Our First State Legislative Forecast Update

Since CNalysis launched its forecast for state legislative elections on March 1st, there have been 8 candidacy filing deadlines that have passed. These deadlines were in the states of Nebraska, Georgia, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, Iowa and Nevada. We have updated our forecast after looking at these deadlines (with the exception of Nevada since they haven’t updated their candidate list), now showing candidate names in those states as well as uncontested districts. We’ve made rating changes in some of these states (as well as a few others) as a result of identifying seats where an incumbent is not seeking re-election in a competitive district this year. Additionally, single-member district ratings in the state of Vermont have been added to our forecast.

Primaries in the states of Arkansas, California, Texas and North Carolina occured on Super Tuesday, so we have updated some ratings in those states as a result of the primary results there, and nominee names are now added. Texas however still has some districts with nominees marked as “TBA” because they have runoff primaries in May in districts where no one got a majority of the vote in their respective party’s primary. Please note that we are not listing rating changes that result in a district being marked as uncontested.

First up are our rating changes we are making because of recently identified open seats in competitive districts, where the incumbent is not seeking re-election. Losing the incumbency advantage usually hurts a party’s chances of holding a district, unless the incumbent is scandal-plagued or controversial in any other manner.

  1. GA SD-48 | Lean D → Tilt D
  2. IA HD-91 | Tilt R → Toss-Up
  3. IA SD-22 | Toss-Up → Tilt D
  4. ID HD-05A | Tilt R → Toss-Up
  5. MT HD-03 | Tilt D → Toss-Up
  6. MT HD-26 | Tilt D → Toss-Up
  7. MT HD-28 | Likely D → Lean D
  8. MT HD-65 | Safe D → Likely D
  9. MT SD-39 | Likely D → Lean D
  10. NM HD-20 | Tilt D → Toss-Up
  11. NM HD-22 | Tilt R → Toss-Up
  12. NM SD-09 | Lean D → Tilt D
  13. NM SD-20 | Lean R → Tilt R

Next are rating changes made because of the results of the primaries on Super Tuesday.

  1. CA AD-36 | Toss-Up → Likely R ; Republican incumbent performed well in top-two primary and will face off against three-time loser Democrat who is credibly accused of sexual harassment
  2. CA AD-73 | Safe R → Likely R ; Republican incumbent defeated in primary
  3. NC HD-43 | Tilt D → Toss-Up ; Democrat incumbent defeated in primary

Candidate recruitment is also an important factor in our ratings, of course. Bringing strong recruitment to a race can very much change a rating in our forecast. Here are the rating changes where recruitment has altered a rating.

  1. AK HD-27 | Tilt R → Toss-Up ; Democrat candidate who narrowly lost in 2018 posts very strong fundraising numbers
  2. IA HD-64 | Safe D → Lean D ; Strong Republican candidate recruited in Trump district where the incumbent Democrat has usually faced weak opposition
  3. IA HD-82 | Tilt R → Toss-Up ; Former incumbent Democrat who lost by 37 votes in 2018 making a comeback bid
  4. ID HD-29A | Lean D → Tilt D ; Former incumbent Republican who lost by 337 votes in 2018 making a comeback bid
  5. MT SD-22 | Toss-Up → Tilt D ; Perfect Democrat candidate recruited in a majority Native-American State Senate district nesting two Safe Democrat districts. Rae Peppers is a current State Representative from a reservation in the district. Democrats lost this district in 2016 because they had a weak candidate from outside of the district, not being able to get Native American support
  6. NY SD-40 | Lean D → Tilt D ; Perfect Republican recruit who faced off against Andrew Cuomo in the 2014 New York Gubernatorial election and carried the district that year faces off against freshman incumbent Democrat who flipped the district in 2018

As a result of the ratings listed above in the Iowa House of Representatives, where Democrats have improved their odds, we are making this rating change in our state legislative chamber forecast:

  1. IA State House | Tilt R → Toss-Up

Finally, we are also making 10 rating changes in the Kentucky House of Representatives as a result of a special election in a traditionally Democratic district in Eastern Kentucky. In KY HD-99, Rocky Adkins (D), a hometown hero of Eastern Kentucky who came in 2nd in the Democratic primary for Kentucky Governor last year, vacated his seat to work for Governor Andy Beshear (D). Adkins won re-election in 2016 by 31.99% and was left uncontested in 2018. In an upset, Republicans flipped this district in a recent special election, beating Adkins-endorsed Bill Redwine (D) by about 11.44%. This is a result of the region drifting rightward, as well as other Trump-won rural districts in Kentucky. All 10 rating changes are in the rightward direction. Kentucky Democrats are going to get bent like a glow stick this fall, taking the biggest beating of any state party.

  1. KY HD-08 | Likely R → Safe R
  2. KY HD-11 | Tilt D → Toss-Up
  3. KY HD-13 | Toss-Up → Tilt R
  4. KY HD-47 | Tilt R → Lean R
  5. KY HD-70 | Toss-Up → Tilt R
  6. KY HD-81 | Toss-Up → Tilt R
  7. KY HD-93 | Toss-Up → Lean R
  8. KY HD-95 | Tilt D → Toss-Up
  9. KY HD-96 | Tilt R → Lean R
  10. KY HD-99 | Tilt D → Lean R

This concludes our bi-weekly forecast update. We will be updating our forecast again on April 1st after going through filing deadlines in Maine, Colorado, Utah, South Carolina, Missouri and South Dakota.