The University of Virginia's Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball report out Thursday morning shows one change among projections in races of local interest. In Kentucky's Sixth Congressional District, the Crystal Ball report is changing its rating from "Leans Democratic" to "Toss-Up."
In KY-6, Republican challenger Andy Barr is closing in on Democrat Ben Chandler. The district looks ripe for a takeover, with a relatively new Democratic congressman forced onto the defensive in a district that gave Obama just 43% of the vote in 2008. The DCCC has begun running tough ads on Barr, a sign of their concern but also a test for the first-time GOP candidate. Barr’s camp touts a poll from early October showing him in the lead by the narrowest of margins, but Chandler’s side counters that they are still in front. In the end, the question is moot, as all that matters is who leads three weeks from now, with plenty of twists and turns in store.
The ratings in other local races are unchanged:
KY Senate: Leans Republican (Paul-R vs. Conway-D)
IN Senate: Likely Republican (Coats-R vs. Ellsworth-D)
For now, we are raising (by one seat) the likely Republican Senate gain, from +7-8 to +8-9. This was the level at which we had the GOP before its disaster in Delaware.
KY 1st Congressional District: Safe Republican (Whitfield-R vs. Hatchett-D)
KY 2nd Congressional District: Safe Republican (Guthrie-R vs. Marksberry-D)
KY 3rd Congressional District: Likely Democrat (Yarmuth-D vs. Lally-R)
KY 4th Congressional District: Safe Republican (Davis-R vs. Waltz-D)
KY 5th Congressional District: Safe Republican (Rogers-R vs. Holbert-D)
KY 6th Congressional District: Toss-Up (Chandler-D vs. Barr-R)
IN 9th Congressional District: Toss-Up (Hill-D vs. Young-R)
We have not changed our projection of +47 Republican net House seats in many weeks.