2020 Election HQ

2020 Election: 13 Races to Watch

 
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We rated every race in play in 2020. This is who we think will win.

What American politics will look like after 2020 is anyone’s guess. But Senior Elections Editor, Steven Shepard is taking his best shot.

The latest from POLITICO’s 2020 Election Forecast: Ratings for every national contest, from the 538 Electoral College votes to the 435 House districts — and everything in between.

presidency leans in favor of the democrats,control of the senate is too close to call, house leans in favor of the democrats, the majority of governors will be republicans

Read more about how POLITICO Pro will cover the 2020 election here >>

 

PRESIDENTIAL RACE


Wisconsin -10 electoral votes

Trump became the first Republican to win Wisconsin since 1984, and all indications point to another close race in 2020.

Arizona11 electoral votes

Arizona is a full-fledged electoral battleground in 2020, even though Republicans have carried the state in five straight presidential races. In 2016, Donald Trump won only 48.7 percent of the vote though, and Democrats now think they have a shot to pick off the state's 11 electoral votes. Something to watch: In the 2018 Senate race, Republican Martha McSally led the vote count on Election Day, but late-tabulated ballots put Democrat Kyrsten Sinema over the top. A protracted count is possible again in 2020.

Nebraska’s 2nd District - 1 electoral vote

Democrats called the 2nd District “Obamaha,” after the Illinoisan swiped an electoral vote there in 2008. Mitt Romney took it back by a 7-point margin in 2012, but it was again close in 2016. Trump won it by only a little more than 2 points.

Florida - 29 electoral votes

Florida is the toss-up to end all toss-ups. Trump won it by 1.2 points. Obama won it by 2.8 points and 0.9 points in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Republicans are on something of a statewide winning streak over the past few years, but it's hard to see a scenario in which either candidate wins Florida by a sizable margin.

Need a refresher on how a president gets elected? Read our Guide to Presidential Elections here >>

 

SENATE RACES


Colorado - Primaries held June 30, 2020

Cory Gardner is Republicans' most vulnerable Senate incumbent and faces headwinds at the top of the ticket in a blue-leaning state. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed former Gov. John Hickenlooper, who still faces competitors in the primary.

North Carolina - Primaries held March 3, 2020

GOP Sen. Thom Tillis, facing a self-funding primary challenger, is embracing President Donald Trump after getting crosswise with the president over Trump's emergency declaration to build a wall along the southern border. Cal Cunningham, a former state legislator, is backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee but hasn't cleared the primary field.

Maine - Primaries held July 14, 2020

Republican Susan Collins has seen her vote-share increase in each of her four Senate elections, culminating in 67 percent in 2014, when Democrats mounted only a nominal challenge. That won't be the case in 2020, with state House Speaker Sara Gideon already mounting a strong bid to unseat the longtime incumbent.

ArizonaPrimaries held Aug. 4, 2020

Republican Martha McSally became the first Republican to lose a Senate race in Arizona since 1988 — only to then score an appointment to the state's other Senate seat. She will face Democrat Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) and a prolific fundraiser. The special election in Arizona could go down as the most expensive Senate race in 2020.

 

HOUSE RACES


Minnesota’s District 7 - Primaries held Aug. 11, 2020

Longtime Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson still hasn’t announced whether he’ll seek a 16th term from a western Minnesota district racing away from his party. If Peterson retires, Republicans will be favored to pick up a district Donald Trump carried by 31 points in 2016.

New York’s District 22 - Primaries held June 23, 2020

A potential rematch: Republican former Rep. Claudia Tenney wants another shot at Democrat Anthony Brindisi, two years after Brindisi beat her by 2 points. But this time, Donald Trump will be on the ballot too, after carrying the district by 16 points in 2016.

 

GOVERNOR'S RACES


Montana - Primaries held June 2, 2020

Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is term-limited, but Democrats have controlled the governorship in Helena for 16 years.

North Carolina - Primaries held March 3, 2020

Democrat Roy Cooper outperformed his party's presidential and Senate nominees in 2016 to win a narrow victory. His approval ratings have risen with his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and he's now the favorite to beat GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

Missouri - Primaries held Aug. 4, 2020

Republican Mike Parson became governor in 2018 after Eric Greitens resigned. He’s seeking a full term in 2020. The leading Democratic candidate is State Auditor Nicole Galloway.


Ratings and analysis by POLITICO Pro Campaigns Editor Steven Shepard.

See something wrong with our data? Email interactives@politico.com.

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