Why We’re Not Releasing 2020 Race Ratings Yet

by Nathan L. Gonzales December 21, 2018 · 8:30 AM EST

I love elections, particularly congressional races, but I’m just not in a hurry to jump to 2020. And I’m completely fine with holding off on releasing our race ratings until next year.

If I didn’t like elections, I would probably need to take a long look at doing something else with my life, although at this point I’m not even sure what that would be. My previous experience includes working the corner as a human directional (the politically correct term for sign twirler), making pizzas at Figaro’s, digging irrigation trenches on campus, and folding jeans at Urban Outfitters.

When I started working at The Rothenberg Political Report more than 17 years ago, there was something called an “off year.” I know, it sounds strange. Sure, there were a handful of states that chose to elect their governors at weird times, but federal races were slower in coming together.

Not anymore.

Whether it’s the increased importance of fundraising, the pressure to clear the field of other contenders, or just the constant mandate to “win the day” every day, our election “cycles” are constant.

Candidates are already jockeying for position in some key races, we’re closer to having a new senator from Arizona, and I’m sure some other incumbents are contemplating retirement where open seats could be game-changers.

But the analysis can wait a few weeks. The world isn’t going to end without my hot takes. It’s OK to pause, take a deep breath, and recover from the 2018 (and 2016) elections while enjoying the holidays. Spend some time with the family you love (and the family you don’t.) Get outside. Eat delicious baked goods. And reflect on the important things in life, including how in the world the Seattle Seahawks are going to make the playoffs.

I realize some folks — OK, most folks — have already released 2020 ratings, and we won’t wait forever to acknowledge the obvious just to stick it to the establishment. The first issue of Inside Elections in January will be a 2020 Senate Overview and our House ratings won’t be too far behind.

But for now, take a break, and don’t feel bad about it.