I’ll keep this one short so I can keep clearing out more of the “Likely” states.
There’s not much reputable polling here this year. Well, actually, there’s almost never a lot of polling in Alaska. The fact that it’s a very difficult state to poll doesn’t make things any easier. Some partisan pollsters have perhaps make this look closer than it is — and much of the rest of the data come from early October when Trump’s numbers were temporarily collapsing. At least in red states, Trump does seem to be climbing at the bell, as GOP voters that were reluctant toward him are coming home to him a bit. Romney won here by 14%, and this is still a pretty GOP state. I’m still not going to call this a Safe Trump state because of the lack of quality data, but it’s certainly ending as a Likely Trump state.
This one was likely never that competitive this cycle. Kirk picked up this seat by less than 2% in an off-year Republican wave in 2010, and that was against a candidate that was perceived as heavily flawed. Facing re-election in a Presidential year in a very blue state, Kirk was always going to have a tough time here, especially facing a candidate in Tammy Duckworth (D) that has far more appeal than Alexi Giannoulias (Kirk’s 2010 opponent). Couple that with what was arguably a disastrous debate a week or so ago, and Kirk’s chances seem all but a memory.
Though there’s not enough quality data to Model here, it looks to me like this is a 10%+ race. As such, I’m shifting it from Likely to Safe Dem at the end of the cycle.