November 16, 2016

60 in '18:

Are You Dreaming of Democrats Taking the Senate in 2018? Time to Wake Up. (Suzanne Monyak, 11/16/16, Slate)

The Republicans currently hold a slim majority in the Senate, with 51 Republicans to 48 Democrats. For the Democrats to win the majority in the 2018 midterms, they would need to maintain the 48 seats they currently have and flip three Republican seats. However, just eight Republicans will be up for re-election in two years, and most represent solidly red states. The exception is Dean Heller from Nevada--the state voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, and it also elected a Democrat, Catherine Cortez Masto, to fill the seat of retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

And to make matters even bleaker for Senate Dems, some of the seats they do hold belong to states that voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton last week. Of the 25 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018, 10 come from states where Trump won: solid red states Indiana, West Virginia, Missouri, Montana, and North Dakota, along with traditional swing states Michigan (still recorded as likely Trump until all votes are counted), Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin--which all voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Tim Kaine also faces re-election in Virginia, a battleground state Clinton won only narrowly on Tuesday.

The math is simple: If the electoral map stays the same colors between now and 2018, the Democrats could stand to gain just one Republican seat while losing 10 of their own, leaving them with an even smaller minority than they held when they lost their majority in the 2014 midterms.

Posted by at November 16, 2016 5:47 PM