Fresh Signs of Republican Problems in Senate Races
Author: Greg Valliere
August 19, 2022
THE HOUSE STILL LOOKS LIKELY TO FLIP back to the GOP, narrowly, but earlier this year McConnell and other party leaders expected to easily take both houses. The Senate currently is deadlocked, 50-50, with Kamala Harris breaking all ties for the Democrats. The GOP needs only a five-seat net pickup to take the House.
McCONNELl’s MAIN COMPLAINT is that the party has weak Senate candidates in several states — some have been endorsed by Donald Trump, who is locked in a bitter feud with McConnell.
HERE’S OUR LATEST TAKE ON THE SENATE RACES:
Clearly vulnerable Democratic seats: None.
Possibly vulnerable Democratic seats: Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire is only a slight favorite; luckily for her, she doesn’t have to face popular GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, who decided not to run.
Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat fighting to keep his seat, is slightly ahead of
Herschel Walker in Georgia, who’s arguably the weakest Senate candidate in the country.
Michael Bennett in Colorado is a slight favorite, hardly a shoo-in.
The Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto is in a tight race in Nevada.
Mark Kelly is the favorite to keep his Arizona seat but politics are very volatile in this state.
Clearly vulnerable Republican seats: The GOP seat in Pennsylvania is in jeopardy, as leftist John Fetterman has moved into a significant lead against stumbling Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Outspoken conservative Sen. Ron Johnson is trailing in new polls against a progressive Democrat in Wisconsin, another politically volatile state.
Possibly vulnerable Republican seats: Marco Rubio (R) is in a surprisingly close race to keep his Florida seat against Democrat Val Demmings, who is tied or leading in recent polls.
Republican J.D. Vance is only the slight favorite against moderate Democratic Rep.
Mike Ryan in Ohio.
Rep.Ted Budd, endorsed in his primary by Trump, is only narrowly ahead in North Carolina.
BOTTOM LINE: The Democrats may lose one or two of their own seats, although there’s a plausible case that they will lose none. The Republicans appear likely to lose at least two of their seats.
THE SENATE MAY WIND UP TIED ONCE AGAIN, or the Democrats could gain a 51-49 advantage — which would be quite a disappointment for McConnell, who thought earlier this year that the GOP could enjoy a net gain of three or four seats.
MUCH WILL CHANGE between now and Nov. 8 — the direction of inflation and the overall economy will be crucial — but it appears that in several states the issue of strident new abortion laws has been far more negative for Republicans than they anticipated.
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