Democrats Now Have A Real Shot At Taking The Senate In 2020

Martin Falbisoner/CC BY 3.0/Wikimedia

JakeThomas

Are the Democrats likely to flip enough seats to take the Senate? Probably not. But it has become much more plausible.

Democrats now have a real chance to wrestle control of the Senate away from Republicans in 2020, according to a recent CNN analysis — even if that chance remains slight.

The two primary factors in this situation are “continued decline in the national political environment for Trump coupled with strong fundraising numbers by a slew of Democratic challengers,” the news outlet reported.

Republicans are stuck defending 23 Senate seats next year, while Democrats have just 12 to protect; however, CNN noted that only two of the 23 GOP seats — Maine and Colorado — are in states that Hillary Clinton took in 2016. And although Democratic senators up for reelection are in mostly safe states, Senator Doug Jones of Alabama is unlikely to win his contest.

Together with the fact that Senate Democrats need a net gain of three or four seats — depending on whether a Democrat or Republican wins the presidency — flipping the Senate seemed like a serious long shot.

Here’s where it gets good, if you’re a Democrat.

Senator Cory Gardner was already one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection, and now that former Governor John Hickenlooper was convinced to drop out of the 2020 presidential race to run against him, Gardner could well be up the creek.

CNN also noted that Mark Kelly, the astronaut running on the Democratic ticket in Arizona, has turned up ready to play, raising $9.5 million by the end of September. At the same time, Republicans are growing more concerned about the viability of their own candidate, Senator Martha McSally.

And Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), who garnered criticism over her vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, appears to be facing “the most serious race of her two-plus decade career as former state House Speaker Sara Gideon reported raising more than $3 million dollars over the past three months -- outpacing the incumbent by more than $1 million.”

North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Iowa all present genuine opportunities for Democrats to flip Senate seats as well, CNN reported, particularly if political environment travels further south for Republicans. And with the impeachment inquiry shaping up to deliver President Donald Trump a solid bruising, the likelihood of potential missteps by GOP incumbents between now and election day only increases.

Are the Democrats likely to take control of the Senate after the next election? No. But CNN concluded that “what once looked like a long-shot bid by Democrats for the Senate majority has turned into a much more plausible possibility.”

Nathan Gonzales, a non-partisan political handicapper and publisher of "Inside Elections," agreed in his recent tipsheet, writing: "With President Donald Trump struggling to recreate his 2016 Electoral College victory, control of the Senate should be regarded as in play. Republicans are still more likely than not to maintain control of the Senate, but Democrats have a legitimate path to control, particularly if they win the White House."

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