Nov 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cook Political Report moves 3 Senate races toward GOP

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., walks down the Senate steps after a vote in the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021

Sen. Raphael Warnock walks down the Senate steps after a vote in the Capitol in September. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Cook Political Report shifted three Senate seats toward Republicans — and classified them as toss-ups — in the nonpartisan prognosticator's latest ratings published Friday.

Why it matters: These moves reflect the increasingly bullish midterm environment for Republicans, amid fallen approval ratings for President Biden. And Cook Political ratings move the political market with donors.

Driving the news: The 2022 Senate races in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada previously leaned toward Democrats before Cook switched them to toss-up races on Friday, citing Biden's sinking approval ratings and rising inflation and economic concerns.

  • The three races "are all states that Biden carried by 2.5 points or less — the only three Democratic races that fall into this category — and if there is a sizable partisan swing we see come next November it's easy to see how these races get swept away even if GOP candidate quality is subpar," Cook Political Report Senate and governors editor Jessica Taylor writes.
  • All three seats are currently held by Democratic incumbents: Sens. Mark Kelly in Arizona, Raphael Warnock in Georgia and Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada.

Worth noting: "Republicans have a host of problematic candidates and messy primaries that could endanger their prime chance. ... Add in former President Trump's continued meddling in the primaries ... and things get murkier for Republicans," according to Cook Political Report.

The big picture: The overall map slightly favors Democrats, as they're defending 14 seats compared to the 20 seats that Republicans have up in 2022.

  • The GOP also has five open seats, including three that are rated as competitive by Cook Political Report.

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