The final overview of the Senate map from Cook Political Report underscores how Democrats have dramatically expanded the field of competitive races in the final days of this cycle. More than half of all GOP Senate seats on the ballot this cycle have a competitive rating — “a feat that even some Republicans are privately praising Democrats for while continuing to bemoan the predicament they’re finding themselves in for the closing days.”
Cook’s competitive races include “12 GOP-held seats in Lean or Toss Up, and just two for Democrats.” Since January, Cook has moved 10 Senate races in Democrats’ direction, and just one toward Republicans. With the majority at risk and Democrats building a significant grassroots fundraising advantage, “outside groups like Senate Leadership Fund and their wealthy donors” have been racing to “fill in the gaps” for vulnerable Republicans in the final weeks.
Today’s overview includes one final ratings shift — Mississippi moving in Democrats’ direction. Mike Espy has been “building an impressive campaign” and a “vast spending disparity” in his rematch against Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Meanwhile, Hyde-Smith’s fundraising has been “downright abysmal” and even Republicans admit they have “frustrations” with her campaign.
That addition of yet another GOP Senate seat moving further in play “showcases just how much Democrats have expanded the map while Republicans haven’t really taken many, if any, races completely off the table.”
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