Democrats lead in five key Senate races Republicans hope to step down just 50 days from midterm elections in November, giving them hope of retaining control of the upper house of Congress despite the approval rating of the President Joe Biden who flounders for much of the summer.
Democrats currently hold the majority in the Senate, which is split between 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two independent senators who caucus with Democrats. A third of the Senate is up for grabs in November, when voters will determine which party will ultimately take control.
Republicans were hoping to turn the midterm election into a referendum against Biden, who has suffered from troubled polls — largely fueled by economic concerns including high gas prices, inflation and fears of recession — throughout. throughout the summer. However, a string of legislative victories, as well as the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade in June, gave Democrats hope of retaining a majority of Senate seats.
Of the 35 seats up for grabs, 14 seats are held by Democrats, while 21 are held by Republicans. Republicans are aiming to flip seats held by Democrats in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire. Meanwhile, they’re on the defensive in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Here’s a look at the five Senate races held by Democrats that Republicans hope to overthrow in November.
Democratic Senator Mark Kelly was first elected in the 2020 state special election to serve the remainder of the late Senator John McCain’s term. Kelly beat former Senator Martha McSally by 2.4 percentage points and is expected to have another competitive midterm run. Arizona is one of the most evenly divided states between Democrats and Republicans.
Now Kelly, a former astronaut married to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is running for her first full term in the Senate.
Although the race remains competitive, Kelly is seen as having a narrow lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters, who won support from former President Donald Trump in the Republican primary and faced backlash for some controversial remarks.
Kelly holds an 8.1-point lead against Masters in a recent set of FiveThirtyEight polls. An Emerson College poll conducted Sept. 6-7 found Kelly with a 2-point lead among likely voters. In the poll, 47% of respondents backed Kelly, while 45 backed Masters.
Colorado, once considered a swing state, has become a Democratic-leaning state in recent years as Democrats swept statewide office elections in 2020. But Republicans view the state as potentially competitive midterm due to businessman Joe O’Dea, a moderate who party leaders say can appeal to independents and centrist Democrats.
As abortion becomes a major midterm issue, O’Dea has taken a more moderate stance than other GOP candidates. He also condemned the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol and was quick to say that Trump did not endorse his campaign. He defeated a pro-Trump candidate who witnessed the riot in the primary.
However, polls show O’Dea still has an uphill battle in Colorado, which backed Biden by double digits in 2020. FiveThirtyEight’s polling aggregate shows incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennett has an 8.6 lead. points. Additionally, a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling from August 30-31 showed Bennet had an 11-point lead over O’Dea.
Georgia, a former Republican stronghold that surged for Biden in 2020, is expected to be one of the closest midterm Senate races. Republicans are betting on former football star Herschel Walker to face Sen. Raphael Warnock, who was elected in 2020 to complete the remainder of the late Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term.
The Trump-backed Walker faced a number of scandals throughout the campaign, including his false claim that he served as an FBI agent. While Republicans are favored in other statewide races, Warnock holds a 2.7-point lead, according to FiveThirtyEight.
A Quinnipiac University poll conducted Sept. 8-12 found Warnock held a 6-point lead among likely voters, with 52% of respondents saying they planned to vote for Warnock. Meanwhile, 46% of likely voters are expected to vote for Walker.
Republicans are hoping former Attorney General Adam Laxalt can unseat Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, a state that has consistently voted Democrat by narrow margins in recent years.
FiveThiryEight’s polling aggregate shows Cortes Masto, first elected in 2016, with a 2.9-point lead over Laxalt, who served as attorney general from 2015 to 2019. Laxalt ran for governor in 2018, losing to Democrat Steve Sisolak by about 4 points. Republicans hope Hispanic voters leaning towards Republicans, along with economic concerns that have plagued the tourism-dependent Las Vegas region, will boost them in the state.
Republicans view the seat as one of their best pick-up opportunities, as Laxalt has won close elections before. Democrats, however, point to Cortez Masto as a powerful fundraiser.
An Emerson College poll conducted Sept. 8-10 showed Laxalt only one point ahead of Cortez Masto. The poll found that Laxalt won the support of 42% of respondents, while 41% backed Cortez Masto.
Last Tuesday, Don Bolduc, who aligned himself with Trump, won the Republican Party primary to challenge Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan, who was first elected in 2016. Republicans have pledged to spend money. money for the race, but Democrats are confident of their chances due to Bolduc’s right-wing policies, which could alienate moderate voters in the state who voted for Biden by more than 7 points in 2020.
Bolduc defeated New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse, who was considered the more moderate option who voted better against Hassan than Bolduc. Hassan currently has a 6.1 point lead, according to FiveThirtyEight. Hassan previously served as governor of New Hampshire from 2013 to 2017.
An Emerson College poll from Sept. 14–15 found Hassan with an 11-point lead. In the poll, she received 51% support, while 40% of respondents said they planned to vote for Bolduc.
Newsweek contacted the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee for comment.