Not all rating changes are created equal. Some changes happen when a first-tier candidate gets into a race and instantly makes it more competitive. Others occur because an incumbent retires, rendering the open seat more vulnerable. Still other rating changes are made in the wake of an event significant enough to alter the trajectory of a race. Finally, some races move into more competitive categories not because of anything specific to that race or to the candidates running but because of the overall political environment. This is the case in our two latest rating changes. Ohio where GOP U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is running for a second term and Pennsylvania where Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is seeking re-election are both moving to the Toss Up column. And, this change has very little to do with the incumbents or their challengers. In fact, both Toomey and Portman are running well funded, modern and sophisticated campaigns. By the end of last year, the Portman campaign had contacted over one million households, and has been effectively laying the groundwork against its opponent,

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