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RRH Elections October 2016 Senate Rankings

It is time once again to update our Senate Rankings. Here is this month’s map:

Safe D Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R Safe R
CA (OPEN) Likely Harris
CT (Blumenthal)
HI (Schatz)
NY (Schumer)
OR (Wyden)
VT (Leahy)
WA (Murray)
CO (Bennet) IL (Kirk)
WI (Johnson)
MO (Blunt)
NH (Ayotte)
NC (Burr)
PA (Toomey)
FL (Rubio) AZ (McCain)
GA (Isakson)
IA (Grassley)
OH (Portman)
AL (Shelby)
AK (Murkowski)
AR (Boozman)
ID (Crapo)
KS (Moran)
KY (Paul)
ND (Hoeven)
OK (Lankford)
SC (Scott)
SD (Thune)
UT (Lee)

Bold denotes a seat we project to flip partisan control; Italics denotes a D-held Tossup seat.

RRH Elections has made the following five changes to our Senate Ratings since our last post in September, two in Republicans’ favor:

Arizona Likely R from Lean R || Ohio Likely R from Lean R

Two in favor of Democrats:

Georgia Likely R from Safe R || Missouri Tossup from Lean R

And one intra-party rating change:

California Likely Harris from Lean Harris

These changes mean that we are projecting a net shift in the Senate of between D+1 and D+7, with our best guess estimate being a Democratic gain of 5 seats, for a 51D-49R Senate.

Flip over for the full narratives!

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Weekend Open Thread For October 21-23, 2016

Welcome to the weekend folks. Don’t forget to check back at noon tomorrow for our newest Senate Rankings. Here are some questions to get you started.

  1. Who are the biggest Republican winners of the 2016 election cycle? How about Democrats? (aside from Hillary Clinton).
  2. What will be the total 3rd party vote for presidential candidates? Will it exceed 10%?

Because it is the weekend…..we give you a supercut of the Democrats reaction to what Donald Trump has done to the GOP HERE


RRH Elections 2016 General Election Preview Series, Part 1: Northeast Legislatures

Today we are very proud to kick off our 2016 General Election Preview Series. The preview series will take place in 10 parts on the following schedule – each weekday at Noon ET for the next two weeks (with a break next Friday when we will be releasing our Vermont Poll):

Part 1 (Friday, October 21): Northeast Legislatures
Parts 2-4 (Monday, October 24 – Wednesday, October 26): Legislatures
Part 5 (Thursday, October 27): Local Elections and Public Service Commissioners
Parts 6-7 (Monday, October 31 – Tuesday, November 1): House Races
Parts 8-9 (Wednesday, November 2 – Thursday, November 3): Governor and Row Officer Races
Part 10 (Friday, November 4): Senate Races

I make no claim that this is a comprehensive directory of every single race; there may be some mildly competitive or even highly competitive races that I missed or cut out to save space and time. But this series will provide a few words to give a 30,000 foot assessment of almost every competitive legislative election in America this year. A few chambers are excluded: the states of CA, KY, MI, and MN will have top-notch diary series being done about them by jncca, GradyDem, ConservativeFirst and TwinPines, and OGGoldy, which I will not try to duplicate. I am also going to skip two chambers in New England, the NH and VT House. Both of these chambers, by far the two largest legislatures per capita (1 State Rep. for every 3300 people in NH and 1 for every 4200 people in VT), are in the situation where the interesting insights such previews will yield is totally minuscule in proportion to the effort needed to write them.

Today we start with the Northeast, covering 18 chambers in 10 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. In Yellow are states covered in this preview, white states will be covered in parts 2-4 next week, light gray are states others will cover in the diaries, and black are states with no legislative elections this year.

There are 5 competitive chambers in this update, four GOP-held (New Hampshire House and Senate, Maine Senate, New York Senate) and one Dem held (Maine House). Six  other chambers (the GOP-held West Virginia Senate and House and Pennsylvania House, and the Dem-held Connecticut Senate and House and Delaware Senate) are what I call “theoretically competitive”, meaning that control could flip if the minority party swept the competitive seats, but such a scenario is exceedingly unlikely.

