by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The prognosis for the Republican Senate majority is dire, as well-funded Democratic challengers put red states in play and GOP incumbents feel dragged down by President Trump’s faltering reelection bid.
Senate Republicans are clinging to a three-seat majority. They are poised to pick up one Democratic-held seat in Alabama and threatening to flip another in Michigan. But it all starts to come apart from there. Incumbent Republicans are endangered in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina; on their heels in Georgia and Montana; and facing the prospect of major upsets in Alaska and South Carolina. Republicans could also lose an open-seat contest in ruby-red Kansas.
In Alaska, Kansas, Montana, and South Carolina, where Trump is heavily favored over Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the Republicans’ problem is resources. Energized grassroots liberals have flooded Democratic challengers in those states with hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions. Republican candidates are completely outgunned. In Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, and Georgia, all presidential battlegrounds, the problem is money — and Trump.
The president’s standing versus Biden has suffered since the first televised debate and his bout with the coronavirus. The fallout is impacting Senate Republicans.
“Democrats are more likely than not going to win control of the Senate,” said Nathan Gonzales, publisher of Inside Elections, a nonpartisan prognosticator.
“It’s looking very grim for Republicans up and down the ballot,” added a GOP operative privy to the party’s private polling. “The spending is a massive problem, and the president’s numbers have plummeted since his disastrous first debate performance.”
The Republicans are defending a 53-seat majority in the Nov. 3 elections. Inside Elections is projecting Democratic Senate gains of three to five seats and leaning toward a Democratic takeover because of Biden’s strength versus Trump. …