Democrats could gain SEVEN Senate seats in election sweep, forecaster predicts as Republicans face tidal wave of cash in swing states
The Cook Political Report updated its Senate forecast Tuesday saying Democrats are likely to gain between two and seven seats in the November election.
Republicans currently hold a 53-47 Senate majority, so the best-case scenario for the party looks to be holding onto a razor-thin 51-49 Senate majority, but the map looks perilous.
‘I’ve never seen it like this before. Republicans are just in trouble everywhere,’ a top GOP pollster told Cook. ‘Some of it’s Trump and some of it’s the Democratic money machine. It’s just not a pretty sight. Anywhere I’m polling, the Democrats are either competitive or ahead. It’s all bad. There are no shards of good news.’
Former Demcoratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is one of the likeliest Democrats to help his party flip the Senate. He’s taking on incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner after running for president earlier in the cycle
Democrat Mark Kelly in Arizona looks likely to beat incumbent Republican Sen. Martha McSally. Kelly already had a national platform as a former astronaut and the husband of ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose 2011 shooting made the couple gun control activists
Another GOP pollster told Cook Political Report, ‘Two years ago, if I had told you that Georgia, South Carolina and Kansas were going to be competititve Senate races, you’d have asked what I was smoking.’
Still, the easiest seat to flip in Cook’s view is Democratic Sen. Doug Jones’ seat in Alabama.
Jones won in a shock special election in December 2017 against Republican Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct by several women, dating back to when they were teens.
While Moore had the support of President Donald Trump, he still lost to race the Jones, the first Democrat to win an Alabama Senate seat since 1986, when Sen. Richard Shelby won his race, but changed his party to the GOP eight years later.
After Alabama, the GOP-held seats in Arizona and Colorado look flippable.
Arizona Sen. Martha McSally was already a loser when she ran against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema two years ago. Now on the ballot against astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, she seems poised to lose a second time, the Cook Political Report said.
In Maine, Democrat Sara Gideon (pictured) has turned Sen. Susan Collins’ re-election race into a ‘toss-up,’ according to the Cook Political Report
North Carolina’s Senate race has featured Democrat Cal Cunningham’s (pictured) sexting scandal, while incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis has contracted COVID-19 after he was criticized for not wearing a mask
Democrat Theresa Greenfield (pictured) is outspending incumbent Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in Iowa
Like the Colorado race, in Montana a former Democratic governor and 2020 candidate, in this case Steve Bullock, is running against an incumbent, Republican Sen. Steve Daines
In Colorado, Republican incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner is facing trouble running against the state’s former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who briefly ran for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Next on the list of potentially flippable races is Sen. Susan Collins’ race in Maine against Democrat Sara Gideon. For years she’s been able to survive challengers as being one of the most well-known moderates of the Senate. Cook is rating the race as a ‘toss-up,’ which is bad news for an incumbent.
The tipping point on whether the Democrats regain the Senate looks to run through North Carolina, in which the Democrat in the race, Cal Cunningham, is dealing with a sexting scandal, while the Republican incumbent, Sen. Thom Tillis, has tested positive for COVID-19 after getting in trouble with voters for refusing to wear a mask.
Even if Democrats don’t win this seat, there are another eight seats potentially in play.
There’s Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in Iowa, who’s facing a tough fight against Democrat Theresa Greenfield, who’s massively outspending her.
There’s also Sen Steve Daines in Montana who, like Gardner in Colorado, is facing off against the state’s Democratic ex-governor and an ex-2020 candidate, Steve Bullock.
In Georgia there are two Senate seats to keep an eye on – and they’re both now being rated toss-ups.
The traditional race, where GOP Sen. David Perdue is up for re-eletion, has been rated a toss-up since July. Democrat Jon Ossoff, who lost a prominent special election for the U.S. House, is challenging Perdue.
This week, Cook Political Report also moved the special election featuring Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Republican Rep. Doug Collins into the toss-up column. The two Republicans are battling it out against Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. This has left them splitting up the GOP vote, which could give the Democrat an edge.
There are two Georgia Senate races on the ballot in 2020 and they’re both rated toss-ups. Democrat Jon Ossoff (left) is running against GOP incumbent David Perdue. Rev. Raphael Warnock (right) is part of a special election vying for the seat against Republicans: Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins
South Carolina’s Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison pushed the Cook Political Report to move his race against incumbent GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham into toss-up territory last week. Harrison raised an eye-popping $57 million in a single quarter
Last week, Cook Political Report also moved Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham’s race in South Carolina to a toss-up. His challenger, Democrat Jaime Harrison, raised an eye-popping $57 million in a single quarter. The 44-year-old Harrison had previously made an impressive run for Democratic National Committee chair.
The open Senate race in Kansas also has Republicans worried. They’re replacing longtime GOP incumbent, Sen. Pat Roberts. GOP Rep. Roger Marshall is being outspent in TV ads nearly 5 to 1 by Democart Barber Bollier.
Cook Political Report moved two more races in the Democrats’ direction Tuesday.
The Alaska and Texas Senate races went from likely Republican to the lean Republican column.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn is being challenged by Democrat M.J. Hegar.
And independent Al Gross is running against Alaska GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan.