A year ago Mitch McConnell probably didn’t have a worry about running the US Senate next year….
That was then….
Things are steadily looking like Chuck Schumer is gonna get to be the Majority Leader gavel come January…
Democrats’ path to the majority is to net at least four Senate seats or net three and win the White House to get the majority, but that requires going through some Republican-leaning states.
For now, the most competitive races remain largely unchanged from our last rankings in August. We’ll update these rankings again between now and November.
Because so many of the races could go either way — while others are more of a stretch — we divided them in three categories: More likely to flip than not, toss-ups, and could flip under the right conditions.
More likely to flip than not: Alabama, Colorado and Arizona
1. Alabama (Democrat-held): Sen. Doug Jones (D) remains the most vulnerable senator in 2020. He’s facing former Auburn University coach Tommy Tuberville, a first-time candidate that Democrats are modestly optimistic could stumble in the spotlight. But no one with a stake is arguing that a Senate race in one of the most pro-Trump states in the country is a toss-up.
2. Colorado (Republican-held): Sen. Cory Gardner (R) is trying to pull away from Trump in this purple-blue state by talking about an outdoors conservation bill he wrote, rather than how he voted to acquit the president on impeachment. His opponent, former governor John Hickenlooper (D), hasn’t seen an ethics scandal hit his polling in a significant way. A new AARP poll of all likely voters shows Hickenlooper leading 51 percent to Gardner’s 46 percent. Gardner will need Trump to perform better than expected here to keep this seat. Said one Republican strategist: “If the president is really struggling in Colorado, that makes the math difficult for Cory.”
3. Arizona (Republican-held): Former astronaut and gun-control activist Mark Kelly is one of the Democrats’ strongest candidates of 2020. He has outraised Sen. Martha McSally (R) the entire race and is leading in recent major polls. Republicans are hopeful this could become more of a toss-up race, because Arizona is a Republican-leaning state. It hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president in decades, and Kelly would also be just the second Democratic senator from this state in 25 years. (Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema beat McSally in 2018.) A new CBS/YouGov poll in Arizona finds Kelly leading by seven points.