Charlie Cook's Political Report out of Washington. D.C. is considered by political insiders the last word when it comes to divining the status of governor, House and Senate campaigns around the country.
If that's the case, then maybe Republican Rich Tarrant may want to rethink making many more big-check investments in his self-financed bid to beat independent Bernie Sanders in the Senate race.
Cook's latest report just moved the Sanders-Tarrant contest from the "likely Democrat(I)" column to the "solid Democrat(I)" column, meaning Cook believes its game over for Tarrant in Vermont.
You have to be a Cook subscriber to read his analysis, so I won't put in a link. But here's a peek at some of what Cook had to say about the Vermont race in his new report.
"Republican health care magnate Richard Tarrant has spent $6.1 million in an effort to win this open Senate seat, shattering just about every imaginable record for political spending in the state. Unfortunately, the most recent poll indicates that all that money has only earned Tarrant 33 percent of the vote."
"He he hasn't made any inroads against his opponent Rep. Bernie Sanders. Sanders, who has represented the state's At-Large congressional district since 1990 as an independent ... After 25 years in public office, the first nine as Mayor of Burlington, voters know Sanders pretty well. If his liberal voting record wouldn't play well in many states, it suits Vermont just fine. As such, voters here do not seem that open to Tarrant's criticisms of Sanders' record. They've heard it all before."
"If $6.1 million spent over the course of 12 months can't put Tarrant within striking distance, nothing can. This race moves to Solid Democrat (Independent). "
Then again, Cook hasn't been in Vermont and seen the forest of yellow-and-red Tarrant lawn (and other) signs that have popped up around the state.