Not a surprise, but always good to see ratings trending rightward.
Two well respected non-partisan political handicappers say Republican Dino Rossi’s entrance into this year’s Senate battle in Washington state is putting the Democratic-held seat into play.
Rossi officially announced his bid Wednesday.
Thursday, the Cook Political Report moved its rating of the contest from “solid Democrat” to “toss up” and the Rothenberg Political Report changed its classification from “safe” for Sen. Patty Murray, the Democratic incumbent, to a “narrow advantage for the Democrats.”
From Jennifer Duffy at the Cook Political Report:
Republicans scored a late but important recruiting success yesterday when businessman and former state Sen. Dino Rossi announced that he would challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray. Rossi’s announcement puts another Democratic-held seat in play. The race has been in the Solid Democratic column, but is moving to Toss Up, bringing the total number of competitive Democratic seats to 11.
From Stu Rothenberg at the Rothenberg Political Report:
Former state Sen. Dino Rossi’s (R) entry into the race against Sen. Patty Murray (D) brings Washington’s Senate seat into play. Murray appears to have a narrow lead in the polls and Rossi brings some high unfavorable ratings to the table after two losses in very competitive gubernatorial races. But this is now a real race. For now, we’re rating the race as Narrow Advantage for Murray and the Democrats.
While events between now and November will affect the outlook for November, the GOP seems most likely to net 5-7 Senate seats, with a 8-seat gain certainly possible (but still short of the 10-seat gain the GOP would need for control). That means Democrats are likely to retain control of the Senate, but at a dramatically reduced level.