With the retirement of Sen. Kohl (D), we are moving the WI race from “Likely D” to “Leans D”. Depending on who enters the race we might see ratings range from “Leans D” to “Toss-up”.
While this seems like a small shift, it has crucial national implications. Kohl would have been a lock for re-election (we only had his seat as “Likely D” because we foresaw the possibility of retirement), and now democrats must spread precious funds and manpower to a state they wouldn’t have otherwise had to. In other words, the retirement of Kohl adds a fraction of a percentage chance to republicans running for senate nationwide.
Given the recent battles over Gov. Walker’s move to protect the state budget from the disproportionately high benefits enjoyed by the WI teachers’ union, and given the potential candidacy of Rep. Ryan (R) (We lean towards predicting he won’t run) and other big names (Feingold – D), we think this is going to be a race that political enthusiasts will enjoy following.