Analysts: 36th Congressional no longer likely GOP seat

This hasn’t been the best week for Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s campaign.

First, a Democratic poll showed challenger Raul Ruiz has pulled within three percentage points of Bono Mack’s standing with voters.

Then, a 2006 email re-surfaced that showed Bono Mack thought it was “funny” that a talk radio host described squalor in the east valley a “Third World toilet.”

Now the latest blow: Two political watchdogs have re-evaluated the likelihood of her re-election this November.

Both the non-partisan Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato out of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics had previously determined that the 36th Congressional District was a likely Republican seat.

Now they’ve switched the ratings to say the district leans Republican,  increasing the chances of a competitive race.

In political terms, the rating change also means the race is now just one step up from being categorized as a toss-up race.

“The Mary Bono Mack campaign, on every level, is the strongest its ever been,” campaign manager John Pezzullo said in an email this afternoon. “Our poll numbers are solid and Mary is working hard as she always does.”