This post will likely be the longest as the Northeast has a number of states with a ton of competitive legislative elections (namely Connecticut, Maine, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) so I wanted to put this post up first to give those interested more time to digest it.

Flip over for the full previews!

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Political Roundup for October 21, 2016

Please check back at Noon today for the first installment of our general election preivews, covering legislatures in the northeast. Also be sure to check out izengabe’s how-to guide to write-in voting.


Clinton fundraising: Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton super PAC, raised $24.6 million in September, its best fundraising month to date. With the super PAC swimming in cash and Clinton doing well enough in some swing states, they are now expanding the map and sending some money to races down the ballot. They recently decided to run ads for Clinton in Georgia, and are considering doing so in Arizona. Confident of their position in New Hampshire and Pennsylvnania, they have stopped advertising for Clinton in those states, and are now running ads against Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R) and Pat Toomey (R). They are also considering contributing to House races, although no decisions have been made yet.


CA-Sen: Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) has a huge money lead over Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) going into the final stretch of their campaigns for Senate. She has a more than 4-1 cash on hand lead with over $4 million in her campaign account compared to $879,000 for Sanchez.

FL-Sen: Sen. Marco Rubio (R) has walked a fine line on Donald Trump, endorsing him but not really enbracing him. President Obama took him to task yesterday for his position on Trump, pointing out in a rally in Miami that Rubio called Trump a “con artist” during the primaries, but now says he plans to vote for him. Obama said of Rubio “that’s a sign of somebody who will say anything, do anything, pretend to be anybody just to get elected.”

More FL-Sen: Sen. Marco Rubio (R) appeared to rule out a 2020 presidential bid in a Wednesday radio interview. He said “if I wanted to run for something else, I wouldn’t have run for Senate.” He also said “If I wanted to run for president in 4 years, I would have just stayed out of this race and started running on November the 9, which a lot of other people are going to do.”

LA-Sen: New Orleans economic development official Abhay Patel (R) is dropping out of the race for US Senate and endorsing Rep. Charles Boustany (R). Patel was one of 24 people to file for the race, but never received much attention in a race with many well-known names. Patel appeared with Boustany in the New Orleans area to make the endorsement calling Boustany a “man of integrity who has devoted his life to getting results.”

NV-Sen: Although Sen. Harry Reid (D) is not on the ballot this year, the race to replace him is being seen as his last stand. Reid has been vocal in his criticism of Rep. Joe Heck (R), calling him a “mini-Trump”, despite Heck saying recently that he now will not vote for him. Heck has also turned things around on Catherine Cortez Masto (D) by accusing her of being hypocritical for criticizing controversial things Trump has said, but not criticizing some of Reid’s own outrageous comments. Heck also has to walk a fine line on Trump, choosing not to criticize him publicly at a recent rally in Ely where some in the audience were wearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats. There is concern that some Trump-supporting Republicans will use Nevada’s famous “None of the Above” option in protest against Heck saying he will not vote for Trump.

NH-Sen: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is criticizing Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the presidential election in advance, saying “The voters are going to decide this election, and Donald Trump needs to accept the outcome. If there are reports that need to be investigated, they will be, as I used to do as Attorney General.” Ayotte has been accused by Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) of not standing up to Trump enough.


CA-10, CA-25, CA-49: Two national political analysts are increasingly seeing 3 Republican held seats in danger due at least in part to Trump. The Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball have both moved the Republican held seats of Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10), Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25), and Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49) from “lean Republican” to “toss-up”. Trump being a bad fit for California, dispirited Republicans not turning out, and the US Senate race featuring two Democrats are cited as reasons why the 3 seats are more vulnerable.

Governor/State offices:

OK-Gov 2018: Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) says he is considering running for governor in 2018 and will make a decision sometime after the November election. Pruitt had also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the OK-1 congressional seat in 2018 as Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) appears set on sticking to a three term limit pledge he made when he first ran. However, Pruitt says he is not considering a run for Congress.

WA Republicans/Trump: The state of Washington appears to be the strongest hotbed of anti-Trump sentiment among Republican candidates. Only one Republican for statewide office, LG candidate Marty McClendon has pledged to support him. Others, including gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant, US Senate nominee Chris Vance, state treasurer candidates Michael Waite and Duane Davidson and state auditor candidate Mark Miloscia have either said they will not support him or have refused to say who they will support.


