Following the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's 2005 hot mic tape and the related fracturing of the Republican party, Democrats are more confident than ever that they can regain control of the United States Senate in this election. According to an article published on Wednesday in The Hill, Democrats are confident they'll take the Senate, especially after the multiple Trump controversies.
Presently, there are 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 2 Independents in the Senate. To regain control of the Senate, Democrats need to pick up four seats in November's election if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency or 5 seats if Donald Trump wins the presidency, since the vice president casts tie-breaking votes in the Senate. One Democratic strategist indicated to The Hill, "You're looking at a potential plus-seven night," while other strategists believe scoring even nine or, better yet, 10 seats isn't an impossibility.
The seats that the Democrats are most likely to pick up in November are those in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Democrats also have a chance, albeit somewhat slimmer, of picking up seats in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, and Ohio, given the recent fractures and controversies in the Republican party.
Roll Call, which primarily covers Capitol Hill, set up a comprehensive analysis of the seats that could be up for grabs, along with who's most likely to win them. The list published by the site ranks non-incumbent challengers on the strength of their race, and recently moved Missouri's Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is running for the Senate against incumbent Republican Roy Blunt, to the number one spot on its list.
The fact that Kander, a Democrat, is expected to defeat the incumbent Republican is indicative of some real problems for the Republican party. Missouri is a historically conservative state and for months, a victory by Kander was considered only a very remote possibility. Now, however, he appears to have a small lead in the state, hinting that Trump's candidacy is having repercussions for the weakening GOP. Additionally, Trump's scandals could even be giving extra boosts to Democratic candidates in races that were previously considered impossible to win.
While we will have more "numeric certainty" about where the Senate races stand when the post-debate polls come out at the end of this week, all signs point to a substantial and decisive victory for Senate Democrats in December, one which could allow them to take back majority control. And most importantly, don't forget to cast your vote for your Senator of choice in your state on Nov. 8.