• IL-06 (Likely D to Safe D): Republicans have shown little interest in targeting freshman Democratic Rep. Sean Casten, who handily unseated one of their incumbents two years ago. Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, located in the Chicago area, is almost the archetype of the affluent, well-educated suburban district that has fled the GOP in recent years. Republican Jeanne Ives has raised a bunch of money, but with her history of transphobia and racism, she’s as poor a fit for this race as they come. We haven’t seen any polling this year, but nor have we seen any outside spending.
• IL-14 (Lean D to Likely D): Freshman Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood began this cycle as a top Republican target, but the suburbs’ continued trend to the left and a weak GOP candidate have badly hampered Team Red’s efforts to retake Illinois’ 14th Congressional District.
The Congressional Leadership Fund has spent money on this race, but only to finance negative ads in the GOP primary attacking Jim Oberweis, a state senator with a long history of high-profile defeats; it’s done nothing to actually support him in the general election. Underwood’s allies at House Majority PAC did go on the airwaves in the final two weeks of the contest, so she’s not safe, but it would be a big surprise if Oberweis finally pulled off a victory this year.
• ME-02 (Lean D to Likely D): Even though Donald Trump carried Maine’s 2nd Congressional District four years ago, Republicans seem to have given up on their nominee, Dale Crafts, and Democrats apparently feel secure about Rep. Jared Golden’s chances. Both sides have canceled ad buys, and Golden has chalked up some very wide leads in recent polling. With surveys also showing Joe Biden poised to recapture the 2nd District’s electoral vote, Crafts’ hopes have dimmed.
• MI-03 (Lean R to Tossup): Republicans were well-positioned to retake Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District after Republican-turned-Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash decided not to seek reelection, but this contest has unexpectedly turned into a very competitive affair between Democrat Hillary Scholten and Republican Peter Meijer. Both parties have released polls showing their candidate ahead, but even Team Red’s surveys find Joe Biden on track to carry a historically red Grand Rapids-area seat that Trump took 52-42. Tellingly, major House groups on both sides are continuing to spend heavily in this area for the first time in a very long time.
• MI-08 (Lean D to Likely D): Freshman Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin flipped Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in a very expensive 2018 contest, but both parties are treating her as the undisputed frontrunner this time against Republican Paul Junge. GOP groups haven’t spent anything to support Junge, who faces a wide financial disadvantage, while House Majority PAC, which had been involved in this race earlier, hasn’t added any new spending in weeks. At this point, a Junge victory would count as a major shock.
• NH-Sen (Likely D to Safe D): Republican Corky Messner has self-funded $6 million in his bid to unseat second-term Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, but he doesn’t have much to show for it: Every public poll of New Hampshire’s Senate race has shown Shaheen over 50% and Messner well behind. National Republicans haven’t paid him any attention, and with Joe Biden up double digits, a flip now looks out of the question.
• NH-Gov (Likely R to Safe R): While Democrats appear to be headed for a good night in the Granite State, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who defied the midterm blue wave to win reelection in 2018, looks like he’s once again immunized himself from the broader political environment. Sununu’s generally gotten good marks for handling the coronavirus pandemic, and polls give him giant leads over his Democratic opponent, state Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes, in his bid for a third term as governor of New Hampshire. Both the RGA and state Democratic Party ran seven-figure ads campaigns in late September, but there’s been little activity since then
• PA-07 (Likely D to Safe D): Rep. Susan Wild is another freshman Democrat who flipped a suburban district two years ago that Republicans have now abandoned. Polls have Wild far ahead of Republican Lisa Scheller in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, with Joe Biden also winning by big margins. Neither the NRCC and its allies nor the DCCC and its allies have spent a dime on this race.
• TX-07 (Lean D to Likely D): Republicans were extremely high on Wesley Hunt when they recruited him to run in Texas’ 7th Congressional District, but a strong Democratic incumbent in Rep. Lizzie Fletcher plus shifting demographics in the Houston suburbs have led them to cut bait. The Congressional Leadership Fund reportedly has stopped spending here in order to save the neighboring 22nd District, while the NRCC canceled its entire reservation in Houston last month; major Democratic groups have also redirected their efforts to the 22nd. The only recent poll of this race was a Hunt internal, but even that had Fletcher ahead 46-44, and Joe Biden is almost certain to carry this seat by double digits.
• WV-Gov (Likely R to Safe R): While billionaire coal magnate Jim Justice was able to win West Virginia’s governorship four years ago as a Democrat, the party has long been living on borrowed time in the Mountain State—exemplified by the fact that, less than a year after taking office, Justice switched parties to join the GOP. His Democratic opponent, Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango, has trailed widely in recent polls, and both the DGA and RGA have focused on other contests this year.
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