Afternoon Polling Roundup for October 20, 2016

President(National): All are 4-way race numbers

Economist/YouGov: Clinton up 42-38.

Investors Business Daily: Trump up 41-40. Stein takes 6% in this poll, much higher than other polls.

Quinnipiac: Clinton up 47-40.

Reuters/Ipsos: Clinton up 42-38.


Arizona(Arizona Republic): Clinton up 43-38.

Kansas(SUSA): Trump up 47-36.

Missouri(Emerson): Trump up 47-39.

New Hampshire(Emerson): Clinton up 44-36.

New Hampshire(WMUR/UNH): Clinton up 49-34.

New York(Siena): Clinton up 54-30.

North Carolina(Civitas): Clinton up 45-43.

North Carolina(SUSA): Clinton up 46-44.

Ohio(Suffolk): Clinton and Trump tied at 45.

Pennsylvania(Emerson): Clinton up 45-41.

Utah(Emerson): Evan McMullin leads Trump and Clinton 31-27-24.


KS-Sen(SUSA): Moran up 56-31.

MO-Sen(Emerson): Blunt and Kander are tied at 44.

NH-Sen(Emerson): Ayotte and Hassan are tied at 45.

NC-Sen(Civitas): Burr leads 45-37.

NC-Sen(SUSA): Burr leads 45-43.

OH-Sen(Suffolk): Portman leads 46-31.

PA-Sen(Emerson): Toomey leads 46-43.


NC-Gov(SUSA): Cooper leads 47-45.

NC-Gov(Civitas): McCrory leads 46-44.




Political Roundup for October 20, 2016

How did last night’s presidential debate play in Vermont? Find out by donating to RRHElections HERE and help us poll Vermont! RRH is a volunteer site. None of us are getting paid and all money we raise through donations and ads gets put back into this site and into conducting polls. We are hobbyist whose hobby happens to be politics. As such we are really the only volunteer hobbyist pollsters in existence. By donating to us you can be part of the process of taking the power of polling away from the cabal of corporate media insiders who are rigging this election and putting it back in the hands of us grassroots volunteers! So please click HERE and donate to our polling fund today!!!!


Trump: At the third presidential debate the Republican candidate for President of the United States refused to state if he would accept the results of the American presidential election if he lost to Hillary Clinton. This was an extraordinary departure from the basic principles that have underpinned American democracy for more than two centuries. The GOP should be ashamed of itself for nominating this man.

Hillary: As part of their efforts to help Donald Trump win the Republican presidential nomination the Hillary Clinton campaign paid agitators to incite violence at Trump rallies during the Republican primaries. The ensuing backlash against the violence the Clinton campaign instigated helped generate attention for Donald Trump and propelled him to victory in the GOP primaries.

McMullin: The latest Emerson College poll of Utah has Evan McMullin winning the state! They have Evan McMullin leading Donald Trump by 4 points, 31% to 27%, with Clinton taking 24%. If McMullin wins Utah it will be the first time in 48 years that a third party candidate has won a state in a presidential election.


FL-Sen: President Barack Obama speaks very bad Spanish in a new ad for certified public accountant Patrick Erin Murphy (D). The latest polls show Sen. Marco Rubio (R) doing very well with Hispanic voters in Florida. As “immigrant” Patrick Erin Murphy makes clear in an even worst Spanish accent at the end of the ad “Soy Patrick Murphy y aprego este mensaje”. Murphy is paying for this ad himself because the DCCC has pulled out of Florida and has left him on his own with nothing to fall back on other than his daddy’s money and his Saudi straw donors.

NC-Sen The League of Conservation Voters and LCV Victory Fund announced a $3 million TV ad buy against Sen. Richard Burr (R). Burr was previously endorsed in August by the ClearPath Action Fund which has spent $500,000 on his behalf.

PA-Sen: The Club for Grown reminds us that Katie McGinty is a tax hiking crook with an $800,000 ad buy.

