And the Republicans have more seats to defend…
But most of those seats are in Trump country….
And as bad as Trump’s overall approval has dropped?
He IS holding his own in Red/Trump states….
While the presidential race will consume this cycle, don’t forget about the fight for Congress, where both majorities are likely to be at stake. And control of Capitol Hill will affect the ability of the president to get things done to start the next decade.
In the Senate, Republicans picked up a couple of seats in November. But Democrats held their losses to a minimum in the face of a challenging map, keeping a majority within reach in 2020.
It’s important to be precise about how we talk about the fight for the Senate because the number of seats Democrats need depends on the outcome of the presidential race. Democrats need to gain four seats for a majority, but a gain of three seats would be enough for control if there is a new Democratic vice president to break a 50-50 tie.
One of the first things that stand out about the 2020 Senate map is the stark contrast to 2018. Last cycle, Democrats were defending 26 Senate seats compared to just nine for the Republicans. In 2020, the GOP will be defending 22 seats to the Democrats’ 12.
More takeover targets should be good for the party trying to recapture the majority, but the individual states on the Senate map also matter.
In 2018, there were 10 Democratic senators running for re-election in states President Donald Trump won two years earlier. In 2020, there are just two: Doug Jones of Alabama and Gary Peters of Michigan. There was just one Republican senator running for re-election in 2018 in a state Hillary Clinton carried, and there are just two in 2020: Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine.
Presidential results are especially important ahead of 2020 because 2016 was the first time in history (at least since the 17th Amendment and the direct election of senators) that Senate results matched the presidential outcomes in every state.
For 2020, a similar dynamic — and presidential result to 2016 — would produce no net gain for the Democrats because they would lose Alabama and Michigan while winning Colorado and Maine. Using the 2012 presidential results as a guide for the 2020 map, however, Democrats would gain two Senate seats, losing Alabama while picking up Colorado, Maine, and Iowa. If the 2008 presidential results applied, Democrats would gain three seats by losing Alabama and taking over Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina.
The actual presidential campaign will also influence the map of competitive Senate races…..