Senate Watch 2020

These 9 Senate Races Are Tight, According To A Powerhouse Political Organizer

The woman behind Vote Save America offers the Election Day crystal ball we crave — and predicts the Senate outcome.

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Courtesy of Crooked Media

In 2014, Shaniqua McClendon was working on the reelection campaign for North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D), who ultimately lost by 1.7%, less than 50,000 votes, to Sen. Thom Tillis (R). Six years later, the former White House intern is back, leading Crooked Media's voter-engagement initiatives and trying to flip the Senate seat back to Democrats.

Sound familiar?

Crooked Media is the parent company of Pod Save America, the breakout political podcast from a quartet of former Obama aides. Now in its third year, the podcast racks up millions of listeners per episode.

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They took it a step further.

The company's also expanded into activist work, launching Vote Save America for the 2018 midterm elections, 2019's F*ck Gerry(mandering) Fund, and more. In May, they launched the Adopt A State campaign, which hopes to rally participants to extend their activist work beyond their state's borders.

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Courtesy of Crooked Media,

McClendon led the Vote Save America efforts, and is now deep into poll-tracking for Adopt A State. She answers five of our burning questions about the Senate races.

1. Which Senate seats do you and your team consider true toss-ups?

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Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, Montana, Kansas, Iowa, Georgia, Alabama, and Michigan.

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2. Which races do you think will be tightest?

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Doug Jones’s [Alabama] race is going to be tough, and then Arizona and Colorado. Most analysts have said those are Democrats' best two pickup opportunities.

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3. Which polls do you and your team rely on?

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Most of the time I use the RealClearPolitics site. They aggregate polls, and for me, taking the average is helpful.

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4. Since you’re from North Carolina, what’s your take on that toss-up race?

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People think North Carolina's a very red state, but it's actually pretty purple. One of the first things Tom Tillis got publicity for was saying that the government shouldn’t tell restaurant employees to wash their hands after they use the bathrooms. [He's] really unpopular.

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5. If the election were today, what do you think the Senate outcome would be?

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This is speculation. I think [Democrats] get Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and win Maine too. I think it’s going to be a close margin, but I’ll go with 52-48.

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Thanks, Shaniqua! Tune in for the next round of Senate Watch 2020.

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