Republicans are increasingly concerned about this President TrumpDonald John Trump North Korea unveils large ICBM at military parade Trump is no longer considered a risk to transmit COVID-19, doctor says New Trump campaign announcement features Fauci MOREThe postponement of polls after his COVID-1
The presidential campaign has quickly become one of the most tumultuous in modern history, but there is more than enough unrest and uncertainty to go around as both sides battle for control of the Senate.
A major concern for Senate Republicans is Trump’s liquidity crisis, which has forced him to cut advertising in key battlefield states at a time when Senate Democratic challengers are expected to significantly outnumber incumbents of the GOP heading towards the final stretch.
Another challenge for Republicans is the expansion of the battlefield map, with traditionally red states like Alaska, Kansas and South Carolina becoming more competitive as Democratic incumbents in Michigan and New Hampshire build comfortable contacts.
Republicans are defending 23 seats, while Democrats only need to protect 12.
A GOP senator who asked for anonymity to speak freely about the likelihood of Republicans losing a majority said Trump’s poor numbers are a serious headwind.
Trump “is not doing so well” in some states that he won comfortably four years ago, the lawmaker said, “so we worry now.”
Senate Republicans were shocked by Trump’s performance at the first debate, where he consistently interrupted the moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBob Dole says no Republican on the debate committee supports the Trump debate committee co-chair: “No evidence whatsoever” Trump tested Trump’s negative calls on the Rush Limbaugh show for two hours MORE and democratic candidate Joe BidenJoe Biden Democratic Poll Shows Upside Down Neck Race in Florida House District Nebraska District Could Be Key for Biden in November Bringing Blacks Home MORE and refused to condemn white supremacists.
Another bomb came a few days later when Trump announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. As of Thursday, more than 30 White House staff members and people who had come into contact with them also tested positive.
The performance of the debate, combined with Trump’s handling of his own COVID-19 diagnosis, allowed Biden to broaden his lead over the president.
Biden’s lead went from 6 percentage points on the day of the first presidential debate to nearly 9 percentage points on Friday, according to RealClearPolitics average of national survey data. His lead has also gone from a single point in Florida to nearly 4 points, from 5 to 7 points in Michigan and from 6 to 7 points in Pennsylvania.
A survey by Quinnipiac University in Iowa conducted October 1 to 5 showed that Biden had a 5-point lead in Hawkeye State.
Steve Jarding, a Democratic strategist, said the president’s diagnosis of COVID-19 carries serious political implications.
“This is the only problem, of course, he doesn’t want to talk about. He’s taken a lot of work from day one to say it’s not a problem, it’s a flu, it’s a hoax, it’s going to go away, there will be a miracle. And suddenly it came home to alight, “said Jarding.
“There is nothing worse that could have happened to this president who tried to convince America that he did a great job, but he couldn’t do a great job at his home either,” he said.
Trump’s COVID diagnosis also largely eclipsed his appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, around which Senate Republicans were rallying in late September in hopes of early 2020 campaign momentum.
Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday Shows Preview: Trump, Top Republicans Recover From COVID-19; Stimulus law remains in limbo Democrats warn voters: don’t please yourselves The reminder: Trump seeks a way to revive MORE (R-Texas) on Friday said Trump could win reelection by a “big margin,” but warned Republican candidates could also get swept away in a “bloodbath”.
“I’m worried. It’s volatile, it’s highly volatile,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”.
Cruz added that if voters feel optimistic, Republicans “could see a fantastic election.” But if “people are angry and have lost hope”, then “it could be a bloodbath on the scale of Watergate.”
In Montana, a Trump state led by 20 points in 2016, the president is leading Biden by 9 points, a drop that is causing nervousness in the GOP over the fate of the Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David Daines Republican fears grow as the Democratic tide rises GOP anxiety grows over Trump’s political rollercoaster GOP struggles to defend Trump’s ObamaCare cause MORE (R-Mont.) In his tough race against Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Pendley Says Court Decision to Remove Him from BLM “Had No Impact” | Court Overrides Obama-Era Rule Against Methane Losses From Drilling Public Land | Feds sued for no longer allowing polluters to pay for environmental projects Pendley says court decision to oust him from BLM had “no impact” Supreme Court rejects GOP efforts to block ballot by mail in Montana MORE (D).
