Rating Change: Toomey to Tossup
Donald Trump appears to be dragging down GOP senator in Pennsylvania
The Keystone State could be the key race in deciding which party controls the Senate next year.
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey gets high marks from GOP strategists for his re-election campaign so far in Pennsylvania and he’s received a few atypical endorsements for a GOP incumbent. But the weight of Donald Trump at the top of the ballot and the Democratic lean of the state is putting him in a precarious electoral position.
[Roll Call’s 2016 Election Guide: Senate]
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent big to get Katie McGinty through the primary. But she appears to be getting her sea legs, and is now running neck and neck with (and sometimes ahead of) the incumbent in general election polls.
We’re changing The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating from Tilts Republican to Tossup.
While McGinty has gained some ground in the last month or so, Toomey won’t be easy to defeat. The senator is well-financed and has been endorsed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group, Independence USA, and former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, for his work on gun control.
[Giffords PAC endorses Toomey and Kirk]
Toomey’s critics say he was an ineffective co-sponsor of the background checks legislation, but the endorsements give the senator something tangible to point to as he tries to craft a bipartisan image.
Democrats are well-positioned to take over Senate seats in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. They could gain control of the chamber by winning Pennsylvania, if the party is also able to hold retiring Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada — and the White House, enabling a Democratic vice president to break a tie.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet was once seen as the only Democratic senator the GOP had a chance of unseating this election season. But Republican challenger Darryl Glenn’s general election campaign has been slow to take off with recent polls showing him trailing Bennet by double digits.
We’re changing the race rating from Democrat Favored to Safe Democrat.