One of the primary concerns Republicans and conservatives had regarding the Trump candidacy is the drag he’d be down the ballot for other Republicans. And, yes, he isn’t the strongest candidate the GOP could have put forward, but if polling is any indication, the Senate may not be as lost as Republicans and conservatives were fearing. In fact, it could stay in the GOP’s hands.
Trump’s resilience and faltering Democratic campaigns in battleground states mean the fight for the Senate has settled into a knuckle-to-knuckle brawl likely to result in a chamber that will be closely divided or potentially even tied.
Democrats can still manage to win the four or five seats they need to claim the Senate majority, but the battle has shifted from purple states that Barack Obama twice carried — Ohio and Florida — to Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina, where Obama lost in 2012.
While Democrats are continuing their efforts in select states to tie incumbent Republican senators to Trump, Republicans are looking to flip that script in those redder states, yoking Democratic candidates to their own unpopular nominee.
It’s not pretty, but it is a fighting chance. Most people have and probably still will continue to write the Senate off as lost. In the case of a tie, control of the Senate is effectively in the hands of the party that controls the White House.
This news comes to us after a couple weeks of polling and stories that suggest voters are very willing to split their ticket. They indicate they’ll vote for Hillary Clinton for president, but vote Republican down the ballot to keep her in check. So, given the WaPo story today and the ticket-splitting story, we now have two more pieces of evidence that Hillary should really, really begin to worry.