July 21, 2019


Battle for the Senate Coming Down to Five Key Races (Josh Kraushaar, July 21, 2019, National Journal)

The battle for the Senate is coming down to five states where Republicans are defending seats: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina. If Democrats can't hold Sen. Doug Jones's seat in ruby-red Alabama--a very difficult task--they'll need to win at least four of those five races. (Should Trump win reelection, they'll need a clean sweep.)

Georgia and Texas, once seen as compelling opportunities, are looking further out of reach for Democrats. And despite GOP dysfunction in Kansas and strong Democratic fundraising against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, those conservative states are still heavily favored to elect Republicans next year.

But the GOP's standing in the traditional swing states is looking more tenuous. The prospect of a Democratic sweep isn't out of the question, especially given the polarized nature of the electorate. If Democrats simply carry the states where Trump is viewed unfavorably, they'd win at least 50 Senate seats.

Down the ballot, Morning Consult's latest round of polls measuring the approval ratings of sitting senators should also concern Republicans. While most senators boast net-positive approval ratings, three Republicans up in 2020 are in precarious shape.

That list includes Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support even in tough political times. She now holds the highest disapproval rating in the country. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina has the lowest approval rating of any senator, according to the survey. Sen. Cory Gardner, running in the bluest state of any Republican up in 2020, is viewed favorably by only 37 percent of Coloradans.

The two other swing-state GOP senators aren't faring much better. Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona holds a 40-37 job approval-disapproval rating, a sign of vulnerability. And Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, despite her reputation as a popular figure back home, holds a tenuous 42-38 approval-disapproval rating.

Just as importantly, Donald was carried in 2016 by the underticket, where Republican governors and congressional candidates out-polled him, but dragged along enough party-line voters to save him.

Posted by at July 21, 2019 9:24 AM


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