. Likely R

Ohio: Portman initially looked vulnerable with him and Fmr. Gov. Ted Strickland neck-to-neck in the pollings before late April, but he was able to shake off all Strickland attacks by rebuking Strickland’s remarks as completely untrue (which is indeed the case; Portman supports gay marriage [largely because his son is gay] and is moderate on several other issues). Portman also highlighted Ohio’s recessionary economy during Strickland’s governorship, effectively shifting the race in his favor. Recent polling has shown slight sign of Strickland rebound but I remain skeptical. Likely R.

Arkansas: Like Kentucky, Arkansas realigned itself completely in the recent six years (with two Senate seats, four House seats, governor, statewide offices, and state legislatures all going Republican from Democratic). Boozman is very unpopular among Arkansas voters and Eldridge has run a reasonably good campaign (being a former U.S. Attorney and reasonably conservative on all issues but he’s no Kander), but this is not enough to unseat an incumbent Republican senator in a heavily Republican state. Likely R

 

Safe R:

Alaska: If Murkowski was able to beat Miller on write-in, she would be able to beat him again this time as the Republican nominee. Safe R.

Alabama, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina: no explanations needed. Safe R

 

 

 

 

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