September 27, 2016 9:02 AM
Larry Sabato has looked into his crystal ball and determined that Senator Johnny Isakson’s race should be rated as “safe Republican” – the highest ranking in Sabato’s arsenal indicating that Isakson is likely to return to Washington. From his post-debate email this morning:
In Georgia, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) always looked more secure than McCain, but there was at least some evidence that the incumbent could potentially find himself in a competitive race. But Isakson’s wide lead in the polls points to a comfortable win in November, so we’re shifting the Peach State’s Senate race from Likely Republican to Safe Republican.
As for control of the entire Senate, the path has grown narrower for the Democrats will wrangle control from Republicans:
Democrats now have an even narrower path to taking back the Senate. With Wisconsin and Illinois likely to elect Democrats to the Senate instead of the incumbent Republicans, Democrats need three of four of the Crystal Ball’s current Toss-ups (Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania) to win an outright majority (or two of them and the vice presidency). Uphill battles in Leans Republican states such as Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina could also provide opportunities, but they remain harder targets (of the three, Florida is moving closer to Likely Republican, while Missouri and North Carolina seem to be getting more competitive).
A reminder: A Senate of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats would be controlled by the party in the White House. Republicans probably want to double down on making sure they have 51 Senators come January.