6/9/21 Senate Ratings

There should be no controversy over these safe states

A few states I am rating safe that not everyone always does are Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, and Florida.

CO: The trends here have been reasonably consistent downballot, and with Bennet’s incumbency he should be fine

OH: Ohio is very red at this point, going for Trump by 8 and House Republicans by 14. No ability for Democrats to compete here anymore

IA: In addition to being quite red, Grassley is an extremely strong incumbent and will win easily

FL: Rubio won by 8 points last time, and FL has gotten redder since then. Rubio did about 15 points better than trump in Miami-Dade in 2016, and will likely overperform Trump 2020 there. No evidence to suggest any level of danger for Rubio in 2022.

Competitive states:

AZ: Mark Kelly is a decent candidate. He overperformed Biden by about 2 points, although against a fairly poor Republican in McSally. His likely Opponent is AG Mark Brnovich, who won by 3 points in 2018, which is equally impressive. AZ is slightly redder downballot, and was barely won by Biden, so Kelly is likely to lose narrowly based primarily on environment. Lean R

NV: CCM matched Hillary Clinton and Biden’s margins in NV in 2016 and 2020, about 2.5 points. This will be a competitive race, although the strongest republican candidates, Marc Amodei and Brian Sandoval probably are not going to run. If Adam Laxalt, who has been involved in some conspiracy theories, runs, CCM will probably win. Although it is worth considering Laxalt didn’t do that poorly in 2018, and there has been some turmoil in the state democratic party. Even with Laxalt it is a competitive race but I will give CCM the edge for now. Lean D

GA: Warnock won a close race in the unusual circumstances of the runoffs, while Biden won the state by .2%. However Perdue and the House Republicans won by 2% each, suggesting that GA has some conservative Biden voters. In Georgia, Dems need a lot of black voters to win, and their turnout is likely to drop, it even did in 2018, which is a big problem. Its also likely that Republicans gain some ground back with white voters. The main things Dems have going for them are democrats moving into the state, but its unlikely that Warnock will be able to get strong enough margins with white voters to win, especially since Kelvin King and Gary Black are 2 strong republican candidates for the seat. Lean R

NC: North Carolina has been a very consistent R+6-7 PVI since 2008. There are also some democrats moving here like in Georgia, but not nearly in the same volume, and also are less black, which is advantageous to republicans. Tillis did better than Trump despite being pretty unpopular, and so did house Republicans. in 2010 Richard Burr won by 12 points, which is pretty unlikely but it is very difficult to see Democrats winning this state in a Biden midterm of all years after getting swept at the federal level for the last 12 years. Likely R

WI: Wisconsin is on the verge of becoming a pretty red state. Trump lost is by 0.6, but House Republicans won by 3 points. The demographics are quite good for Republicans, with it being very white and rural, and unlike some other states its suburbs have remained heavily republican, especially when Trump is not on the ballot. Johnson, who I expect to retire, comfortably won his last 2 races, outperforming trump. If he doesn’t retire it could be slightly more competitive since he has gotten himself into election fraud trouble but it is still likely he wins. More likely is that he retires and someone like Mike Gallagher or Brian Stiel, strong candidates, replace him. Any republican should be able to win Wisconsin however, considering it already leans Republican and there is a lot of room to grow and not a ton to lose. Lean R

PA: This is the republicans’ race to lose. Democrats do not have any exceptional candidates, other than Madeline Dean who has not decided if she is running or not. John Fetterman, the LTG, is probably going to be the nominee at this rate. He isn’t a very strong candidate, with rather weak primary performances and strange stances, such as his obsessive support for Marijuana. He isn’t the moderate candidate like Biden or Josh Shapiro that generally wins Pennsylvania. Republicans have been otherwise quite strong in PA, winning the Treasurer’s race against the incumbent Democrat, winning the open Auditor’s seat by about 3 points, and winning the house popular vote by a point. Sean Parnell is the likely Republican candidate, who is trump friendly and conservative but not a wild unelectable candidate like Josh Mandel in Ohio to the point that he would pose a significant problem in suburban areas. Pennsylvania is slightly republican leaning, and with nothing looking to give democrats a significant boost they should lose this race. Lean R

NH: This one should be approached with extreme caution, because there is a big difference between state and federal races. Assuming Chris Sununu is running, NH will be very competitive. Maggie Hassan had a fairly impressive performance in 2016, about matching Hillary Clinton against the incumbent senator Ayotte. Biden did very well in NH, winning it by over 7 points, but it is a very swingy and fickle state, so it is hard to be sure exactly what it’s true partisanship is, although it certainly leans democratic at least somewhat. Despite failures by governors in Montana and Tennessee in recent years, they still have had strong performances considering their state. Rick Scott did pretty well in Florida in 2018 considering the D+8 environment and that he was running against a long time incumbent. NH is not nearly as blue as TN or MT were blue, and considering his landslide wins and consistent popularity, he can probably beat Hassan. Although I view this with much less certainty than a lot of other people seem to, and is probably the least secure of the Lean R states.