Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report, the last of the big-name handicappers to do so, has upgraded Mike McFadden’s chances of unseating Sen. Al Franken.
Until today, he listed Franken as “safe.” Now he rates Franken’s chance of being reelected as “favored.”
Rothenberg wrote grudgingly of McFadden’s chances.:
At this point, I see little reason to believe that McFadden will beat Franken — and I’m skeptical about the prediction made by anonymous observers in a July 7 Roll Call piece that the contest is likely to be “a 2-point race by Labor Day.” (The race will close, of course, as McFadden spends money.)
But it’s also true that, based entirely on fundamentals, McFadden’s long-shot prospects seem closer to Ed Gillespie’s in Virginia and Scott Brown’s in New Hampshire than to GOP chances in Illinois against Richard J. Durbin or in New Jersey against Cory Booker (both of which we have as Safe for Democrats).
For that reason, and for only that reason, we are moving Minnesota to “Democrat Favored.”
This puts Rothenberg in line with Charlie Cook (who rates Franken as “favored,” but not “solid”) and Larry Sabato (who has Franken as “likely”). Roll Call has the race “Democrat favored,” but in their case, that’s the safest rating they give.
Rothenberg called McFadden’s videos and ads thus far “cutesy.”