The Senate 3: October rankings
Those who rank races as "toss-up" are the same who reply "whichever" when given several fire restaurant options for dinner.
When I began ordering and analyzing the cycle’s most competitive Senate races four months ago, I contemplated including eight, but ultimately settled on six based on historical outcomes in recent electoral history and my own hard learned lessons covering three previous midterms in Washington.
(Fewer seats are usually actually in play than either side sells you on. No, a 5-point race isn’t all that close. Getting over those last 2 points is painstakingly treacherous.)
Ohio will either turn out to be the surprise finish of the decade or the tempting tease our mother warned us about, a narrow Tim Ryan loss. North Carolina is another tantalizing prospect for Democrats this year, but the skeptic in me thinks its bait. A poll even popped up in Indiana earlier this week showing the Democrat — (I confess I didn’t know the guy’s name, did you #INSEN stalwarts?) in a statistical dead heat with first-term Republican Sen. Todd Young. (“Young has pissed off his base,” messaged a Democratic staffer. “No one has seen it coming.”)
But if states like Indiana and North Carolina and Ohio are falling into the Democratic column, then a lot — um, all? — of what we’ve been reporting on in the core Senate states is likely far adrift too.
So with 31 days left until E-Day, I’ve steeled myself to be coldly resolute and redzone-focused on the dwindling set of core highly competitive Senate races, where a shift of a point in either direction in a single state could drastically alter the final two years of the Biden administration’s first term.