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Updated Senate and Governor rankings!

senate-races.jpg

With the 2010 primary season (nearly) over, the Fix and Post senior political reporter -- and co-author of "The Battle for America" -- Dan Balz sat down to revisit our rankings of the most competitive Senate and governor's races in the country.

Our ratings changes (two in the Senate, two among governors) are below. But, before you scroll down -- patience in all things -- make sure to check out the absolutely amazing House, Senate and governor's maps built by the Post design team. You can not only see the our race ratings but also detailed demographic, fundraising and other information about the key contests in the coming midterms.

(Fix confession: We have wiled away hours just poring over the information in these maps. Of course, we have also wiled away hours trying to remember the starting lineup of the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers....Jim Gantner!)

SENATE

* Washington State (Move from Lean Democratic to Toss Up): In our last ratings update last month we moved Sen. Patty Murray's (D) re-election race from a "safe Democratic" ranking to a "lean Democratic" rating. We are moving the race again for a few reasons: 1) the state's "top two" primary system virtually ensures that Republicans' preferred nominee -- former state Sen. Dino Rossi -- will advance to the general election against Murray next week and 2) Both public polling and private data that has been shared with us suggest that Rossi and Murray are running neck and neck. While the race is now a "Toss Up", Murray still retains a slight edge due to the Democratic tilt of the state and her track record of regularly overperforming expectations.

* Wisconsin (Move from Lean Democratic to Toss Up): Like Washington, this race is a fast mover into the "toss up" category due to the tough political climate for Democrats in the Badger State. Sen. Russ Feingold (D) is an able (and well funded) politician. But, wealthy businessman Ron Johnson (R) -- although not the GOP's first-choice candidate -- gets rave reviews from political handicappers in Washington and is a more-than-credible alternative if Wisconsin voters decide they want a change.

GOVERNOR

* Connecticut (Move from "Toss Up" to "Lean Democratic"): Tuesday's primaries brought very good news for Connecticut Democrats. Former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy (D) is a far less target-rich candidate for Republicans than 2006 Senate nominee Ned Lamont would have been. And, former Ambassador Tom Foley limped -- and that's putting it kindly -- to the Republican nomination amid a string of stories about past arrests. Given all of that and the state's Democratic lean, the race moves.

* Oregon (Move from "Lean Democratic" to "Toss Up"): Republicans are very high on former NBA player Chris Dudley's (R) chances against former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) and neutral observers in the state say privately that it is a very close race. Dudley is the right profile for an outsider year like this one (and is playing it up in his television ads). Kitzhaber's long resume in politics -- he was governor from 1994 to 2002 -- might not play as well as in past cycles. Still Oregon is a Democratic state and Kitzhaber is a well known name.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 12, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  Governors , Senate  
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Next: Beyond the gaffes, candidates diverge in wooing Nevada's Hispanic vote

 
 
 
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