ICYMI: Cook Political Report Shifts 2 Battleground State AG Races Towards Democrats

June 12, 2020

Montana & Indiana Shift to Toss Up; Democrats Continue Expanding the State AG Map

Cook Political Report released its latest analysis of the 2020 state AG map saying, “several state Attorney General races have developed enough that we’re moving their ratings.” Momentum is clearly shifting to Democratic AG incumbents and candidates as the country looks for steady leadership during this unprecedented time. The Cook Report comes just ahead of the Indiana Democratic Convention this weekend where both Democratic candidates, State Sen. Karen Tallian and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, will make their final case to delegates after a hard fought primary; both candidates have shown their fundraising strength, consistently outraising the ever-shuffling GOP candidate pool.

Key excerpts from the Cook Political Report on state AG races:

“The biggest changes in the current analysis come in our two Toss Up contests. In both Indiana and Montana, we are shifting the races from Lean Republican to Toss Up.”

INDIANA MOVES FROM LEAN REPUBLICAN TO TOSS UP

“This is easily the most unsettled AG race in the country in 2020. The reason: Hill has faced groping allegations by four women — three legislative staffers from different parties and chambers and one Democratic state lawmaker — at a 2018 post-session party.”

“Democrats, meanwhile, are looking at the AG race as their biggest target in Indiana in 2020…”

“If Hill is the nominee, he could see dwindling support from suburban Republicans, especially women, giving Democrats a shot at the AG office even in red Indiana.”

MONTANA MOVES FROM LEAN REPUBLICAN TO TOSS UP

“An already competitive AG contest got even more so with the results of the June 2 primary.”

“The 31-year-old Graybill has a sterling resume — a Rhodes scholarship and a Yale Law degree — and he comes from a prominent Montana political family”

“the fact that Bullock (himself a former Montana AG) is running to unseat GOP Sen. Steve Daines could energize Democratic turnout”

“Meanwhile … GOP primary voters nominated a more conservative nominee with less crossover appeal…”

ADDITIONAL 2020 INFO

  • The Democratic Attorneys General Association recently released a Battleground States Memo adding Indiana to its list of 2020 battleground states.
  • The electorate is focused on health care—a winning issue for Democrats in both Indiana and Montana. Last month, the Democratic Party Committees issued a joint memo on the importance of health care in the 2020 elections, and the Democratic unity in holding the GOP accountable for fighting to repeal the ACA.
  • As a reminder, all four of the Republican AGs running for re-election this year are part of  the ACA repeal lawsuit that seeks to end health care for 20 million people and eliminate protections for 135+ million people who have pre-existing conditions. And the Republican candidates in Montana, Pennsylvania and other key states have expressed their support for the ACA repeal case.

With Republican AGs and candidates now firmly on the defense in red states, the map is ripe with Democratic pick-up opportunities.