swing state

Rating Change in Ohio Senate Race
Rob Portman is bucking the national trend working against the GOP

Sen. Rob Portman and his wife Jane Portman walk together in the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary's Feast of the Assumption procession in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood on Aug. 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, there hasn’t been a lot of good news for Republicans, but one of their senators is providing a glimmer of hope.

It was no surprise that Ohio started the cycle as a focal point as a perennial presidential swing state with a competitive Senate race. A close re-election contest for GOP Sen. Rob Portman looked inevitable, particularly after Democrats recruited former Gov. Ted Strickland to run. And Trump’s subsequent victory in the presidential primaries and overall weakness as a candidate threatened to drag down GOP incumbents across the country.

Democrats’ Missed Opportunity in Virginia
Competitive 2nd District moves to Safe GOP after Democrats fail to get a candidate

Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., is retiring from the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are desperately searching for opportunities to expand the House playing field in order to take advantage of a potential wave caused by Donald Trump or Ted Cruz at the top of the ballot. But their recruitment efforts fell short in a potentially competitive district in Virginia.  

Also see: Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call Race Ratings map For the last few cycles, Democrats targeted GOP Rep. Scott Rigell in the 2nd District, which includes Virginia Beach and part of Newport News, but the congressman proved to be a formidable incumbent since his initial election in 2010.  

Open Wisconsin GOP Seat Shifts to Tossup
Democrats’ get their preferred candidate to challenge Republicans

Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson has announced his candidacy , giving Democrats their preferred choice for picking up retiring GOP Rep. Reid Ribble’s open seat in Wisconsin’s 8th District.  

In an initial analysis of the race in the Feb. 5 issue of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report , GOP sources admitted that Nelson would be a formidable foe. And the competitive nature of the district and potential drag from the top of the ticket — likely from either Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — puts this race firmly into play.