The 2016 race for the Senate is taking shape, and as expected Democrats are in a very good position to win back control after a brief Republican takeover.
Democrats are starting to feel confident they will win two key Senate races — and are within striking distance in several other states that would give them a majority when the next president takes office.
The minority party believes it can pick off Illinois and Wisconsin from Senate Republicans, but that still leaves five core battleground states balanced on a knife’s edge as the GOP tries to protect its 54-seat majority.
That presidential environment is of paramount importance: It will be very difficult for Republicans to hold the Senate if they lose another presidential race, while Democrats would have an almost impossible time winning the Senate back if they lose the White House.
The stars are aligning for Democrats to take back the Senate. Republicans are deeply divided, and their top two candidates are nationally toxic, and could be flat out fatal to Republican Senate candidates in blue and purple states. A Trump or Cruz nomination could put Republican Senate seats in Ohio and Pennsylvania in jeopardy.
Republicans only have one shot to pick up a seat, and that is in Colorado. Republicans are in trouble in Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, and New Hampshire. The shoe is finally on the other foot, as it is Republicans who are defending their 2010 Senate gains. If Trump or Cruz is the Republican nominee, it is very possible that if Democrats are looking good to keep the White House, Republicans may throw their resources into trying to limit their House and Senate losses.
Democrats couldn’t have scripted the beginning to the 2016 election better themselves. The top two candidates in the Democratic primary are sailing through the process without attacking each other, while Republicans have been engaging in a bitter scrum that has two unelectable extremists in the lead, while Mitch McConnell’s Senate leadership has floundered.
Democrats are rolling towards recapturing the Senate majority as a potentially bright 2016, could get even bette