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Tue Oct 13, 2020, 03:20 PM

Why Democratic Senate Candidates Are Competitive in Red States Like Alaska, Kansas and Montana

Democrats have a relatively clear path to securing a majority in the U.S. Senate: Win seats in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina — all states where the Democratic candidate is favored. Carrying these four states, and winning the presidency, would take Democrats from 47 seats currently to 50 seats — Democrat Doug Jones is likely to lose his reelection race in Alabama — with a Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking 51st vote. Democrats also have about even odds of picking up a seat in Iowa.

But 50 or 51 votes would be an extremely narrow majority, so Democrats would need to keep essentially all their members in line on key votes. And there are still some relatively conservative Democrats in the Senate, such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. But Democrats also have a real chance at a bigger Senate majority — that is, if they can win seats in some redder states where they’re underdogs but have a meaningful chance of pulling off an upset. It’s worth thinking about two groups of states. One, as we explained in a story last week, is in the South: Democrats could win Senate races in Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Texas because those states have large numbers of voters of color. But those states are challenging for Democrats because they’re “inelastic,” with few swing voters who are really persuadable (in this case, lots of white evangelical Protestants and white voters with conservative views on racial issues who rarely if ever vote for Democratic candidates).

The second group of red states where Democrats look at least somewhat competitive in Senate races — Alaska, Kansas and Montana — is basically the opposite: very white but not as evangelical or racially conservative. These are more elastic states, where voters are more likely to swing between the two parties according to national political dynamics.

(snip)

Personally, I’d be surprised if Democrats won any of these three races. Like South Carolina, it’s pretty hard for a Democratic Senate candidate to win in these states, particularly Kansas. But it’s an indication of how blue 2020 is shaping up to be that Democrats have a chance of winning in all three of these states. And if they do pull off upsets in Alaska, Kansas or Montana, Democrats might win control of the Senate with a few votes to spare.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-democratic-senate-candidates-are-competitive-in-red-states-like-alaska-kansas-and-montana/

Just a year ago we had little hope of winning control of the Senate. Dare I say it is likely now? While it is true to say that conservative Democrats would be a problem with a narrow margin, let's remember the Majority Leader controls the Senate agenda. I hope we would be as ruthless in this respect as McConnell has been.

2020 Senate Election Forecasts

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Reply Why Democratic Senate Candidates Are Competitive in Red States Like Alaska, Kansas and Montana (Original post)
Lasher Oct 13 OP
idziak4ever1234 Oct 13 #1
Proud liberal 80 Oct 13 #2

Response to Lasher (Original post)

Tue Oct 13, 2020, 03:25 PM

1. "I hope we would be as ruthless in this respect as McConnell has been."

Oh, I think the days of comity are gone. Democratic leadership should use the gavel to bludgeon those miserable creatures on the other side of the aisle.

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Response to idziak4ever1234 (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 13, 2020, 03:26 PM

2. it's pretty hard

it’s pretty hard for a Democratic Senate candidate to win in these states

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Tester

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