August 17, 2017
The Cook Political Report has made five ratings changes in their 2018 Senate forecast. Four races have moved to toss-up, including Indiana, Missouri, Nevada and West Virginia. Of those, only Nevada currently has a Republican incumbent.
Republicans currently have 52 Senate seats, to 48 for the Democrats. The Democratic number includes two independents that caucus with that party. Given the current political climate, it would seem that the party should be well-positioned to gain seats and control in the 2018 midterms. However, as we've noted before, that is unlikely to happen. Only 9 of the 34 seats to be contested - including this year's Alabama special election - are held by Republicans. Of those, only two, Arizona and Nevada, are likely to be competitive. That means even if Democrats hold all 25 of their seats -- many of which are competitive -- and win those two Republican seats, they still only get to 50 seats. In that scenario, Vice-President Mike Pence would break the tie vote, and Republicans would retain control.
An increasingly blue state overall, the Cascade mountain range marks both a physical and political separation between largely liberal and conservative populations.
At the presidential level, the Magnolia State has voted for only one Democratic nominee since 1960. The population demographics drive remarkably consistent results every four years.
Rescheduled from April 4, this party primary was conducted exclusively by mail
15 seats were updated, 7 of which moved to safe for the November elections
This far out, polling may be of limited predictive value, but it will become more and more relevant as November draws closer