In South Carolina, which Trump had 14 points four years ago, the president has a slight 5-point lead over Biden. This is a problem for Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham Says SC Black People Can Go Anywhere In The State, But “They Must Be Conservative, Not Liberal” Sunday Shows Preview: Trump, Top Republicans Recover From COVID-19; Stimulus bill remains in limbo Ernst: “It would be smart” for the Senate Judicial Commission to be tested for COVID-19 MORE (R-S.C.), Who is in the toughest fight for re-election of his career.
The non-partisan Cook Political Report last week it shifted South Carolina’s run from “lean Republican” to more uncertain “pitching”.
Trump’s growing popularity in Texas is creating more concern for Republicans. After winning the state by 9 points in 2016, Trump is now just 1.5 points ahead, according to an average compiled by FiveThirtyEight.com.
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Health Care: Trump will be released from hospital | Doctor will not answer key questions | CDC Says Virus Can Spread Through Air Transmission Hill Campaign Report: Trump Leaves Walter Reed l Post-Debate Polls Show Biden Building Big Advantage Coronavirus Concerns Before Vice President Cornyn Debate: Trump ‘Down the guard ‘on the coronavirus MORE (R) is now facing a formidable challenge from Democratic candidate and veteran Air Force M.J. Hegar, which announced it raised more than $ 13.5 million in the third quarter, nearly eight times what it raised in the second quarter. Cornyn said Hegar “pretty much wiped out” his cash advantage.
Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said Trump’s actions in the final weeks of the election season will be a key factor in determining who controls the Senate next year.
He said the battle for a Senate majority is “directly linked to the presidential race. If Trump wins their state, it is very, very likely that they will win their campaign as well. “
“If Trump loses his state, he will likely lose them too,” O’Connell added, noting that Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret Collins Conservative group launches 0.3 million ad buys to boost Barrett nomination SCOTUS GOP swears swift confirmation of Trump Supreme Court’s choice amidst coronavirus turmoil Hickenlooper raises 0.6 million for offer of Colorado Senate MORE (R-Maine), which has built a reputation for independence for decades in Washington, is the only exception to the rule.
“The only person who is on her little island is Susan Collins,” he said.
Collins, who has been in the queue in polls for months, got a fair amount of good news last week when a Bangor Daily News / Digital Research poll showed that she was trailing her Democratic challenger, Sara Gideon, of only 1. point.
A Quinnipiac University poll in mid-September showed Collins was down by up to 12 points.
But Gideon’s clear lead in the lead remains unbroken, Senate Democrats point out.
Republican Senate strategists admit the environment has become even more challenging for their candidates.
“A month ago it was a completely different world,” acknowledged a GOP official who said it was “incredibly challenging” to predict what will happen on election day given “how turbulent the cycle has been.”
The official predicted that Republicans would regain some momentum when the Supreme Court confirmation hearings begin this week and the focus will return to Barrett, who has near-unanimous support at the Senate GOP conference and is a favorite of activists. conservatives and evangelicals.
Democrats also have their headaches.
The biggest is in North Carolina, where Democrat Cal Cunningham, who is married and has two teenage children, apologized last week for having an affair this summer with a counselor in California.
Prior to those revelations, Democrats were becoming increasingly confident of a victory over the Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland Tillis Ernst: “It would be smart” for the Senate Judiciary Committee to be tested for COVID-19 Hill Campaign Report: Trump’s Rush Limbaugh campaigns show Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt ahead of election Cunningham dodges questions about text messaging scandal MORE (R), and saw it as the fourth most likely place they would need to overturn the Senate. Cunningham reported raising a staggering $ 28.3 million in the third quarter, prior to the news of the affair.
Now, some handicappers think of Iowa, where Democrat Theresa Greenfield has a small but substantial lead in the Sen polls. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstErnst: “It Would Be Smart” If Senate Judiciary Commission Was Tested For COVID-19 Trump Fuels And Frustrates COVID-19 Rescue Talks Hill Campaign Report: A Debate Debate | Wisconsin mail order forms must be submitted by November 3 | Who Won Wednesday’s VP Debate? MORE (R-Iowa) is a better chance of recovery for Democrats than North Carolina.
“The Cal Cunningham throws a bit of a curveball here because many of us almost considered it a must for the Democrats and that was the logical fourth place after Maine, Arizona and Colorado,” said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the Center for Politics of the University of Virginia.
Kondik said it was “a setback for the Democrats” and that Iowa is likely a better opportunity for the Democrats to recover in the wake of the Cunningham news.
Republicans in the Senate control 53 seats and Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Who is at a disadvantage in the polls, is expected to lose in November. This means that Democrats must win at least four Republican seats and the White House to regain the majority. If Biden loses to Trump, the Democrats should win five GOP seats.