Heck’s Decision Prompts Rating Change in Two Nevada Races

Nathan L. Gonzales July 6, 2015 · 11:00 AM EDT

Republican Rep. Joe Heck’s decision to run for the Senate is no surprise, but now that he is officially in the race, we are changing our rating in two Nevada races. 

The race for Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s open seat was already competitive, but Republican chances improve slightly with Heck’s decision. He is a battle-tested incumbent who won’t be easy for Democrats to pigeon-hole as being too conservative for the state. Heck will likely face former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who has been elected statewide twice in races that weren’t particularly difficult. But she should benefit from presidential year turnout next year and Democrats believe the opportunity to elect the first Latina senator will inspire Hispanic voters to come to the polls in larger numbers.

We are changing our rating of the Nevada Senate race from Toss-Up/Tilt Democratic to Pure Toss-Up. Nevada is also the best Republican takeover opportunity in the country considering Colorado Republicans are having trouble getting on the same page with each other, let alone being able to find a top-tier Senate candidate. You can read our baseline analysis of Nevada in the May 15 issue of the Report

While Heck’s decision is great news for the NRSC, his open 3rd District seat is likely to be a headache…

North Carolina Senate: Life After Hagan

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Nathan L. Gonzales July 2, 2015 · 2:30 PM EDT

Democrats lost a whopping nine Senate seats in 2014, but few hurt more than North Carolina. At least the party doesn’t have to wait long before trying to avenge that defeat. 

Over the last few years, the Tar Heel State and its GOP-led Legislature has become a symbol of Republican overreach to…

Pennsylvania 6: Suburban Districts Elude Democrats

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Nathan L. Gonzales July 2, 2015 · 2:29 PM EDT

It’s hard to see how Democrats get anywhere near a House majority again without gaining ground in suburban and exurban districts. But the party’s difficulty in a trio of districts in Southeast Pennsylvania is a prime example of Democrats’ challenge. 

The Republicans’ grip on the 6th, 7th, and 8th…