It’s a little hard to immediately see, because what happened was an inadvertent cascade effect. A couple of races became competitive at the same time that rather more races became rather more competitive, one after the other. Net result? Six Democrats are now in more danger of losing their seats, while one Democrat is now in less danger:
|NC-02||Etheridge||Solid D||Likely D|
|SD-AL||Sandlin||Likely D||Lean D|
|UT-02||Matheson||Solid D||Likely D|
And I doubt that progressives are going to be happy to hear that Walt Minnick is doing better, given that he’s been a highly unreliable vote for them this year.
Charlie Cook’s numbers are, of course, subject to change. But he’s noted in the past that if the Republicans are really going to have a wave election this year you’d start seeing it when races that were safe become competitive, and seats that were already competitive become more so. In this particular case, it doesn’t really matter that the two newly-competitive seats are because Matheson had a serious primary challenger in Utah, or that Etheridge attacked a cameraman; what matters is that the Democrats don’t have a margin. In every election there’s going to be disasters and long-shot payoffs on both sides, after all. But while surprise shifts don’t really have much effect in counteracting a particular narrative (see Tim Maloney of Florida for a 2008 example), they can certainly support one.
And this year’s narrative is “The Democrats are going to be in a lot of trouble this November.”
Crossposted to Moe Lane.