PA-Sen: The Democrat Senate Majority PAC hits Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in their new ad on all of Donald Trump’s talking points, for supporting NAFTA, free trade and “China”. No word yet if this ad means that Democrat Katie McGinty is really a Trumpkin on trade.

NV-Sen: CNN got hold of an audio tape of Rep. Joe Heck (R) explaining why he really wants to support Donald Trump but his conscience won’t let him. Heck’s wife was a victim of domestic abuse during a previous relationship and this issue of sexual assault of women cuts close to home for him.

UT-Sen ’18: In what could be a huge blow to Evan McMullin, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) is considering reversing his 2012 declaration that he would retire at the end of his current term and might seek an eighth term in 2018.


CA-7: The NRCC’s new ad argues that Rep. Ami Berra (D) is either criminally culpable or completely incompetent for claiming he didn’t know about the campaign finance money laundering scheme that got him elected to Congress and landed his father in jail.

CA-10: The DCCC goes after Republican Rep. Jeff Denham for refusing to disavow Donald Trump.

CA-49:  Republican Rep. Darrell Issa’s latest campaign mailer highlights his working with President Obama to pass legislation.

CO-6: All politics are local. Every district has certain unique communities which make certain issues more important than others. The D+1 CO-6 has a growing Ethiopian immigrant community and Republican Rep. Mike Coffman’s latest ad features his outreach to them after an ISIS terrorist attack on Ethiopian Christians.

FL-18: Crooked contractor Randy Perkins (D) new ad tries to tie war hero Brian Mast (R) to draft dodger Donald Trump. Perkins has released a series of negative ads on Mast which all conveniently feature pictures of Mast, who lost both legs serving his country in Afghanistan, from the waist up.

IL-10 & CA-25: Democrats Brad Schneider and Bryan Caforio have become the first House candidates to have Barack Obama cut a general election ad for them. Schneider is running in an D+8 district vs Rep. Bob Dold (R) and Caforio is running in the R+3 CA-25 vs. Rep. Steve Knight (R) . It is kind of amazing to think that we are less than 3 weeks from election day and these are the first two campaign ad we have seen directly staring Obama for any Democrat House candidate. Also of note is the fact that these two ads were cut at the same time. Obama is wearing the same tie and same suit in both ads and they are shot in the same room. Its pretty clear that they just sat the President down and had him read off a bunch of canned endorsements at the same time.

MT-AL: The House Majority PAC is investing $451,000 on behalf of Democrat Denise Juneau in her race against Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke. Zinke’s internals have him ahead by a 49-38 margin and even Juneau’s own internal have Zinke leading by 3 points. Unfortunately Montana does not allow robocalling so public polling has been scare here.

State, Local & Other:

Nassau County Executive: Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano (R) is expected to be charged Thursday with federal corruption. The charges are expected to center on Mangano’s ties to federally-indicted Long Island restaurant magnate Harendra Singh, and will allege that Mangano helped Singh with business deals and in return was treated to free vacations and other perks. Singh is also assisting the feds in an investigation into Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fundraising. At this point it is unclear whether these charges are related to that investigation.


2016 Presidential Debate #3 Open Thread

This is an open thread for the third presidential debate, which will air at 9p ET on all major networks. So tune in to see two awful people berate each other for 90 minutes one last time; here is an open thread for all discussion.


Afternoon Polling Roundup for October 19, 2016

We will have an open thread for tonight’s debate starting at 8pm Eastern.

President – National:

Bloomberg: Clinton 47 Trump 38 Johnson 8 Stein 3

Boston Globe: Clinton 46 Trump 36 Johnson 5 Stein 2

President – States & Senate:

Colorado: Magellan has Clinton up 40-35 while Sen. Michael Bennet (D) leads Darryl Glenn (R) 47-32.

Indiana: Ball State has ex-Sen. Evan Bayh (D) up 49-43 on Rep. Todd Young (R).

Oregon: DHM research has Clinton up 43-36, Gov. Kate Brown (D) leading physician Bud Pierce (R) 46-33, and ex-State Rep. Dennis Richardson (R) leading Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian (D) 33-29 for SoS.

