Among the changes in the latest Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball ratings is the move of Pennsylvania from “Likely Democratic” to “Lean Democratic”.
In their September map, Clinton retains a bare majority of 272 electoral votes while Trump has 215. 51 electoral votes are rated as toss-ups. While the Democratic nominee would still prevail even without winning a single toss-up state, this is a steep decline from her advantage in August.
Last month, Clinton had a 347-191 lead in the electoral college with no toss-ups.
There was also a shift in the categorization of Pennsylvania’s Senate race.
“Right before Labor Day — when Clinton still appeared to be on the path to a comfortable, Obama-style national win — we shifted some Senate races toward the Democrats, thinking that Trump would end up sinking Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH),” Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley wrote.
“But with national polls very tight, Ayotte and Toomey find themselves in a better position because they’ve both demonstrated the ability to run ahead of Trump in the polls. If Trump wins either New Hampshire or Pennsylvania, it probably means he will be president — and that would almost certainly mean that Ayotte and/or Toomey would be winning as well. If Trump falls off — certainly possible — then Ayotte and Toomey could go back to being underdogs. But in a close national race that is also close in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, Ayotte and Toomey could definitely still hang on. So we’re moving both from Leans Democratic back to Toss-up.”