AK House and MN Senate move leftward, “Super Junesday,” and more

In our post-Super Junesday forecast update, we have 30 rating changes, 17 in the leftward direction and 13 in the rightward direction. Of these 29 changes, only 1 is in a district that isn’t in a state legislature: IA-04, which we are moving from Likely R to Safe R after Steve King, the controversial white nationalist Congressman, lost his re-election bid in the Republican primary on Tuesday. King’s district, which voted for Trump by over 20 points, is an easy hold for a regular Republican.

US House Rating Changes

  1. IA-04 | Likely R → Safe R

We also have two rating changes in state legislative chambers, and both are very important ones: the Alaska House is being moved from Toss-Up to Tilt D, as the path for Republicans to create a regular majority in the chamber that does not rely on winning back Republicans who are caucusing with the Democrat-aligned majority coalition narrows. To do this, Republicans need to beat 4 out of the 4 Benedict Arnold Republicans they’re contesting in the upcoming August primaries, and given their previous attempts to do so in 2018, that’s a high bar. We are also moving the Minnesota Senate from Toss-Up back into the Tilt D category after reanalyzing the chamber. As of now, there are no Toss-Up state legislative chambers.

First up in our state legislative rating changes are in Minnesota’s State Senate. After reanalyzing the districts, it seems that our initial ratings relied too heavily on 2016 results, and too little on 2018 results, so we have 9 appropriate rating changes in the chamber after reanalyzing some districts; 8 are in the favor of Democrats.

  1. MN SD-33 | Safe R → Likely R
  2. MN SD-36 | Lean D → Likely D
  3. MN SD-38 | Likely R → Lean R
  4. MN SD-42 | Likely D → Safe D
  5. MN SD-56 | Lean R → Toss-Up
  6. MN SD-49 | Likely D → Safe D
  7. MN SD-51 | Likely D → Safe D
  8. MN SD-53 | Lean D → Likely D
  9. MN SD-58 | Tilt D → Toss-Up

Next up are competitive seats we’ve recently identified as open thanks to filing reports, making them even more competitive. 5 are in the rightward direction, 4 are in the leftward direction.

  1. KS HD-41 | Likely D → Lean D
  2. KS HD-87 | Lean R → Tilt R
  3. MN HD-56B | Lean D → Tilt D
  4. MN SD-44 | Lean D → Likely D
  5. VT HD-Orange-Caledonia | Lean D → Toss-Up
  6. WI HD-30 | Lean R → Tilt R
  7. WY HD-22 | Lean I → Likely I
  8. WY HD-45 | Likely D → Lean D
  9. WY HD-60 | Likely D → Toss-Up

We have 2 more open seats too, but these were forced retirements: in the New Mexico Senate, two conservative Democrats representing Trump-carried districts lost their primaries on Tuesday by progressive candidates. This makes it harder for Democrats to hold the districts, but they’re pretty Democratic down ballot so they’re currently favored (only slightly) right now.

  1. NM SD-30 | Likely D→ Tilt D
  2. NM SD-35 | Likely D→ Tilt D

Next up is recruitment in states where we’ve recently gone through candidate filings as deadlines have passed. 4 are in the leftward direction and 4 are in the rightward direction.

  1. WY SD-19 | Likely R → Safe R ; Independent who came close to winning in 2016 decided against running, and the seat is too red for a Democrat to win.
  2. WY SD-12 | Likely D → Lean D ; Strong candidate recruited in Sweetwater County Commissioner John Kolb. Liisa Anselmi-Dalton (D) [I] was left uncontested in 2016, so expect a competitive race.
  3. WY HD-Windsor 2 | Lean D → Likely D ; No Republican candidate filed. 3rd party filing deadline is this Summer.
  4. WY HD-Windsor-Orange 1 | Likely D → Safe D ; No Republican candidate filed. 3rd party filing deadline is this Summer.
  5. AK HD-1 | Toss-Up → Safe D ; Republican incumbent Bart LeBon, who caucuses with the Democrat-aligned majority coalition, is not facing a primary opponent, making it a functionally Democrat-won race.
  6. AK HD-32 | Safe R → Safe D ; Republican incumbent Louise Stutes, who caucuses with the Democrat-aligned majority coalition, is not facing a primary opponent, making it a functionally Democrat-won race.
  7. AK SD-B | Lean R → Likely R ; Democrats did not recruit a candidate in this Fairbanks seat: two Independents are running against Republicans.
  8. WI SD-30 | Tilt R → Lean R ; Republicans recruited a strong candidate in Eric Wimberger, who lost the seat in 2016 by just 2.6%. Wimberger lost to incumbent Democrat Dave Hansen, who is vacating his seat this year. His nephew, Jonathon Hansen, is running for the seat.

Finally, we have one more rating change in Massachusetts thanks to a special election we were unfortunately not aware of. Democrats flipped the 3rd seat in a MA state legislative seat this year in the 3rd Bristol district in the State House. This would have been Safe R if the Republican incumbent had ran for re-election, but she vacated her seat to become Mayor of a township, calling for the special election.

  1. MA HD-3rd Bristol | Safe R → Tilt D

Of the 5,235 single-member state legislative districts up this year in regular elections, 1,117 are competitive (384 Likely, 381 Lean, 206 Tilt, 146 Toss-Up), or 21.34%. 1,422 are uncontested (622 Uncontested D, 796 Uncontested R, 4 Uncontested I), or 27.16%. 2,696 are safe (1,343 D, 1,350 R, 3 I), or 51.5%.

54 districts are currently projected to flip (26 D to R, 1 I to D, 1 I to R, 26 R to D).