Today I will take a look at the ten seats the Democrats are defending from states in which President Trump won.
They can be confident about Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Two-term senators from Montana and Ohio are likely to keep their seats. Things get more complicated with the other five seats.
Florida is a battle of heavyweights. Incumbent Bill Nelson is seeking a fourth term. Rick Scott, the current governor, is challenging him. Both candidates have good approval ratings. It should be a very close election. Hopefully we won’t hear more about hanging chad.
In Indiana, Joe Donnelly is running for a second term. He is one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate. Mike Braun, a businessman and a former state legislator is challenging him.
Missouri hasn’t held their primary yet. Both parties have a number of candidates. Incumbent Claire McCaskill should easily get the nomination. She is a true centrist who votes with the Republicans about as often as she votes with the Democrats. Her likely opponent is Josh Hawley, Missouri’s Attorney General.
In North Dakota incumbent Heidi Heitkamp is running for a second term. She is also a moderate. She is running against Kevin Cramer, a Donald Trump conservative.
Joe Manchin of West Virginia, another moderate, is seeking another term. He is very popular and had an overwhelming victory in 2012. His opponent is Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
All five races are considered to be to tossups so I won’t try to make any state by state predictions. The incumbents have the advantage of being well-known and generally well liked. Many people vote for the person rather than the party in statewide elections. They also have some serious disadvantages. Moderates are becoming an endangered species. They can find themselves unacceptable to both parties. It looks like the Democrats don’t have an effective strategy once again.
My best guess is that Republicans will get three more seats. That would give them a 52-48 advantage. Barring something unexpected, Democrats have a very small chance to reclaim the Senate. It is possible that Republicans could pick up 3-5 seats.