The Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” report is out with their ratings on the races for the House of Representatives and they have moved the seat currently held by House Speaker Paul Ryan from “Safe Republican” to “Likely Republican.” However, the report, produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, may have relied too heavily on false reports of Ryan’s retirement when making the change.
After citing a number of factors about the district, Managing Editor Kyle Kondik wrote that the main reason for making the change in the rating was the false reports of Ryan’s decision to retire.
“Could Ryan decide not to run? Or might he run this year and then resign after winning reelection, perhaps necessitating a special election in 2019?” Kondik wrote. “It’s hard to say, but Ryan may keep us all guessing for awhile, because if he retires he could prompt even more of his colleagues to also retire. Ryan is also a vital (and very strong) fundraiser for his caucus, and he might not raise as much if donors explicitly knew he was heading for the exits.”
Ryan has been a tremendous source of fundraising for his House colleagues, transferring another $2.5 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) on Tuesday, bring the total amount transferred to $38 million since the 2016 election.
Despite all of the money sent to the NRCC, Ryan still has nearly $10 million in cash on hand, a decisive advantage over his two possible Democratic challengers. All signs point to Ryan running for re-election, including his statement when the rumor of his retirement began from an anonymous source in the House Freedom Caucus, hardly Ryan allies.
Ryan told reporters last December, “I am not going anywhere anytime soon.”
In addition to the retirement rumors, Kondik cited the fundraising of Democratic challenger Randy Bryce:
“Ironworker Randy Bryce (D), one of Ryan’s potential general election challengers, has become a minor celebrity on the left, and he raised more than $1 million in the last quarter, a lot of money for a House candidate (though he burned through almost all of what he raised last quarter, which calls into question how he is running his campaign).”
Besides burning through money like Monty Brewster, Bryce has had a number of personal failures re-surface in the campaign, including payment for Twitter followers while he was behind on child support, a fundraiser at the home of an accused sexual harasser, an ethics complaint about his campaign finance paperwork, and a mysterious Democratic Party lawyer settling a debt after the person who received the money contacted a reporter.