At the outset of this gubernatorial cycle, we fully expected perpetual swing states like Pennsylvania and Michigan to be in the Toss Up column all the way until Election Day. With Democrats facing national headwinds, Republicans had a real chance to flip the open seat in the Keystone State and be optimistic about defeating Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
No two states on the map have seen a larger drop in their fortunes than these in the Rust Belt. And while, yes, the environment has significantly improved for Democrats, the further slide of both contests down the GOP's competitive ladder is due to weak candidates who are barely running even semi-functional campaigns. As such, we are shifting both Michigan and Pennsylvania gubernatorial contests from Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic.
To be clear, we certainly do not expect either race to be a double-digit rout, and we are skeptical of any recent public polling that shows such a blowout. The simple math in both states means that any Republican — even a very weak one — still has a floor,
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