Things are not going well for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). As the COVID-19 response becomes more and more disastrous, it is beginning to look like Democrats could wrest control of the Congressional upper chamber for the first time in nearly a decade.
Politico reports that Democrats are about to run a slate of candidates against embattled Republican Senators — and they have the money to back the races, too.
Politico reporter James Arkin says of the situation:
“Republicans started this election cycle as heavy favorites to keep their Senate majority, with a lineup of elections mostly in red-tinted states and GOP incumbents favored over a slate of relatively unknown and untested challengers. Now,nearly sixmonths out from the election, Democrats are making them sweat.”
The GOP currently controls the Senate 53-47, but President Donald Trump is turning out to be an anchor around the necks of vulnerable incumbents. His bumbling response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with his combative style, are making this an unusually difficult election cycle for Republicans.
Steven Law, who runs the GOP super PAC Senate Leadership Fund, says:
“The sense is that, no matter what else happens, we’ve got to hold the Senate majority. And it’s not a given. There’s just a broad front to defend, and it’s going to take a lot of resources and a lot of hard work to do it,” he admitted before adding it will be a “challenging election from top to bottom.”
Trump has not been as good for Republican reelection chances as the people who sit in Congress thought, and as Law says, their work is cut out for them in the run-up to the November election.
Maine’s Susan Collins, Arizona’s Martha McSally, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, and Colorado’s Cory Gardner are the most obvious targets, but other seats could flip to blue as well. Arkin continued in his piece:
“Republicans have offensive targets in Alabama and Michigan, two seats that could help them preserve their control of the chamber even if they lose seats elsewhere. But Democrats have also recruited strong challengers in a string of red states that could come into play, including Montana, Kansas and a special election in Georgia, helping them potentially expand their path back to the majority.”
What happens remains to be seen, but there is a very real chance that the nation could be looking at a Democratic Senate come November.
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.