Commentary: The Top 10 U.S. Senate Races to Watch

Americans will soon get to cast their first votes since the science–denying COVID mask and vaccine mandates, the second wave of COVID-related blowout spending and subsequent inflation, and the COVID-related school closures that allowed parents to see what the public schools are really teaching their boys and girls – including that they can choose whether they are boys or girls. With all of these matters implicitly on the ballot, how are things shaping up going into Election Day?

Starting with the House of Representatives, six months ago Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report projected “a GOP gain in the 15-25 seat range.” At the time, I responded, “While things could change over the next six months (although the cake is probably largely baked), a GOP gain of 30 to 40 House seats appears more likely at this stage of the contest than Walter’s projected GOP gain of 15 to 25 seats.”

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Analysts Now Treating Pennsylvania Senate Race as a Toss-Up

After an uninterrupted stretch of good polling news for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (D) in his U.S. Senate race against Republican celebrity surgeon Mehmet Oz, major analysts now suggest the race could go either way. 

The Cook Political Report and the data aggregator FiveThirtyEight both came out with assessments of recent survey data leading them to conclude Oz can win. 

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Cook Report Signals Trouble for Oz, Though Fetterman’s Had a Rough Return to the Campaign Trail

The Cook Political Report this week changed its description of the Pennsylvania Senate race from “toss up” to “lean Democrat,” signaling trouble for Republican candidate Mehmet Oz, even as Democrat John Fetterman struggles with his return to the campaign trail. 

Cook’s shifting outlook on the Senate contest is partly a response to figures on the FiveThirtyEight data-analysis website showing that Oz, a celebrity doctor, trails Fetterman, the lieutenant governor, by an average of 11.5 percentage points. 

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Cook Political Report Gives GOP Heightened Chance of Gaining Two Connecticut Congressional Seats

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report updated its analysis of congressional races this week to indicate 10 contests have a heightened chance of favoring Republicans, including two races in Connecticut.

Cook previously deemed Connecticut’s Second Congressional District, now held by Democrat Joe Courtney, “Solid D[emocratic]”; the journal now considers the district “Likely D.” And the state’s Fifth Congressional District, represented by Jahana Hayes, was moved from “Likely D” to “Lean D.”

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Two Key Senate Races Moved in GOP’s Direction by Noted Election Handicapper Cook Political Report

Richard Burr and Michael Bennet

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report on Friday shifted its forecasts for two 2022 Senate races in the direction of Republicans.

The report moved the North Carolina Senate race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr moved from “toss-up” to “likely Republican.” And moved the Colorado Senate race, in which Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet is seeking a third term, from “solid Democrat” into the “likely Democrat” catagory.

The North Carolina GOP primary is now a competitive race between former President Trump-endorsed Rep. Ted Budd, former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker, with (with Budd and McCrory currently deadlocked).

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Another Election Analysis Firm Shifts Rating to Show a More Competitive Virginia Gubernatorial Race

Inside Elections updated their Virginia gubernatorial race rating Wednesday, shifting from Likely Democratic to Lean Democratic.

“Former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has had a consistent advantage over Republican Glenn Youngkin in the commonwealth, but some Democratic strategists are concerned about President Joe Biden’s drag on the race and about the lack of urgency on the Democratic side,” Inside Elections’ Nathan Gonzales wrote. “The public polling points to a very competitive race. McAuliffe is ahead of Youngkin by three points in both the FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics polling averages, neither of which have changed much in the last six weeks.”

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Virginia’s 5th Congressional District Race Eve of Election Day Update

Election week is finally here and the candidates vying for Virginia’s highly competitive 5th Congressional District are preparing for a busy yet momentous Tuesday.

On the eve of Election Day, both Bob Good (R) and Cameron Webb (D) are feeling confident in their odds of winning the race for a seat left vacant after freshman Representative Denver Riggleman (R-VA-05) lost in a Republican primary this summer. 

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Follow the Money: Where Big Dollars Are Flowing for Virginia Congressional Candidates

As the 2020 election season comes to an end and Virginia’s congressional candidates are making their last pushes to secure a better chance at winning, millions of dollars have already been poured into races by political action committees (PAC) and other organizations looking to influence the elections one way or another. 

Those types of campaign funds are known as independent expenditures, meaning money that is spent without the coordination of a campaign or candidate and often result in attack ads primarily seen on social media or TV. 

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In New Jersey, Rep. Van Drew’s Democrat Challenger – Wife of Patrick Kennedy – Raises Money to Bail out Rapists and Defendants Charged with Terrorism, Kidnapping, Murder

The leftwing Democrat running against Rep. Jefferson H. “Jeff” Van Drew (R.-N.J.) has put her money where her mouth is , and is raising money to bail out rapists and at least one defendant facing terror terrorism charges at the same time she is challenging the one-time Democrat, who switched parties after voting against impeaching President Donald Trump.

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