Received this e-mail today from Slate Magazine’s The Surge where they list the seven top U.S. Senate races that could help the Democrats win a Majority:
1. North Carolina
Let’s get the math out of the way. The current, Republican-led Senate composition is 53 to 47. That means Democrats need a net pickup of three seats to win the chamber if they win the presidency—and have a Democratic vice president to cast the tie-breaking vote—or four seats if they don’t. Democrats will likely need to flip four or five Republican seats, though, because Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, who this time will not be running against a Republican who’s been banned from the mall, is probably going to lose. Democrats’ three best pickup opportunities (spoiler) are in Maine, Colorado, and Arizona. Where’s the fourth? has been the question looming over the Senate puzzle this whole time. We now appear to have an answer: It’s in North Carolina, where Democrats have invented a specimen named “Cal Cunningham” (troop, lawyer, dad!) to take on incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, whom voters dislike. Cunningham prevailed in the primary, despite Republican hijinks to prevent him from doing so, and will be competitive with key Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee–targeted swing blocs in the Research Triangle like White Claw Frolf Dads and CIA Predator Drone Pilot Moms. The polling average shows a dead heat, though a (Democratic-leaning) pollster this week put Cunningham up by 7 percentage points. No pressure, Cal, but preventing a 6–3 conservative Supreme Court—i.e., a permanent Republican victory in American politics—may rest on your shoulders?
Remember when Susan Collins cast the deciding vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation? Maine sure does. The once broadly popular veteran senator still hasn’t recovered from the polling collapse following that fateful 2018 vote. In the same Bangor Daily News April poll where Democratic Gov. Janet Mills earned a 60 percent approval rating, Collins’ approval stood at 37 percent, with a 52 percent majority disapproving. Polling is sparse, but the most recent (Democratic-leaning) poll in March showed Collins trailing her main competitor in the ranked-choice voting system, Democrat Sara Gideon, by 4 percentage points. Those fundamentals are bad, especially in a presidential election year in a (narrowly) blue state where the top of the ticket will dictate much of what goes on down-ballot. Next to his own race, though, reelecting Collins will be Mitch McConnell’s top priority after the risk she took on Kavanaugh. She won’t lack for funds.