First came Nate Silver’s Political Calculus on his FiveThirtyEight blog on the New York Times site over the weekend. Silver, whose model says the GOP has a 25-percent chance of capturing control of the Senate, now calculates Grassley has a 99-percent chance of retaining his seat. Silver’s methodology predicts a 19-percent winning margin for Grassley at 58-39 percent.
Next came Ken Rudin of National Public Radio, who rolled out his first review of the Senate races in two and wrote that “if anything, the situation has gotten more dire for the Democrats.” Wrapping up a forecast that predicts no Republican losses/no Dem. Pickups, Rudin concludes, “Three other GOP states — Arizona (John McCain), Georgia (Johnny Isakson) and Iowa (Charles Grassley) — move from Republican Favored to Safe Republican.”
No matter what the national observers are saying, look for Grassley to keep the heat on Conlin. His campaign just started airing two positive TV ads on Tuesday, which you can see below.
Senate Democrats are already circling the wagons in a desperate defensive move to protect their endangered. The net result as the word gets out nationally that Conlin’s campaign is a lost cause is that fewer Democrats are willing to waste their time, money or energy trying to prop it up.
Don’t forget, when Conlin jumped into the race, she talked about raising $10 million against Grassley. As of July 1, she was only $8.5 million or so short of that goal. Not only did struggle to raise $205,000 in the reporting period but she was forced to loan her campaign another $250,000.
Bottom line: As of July 1, loans from Conlin totaling $500,000-plus accounted for one-third of her total campaign treasury. She clearly has the personal wealth to write checks for another $8.5 million, but it’s looking less and less likely that even she’s willing to waste her money on a sinking ship. And these latest national assessments of the race don’t give her any encouragement.
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