Between the impending midterms and the recent Kavanaugh Supreme Court debacle, there has been a huge amount of attention on the U.S. Senate. So where do we stand just weeks out from the election?
- The Senate currently has 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats (including two independents), which means that Democrats need to hold every seat they currently have and pick up two seats to get the Senate back – not an easy task.
- Ten of the seats Democrats need to defend are in states Trump carried in 2016 (the big one being Florida) — and five are in states Trump won by double-digit percentages: Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.
- Meanwhile, Republicans only have one seat up in a state Trump lost two years ago: Nevada.
- But there are some surprising opportunities in more traditionally Republican states like Arizona, Texas, Tennessee – and possibly even Mississippi, where Democrats are rising in the polls.
There are more than just numerical challenges at play here, though. The Senate races this year don’t offer nearly as many progressive champions to rally behind as House races do. So in addition to Democrats having to defend all open seats and pick up two more, they also face the challenge of mobilizing ground games around candidates that do little to inspire with youth, communities of color, and progressives in most cases (with perhaps Beto O’Rourke being the exception this year).
Despite these challenges, though, organizations throughout the country are rising to the challenge of working tirelessly to attempt to win control of the Senate.
Bottom line: even if we don’t love all of the candidates, we might need them when it’s time to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
And the beauty of this fund is that it doesn’t directly support the candidates, but rather the groups in these states who will actually hold Senators accountable after they are elected. For example, Act Indiana, was the main force pushing Donnelly to vote the right way on Kavanaugh and on key issues like immigration this year.