Vermont: We have our first Vermont poll, from VPR/Castleton, but it’s not all that great: While Clinton has a huge lead in the state as expected, the more pertinent part of the poll shows LG Phil Scott (R) leading ex-State Rep. Sue Minter (D) 39-38, which seems an implausibly high number of undecided voters for such a late date. Dems lead for all the downballot Row Officer races.

Wisconsin: Monmouth has Clinton up 47-40 while ex-Sen. Russ Feingold (D) leads Sen. Ron JOhnson (R) 52-44.


MI-8: Rep. Mike Bishop (R) has an internal from POS with him up 49-31 on prosecutor Susana Shkreli (D).

MN-2: SUSA has businesswoman Angie Craig (D) up 46-41 on talk radio host Jason Lewis (R).

UT-4: An internal for Doug Ownes (D) has him trailing Rep. Mia Love (R) 50-40.


Political Roundup for October 19, 2016

We’d like to announce a great new feature – for the next few weeks Jon Henrik Gilhuus has made up an amazing Polling Resources Page. It has an easy-to-use collection of all recent polls, and is accessible under the “Resources” tab. Check it out!

Also, an important announcement, we would like to poll Vermont, but we are far short of funds. If we can raise $450 by Friday using the Donate button to the right, we will move forward; if not, we will hold any donated funds for the next polling opportunity. If for some reason we get the money but can’t poll Vermont, we will attempt to poll Montana as a backup. We have received about $200, so we just need $250! Please donate today!


Voter Fraud: Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said that “people from the cemetery” will be voting.

Shifting coalitions: 538 has a decent take on where Trump and Clinton should shift PVIs.


PA-Sen: The first debate between Sen. Pat Toomey (R) and ex-Gov. Wolf CoS Katie McGinty (D) went about as expected but was still heated, with Toomey being pressed on his silence over Trump and McGinty taking heat for allegedly personally benefiting from state grants she oversaw.

MA-Sen ’18: Former Red Sox pitcher turned failed video game company executive Curt Schilling (R) will run for Senate against Elizabeth Warren (D) in 2018.


AL-Gov ’18: State House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D) will consider a run for Governor in 2018. Ford seems likely to have a very tough race in deep-red Alabama even with an open seat.

GA-Gov ’18: Speculation is growing that Rep. Tom Price (R) will run for Governor in 2018 after he has given $50K to various state legislative candidates.


NY-22: The US Chamber of Commerce has endorsed businessman Martin Babinec (I), the only third-party candidate with a legit shot at getting to Congress this year. Babinec has been taking a little under a quarter of the vote against State Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) and Broome County commissioner Kim Myers (D) in this light-red Binghamton to Utica seat, but this is the first major group to cast its lot in with him.

State & Local:

IL-Comp: The normally liberal Chicago Sun-Times has endorsed  appointed incumbent Leslie Munger (R) in her race against Chicago city clerk Susana Mendoza (D). The race has become another battle in the massive war between Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) and State House Speaker Mike Madigan (D).

OR-SoS: Here is a competently-done overview of the most competitive statewide contest in Oregon this year, the race for SoS between ex-State Rep. and 2014 Gov nominee Dennis Richardson (R) and Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian (D). Richardson is running a relatively nonpartisan, competence-based campaign, while Avakian is stressing his bona-fides as a bold progressive in the blue state.


Afternoon Polling Roundup for October 18, 2016



  • COLORADO: Clinton 45 – Trump 37, Johnson 10
  • FLORIDA: Clinton 48 – Trump 44, Johnson 4
  • OHIO: Trump 45 – Clinton 45, Johnson 6
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Clinton 47 – Trump 41, Johnson 6

NBCNews/SurveyMonkey: Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 8, Stein 4

Morning Consult (Berks County): Clinton 41 Trump 38

Rasmussen: Clinton 42 Trump 41



  • COLORADO: Bennet 56 – Glenn 38
  • FLORIDA: Rubio 49 – Murphy 47
  • OHIO: Portman 54 – Strickland 41
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Toomey 49 – McGinty 45


VT-Gov: There is no poll of the Vermont Governor’s race! Help us poll Vermont. We are crowdsourcing the effort so please make a donate to RRHElections by clicking HERE!