From the diaries.
With the mid-terms approaching, we are starting to see our first polling from some of the Senate races.
The road for Democrats to take the Senate has always appeared tough. The map is just brutal this year with them having to defend 10 seats in states Trump one. Yet, with the “blue wave” theorem bouncing around, some have taken up new hope that things could actually flip.
Yeah, not so much.
Five Senate Democrats would lose to a Republican candidate if the election were held today and three have approval ratings under 50%, according to new Axios/SurveyMonkey polls.
- Why it matters: Democrats are defending 10 Senate seats in states Trump won in 2016. In six of those states Trump’s approval is higher than 50% (compared to 43% nationally). These numbers underscore how hard it will be for Democrats to pick up the two seats needed to win the majority despite Trump’s troubles.
This is pretty much what you’d expect. Democrat incumbents Tester (D-MT), McCaskill (D-MO), Manchin (D-WV), Donnelly (D-IN), and Heitkamp (D-ND) all look to be in trouble. Even in races you’d expect wouldn’t be very competitive, like Michigan and Wisconsin, the Republican challenger is only 4 and 3 points respectively. A good candidate could see pickups there as well.
If Democrats were hoping Trump’s recent bad two weeks would help their prospects, that doesn’t look like it’s happened.
BUT, the Republicans can still easily screw this up. These results are mostly against generic Republicans. If Republicans go out and nominate a bunch of Roy Moore types, then they could easily see these very likely gains slip away.
Keeping the Senate is especially important because of the Supreme Court. It’s very likely we’ll see another justice leave the court in the next three years. Another conservative being appointed would dramatically tip the balance of the court in favor of traditional, constitutional views.