What’s behind Democrats’ shrinking Senate odds?

In general, Democrats’ position has gotten worse in red states but has been steady-to-improving in purple and blue states. There are a couple of exceptions to this pattern (Joe Manchin has continued to poll well in West Virginia) but not many.

On top of that, Democrats have had particular problems in North Dakota, where Heitkamp has seen her numbers go especially south. In fact, absent Heitkamp’s decline, Democrats’ overall position in the Lite forecast is about the same as it was a month ago. (The declines in states such as Indiana are offset by gains in states such as Florida.) Since North Dakota is rarely polled, that raises the question of whether Heitkamp’s position was this bad all along and didn’t have much to do with her decision to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court; notably, one of the polls showing her down double digits was conducted almost entirely before the hearing with Ford and Kavanaugh on Sept. 27.