You might have questions about the Fox News Power Rankings: what they are, how they’re calculated and what each ranking means. We’ve prepared a guide to take you through everything you want to know.
What are the Power Rankings and how is each rating useful?
The Fox News Power Rankings provide an insight into the competitiveness and outcome of election races. Information about each race is compiled into a model which produces an estimate of the outcome. These estimates are then converted into a characterization of the race. For example, a race in which the Democrat is very likely to win is labeled “Solid D,” while a highly competitive race is labeled a “Toss-Up.”
As the election cycle progresses, more data about races become available, so expect these rankings to change throughout the year.
Ratings provide a broad characterization of a race and should never be perceived as a guarantee of the outcome.
What do the categories mean?
Races are assigned to one of seven categories:
– Toss-Up: This race could go either way.
– Lean D or Lean R: One party has a slight edge, but it remains highly competitive.
– Likely D or Likely R: One party has a clear edge, but it is still competitive.
– Solid D or Solid R: This race is not competitive.
These categories describe the outcome of the race, not the margin. For example, if a race is labeled “Solid R,” it means that the Republican candidate is highly likely to win the race, not necessarily that the candidate will win by a large margin.
What is the methodology?
Each Power Ranking is driven by a model comprised of three factors. First, the model relies on polling averages, with an emphasis on high-quality polling. Second, the model considers election fundamentals, including results from primaries and previous cycles, among other figures. The final factor is candidate strength, which includes data such as fundraising numbers and incumbency advantage.
Separately, the Fox News Power Rankings monitors news headlines that could affect the outcome of a race – for example, if a candidate makes a controversial remark or faces a scandal. Each rating is also informed by conversations with local reporters and analysts and meetings with political campaigns on both sides of the aisle.
These factors are all considered and discussed before a decision is made.