Red Wave Is Looking More And More Likely, Forecasters Find

( Last week, election forecasters updated their predictions for four midterm elections based on the way voters in four states cast ballots in last Tuesday’s primary elections.

The updated predictions now improve the chances of a Republican victory in two Texas congressional races while also moving Vermont’s gubernatorial race to “Safe Republican.”

Meanwhile, in a fourth race, Utah’s senatorial contest, forecasters have lowered incumbent Republican Mike Lee’s chances, though, it is still believed Lee will pull out a win.

The editors of Sabato’s Crystal Ball have lowered the outlook for Texas’ 34th Congressional district from “Leans Democrat” to “Likely Democrat,” as they believe the race will be much closer than they initially predicted.

This change was prompted by the unexpected victory in the heavily Hispanic district by Mexican-born Republican Mayra Flores in last week’s Texas special election. Flores defeated Democrat challenger Dan Sanchez, 51 percent to 43 percent.

Flores will face Democrat Congressman Vicente Gonzalez in November. Gonzalez currently represents Texas District 15. But redistricting has placed Gonzalez within the newly-drawn District 34.

Additionally, Crystal Ball also upgraded its forecast for the newly drawn Texas District 15 from “Leans Republican” to the stronger “Likely Republican.”

Both Cook Political Report and Inside Elections are also predicting that Republican candidate Monica De La Cruz will likely dominate in TX15.

According to Inside Elections analyst Nathan Gonzales, Mayra Flores’ victory is just one piece of evidence indicating that the 2022 midterms will be about voters punishing the president’s party.

With the Democrats holding the barest majority in the House, they can only afford a net loss of two seats to cling to power. And from how things are shaking out, the chances Democrats could squeak out a win are non-existent.

Meanwhile, in Utah, Crystal Ball analysts downgraded confidence in Senator Mike Lee’s maintaining his seat, moving the race from “Safe Republican” to “Likely Republican.” While they still believe Lee remains favored, so-called “Independent” candidate Evan McMullin getting endorsed by the Utah Democrat Party changes the calculus somewhat.