CO & ME-Sen: Senate Ratings Changes, “Gardner (R) now an underdog, Collins (R) more at risk”

Nathan L. Gonzales, Editor & Publisher of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report,  has a piece out in Roll Call where he discusses the status of the. upcoming Senate elections. He does not bear good news for two GOP Senators. First up, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R. CO):

GOP Sen. Cory Gardner should be regarded as an underdog in Colorado, where the race has moved to Tilts Democratic from Toss-up. Republicans are confident they have the better candidate in the likely general election matchup between the senator and former Denver mayor/former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, but the numbers are working against Gardner.

He’s been trailing Hickenlooper for months, and it will be difficult for him to climb back with the state’s political lean working against him. Trump lost Colorado by 5 points in 2016, and he’ll likely struggle there again. Gardner can win this race but to continue rating it a Toss-up would be overstating his chances of winning a second term.

Gardner isn’t the first incumbent this cycle to be deemed an underdog. After his special election victory, Alabama Democrat Doug Jones faces a difficult election for a full term in a state Trump won by more than 25 points. His race has been rated Leans Republican since Inside Elections initial ratings for the cycle in January 2019.

In recent years, other incumbents have headed into Election Day as underdogs.

The Rothenberg Political Report shifted the Arkansas Senate race from Toss-up to Tilts Republican in December 2013. Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor lost reelection by 17 points. The Illinois Senate race went from Toss-up to Tilts Democratic in May 2015 and to Leans Democratic in May 2016. Republican Sen. Mark S. Kirk lost reelection by 15 points. And last cycle, the North Dakota Senate race shifted from Toss-up to Tilts Republican in July 2018. Four months later, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp lost by 11 points.

Next up, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R. ME):

In Maine, Republican Susan Collins is in the middle of the most difficult Senate race of her career. Her personal and job approval ratings continue to deteriorate, and her advantage in ballot tests against Democratic state House Speaker Sara Gideon is slipping as well. Collins has disposed of credible candidates in the past, but this race will be more challenging. The Maine Senate race is now rated a Toss-up from Tilts Republican.

Let’s flip both of these seats. Click below to donate and get involved with John Hickenlooper (D. CO) and Sara Gideon’s (D. ME) campaigns:

John Hickenlooper

Sara Gideon