The headline caught my eye. It read:
“Poll: Bredesen, Blackburn in dead heat in Tennessee senate race.”
According to The Tennessean, “A survey conducted by East Tennessee State University on Friday shows that both Bredesen and Blackburn are earning support from 44 percent of likely voters.”
This headline is much different from other headlines we’ve seen recently concerning U.S. Senate races. They have been all doom and gloom.
If Democrat Bredesen is tied in Tennessee then maybe the Democrats’ chances of winning control of the U.S. Senate aren’t so grim after all.
There are four current GOP Senate seats that Democrats could win: Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Tennessee.
If they win three of these then they will take Senate control IF they hold all current Democratic seats, except one. And that one is likely to be North Dakota where Senator Heidi Heitkamp trails badly in all recent polls.
The challenge for Democrats (in addition to picking up three GOP seats) is to hold Senate seats in red states that voted for Trump in 2016.
So I started looking at polls in all the key Senate races and I found that the newest polls tend to favor Democrats. Instead of writing off the Senate, Democrats should be working hard to get out the vote on Tuesday because it appears that they have a realistic chance to win.
Here is a quick rundown of the latest polls in key Senate races:
- Arizona. Democrat Sinema leads McSally in several new polls.
- Florida. Democrat Nelson leads Scott in all new polls.
- Indiana. Democrat Donnelly leads Braun in two new polls.
- Missouri. Democrat McCaskill is tied with Hawley in the latest poll.
- Montana. Democrat Tester leads Rosendale in all polls.
- Nevada. Democrat Rosen leads Heller in two new polls.
- Texas. Democrat O’Rourke trails Cruz by just three percentage points in the latest poll.
- West Virginia. Democrat Manchin leads Morrisey in all polls.
Notice that Texas is the one state where the Democrat trails in most recent polls. But if Democrat O’Rourke does win there then Democrats could lose a second seat and still take control of the Senate. Right now it appears than in addition to North Dakota the Democratic incumbent most at risk is in Missouri where Claire McCaskill is in a dead heat and could easily lose.
What this all means is that on the weekend before election day Democrats have a realistic chance to win control of the U.S. Senate. Very few people thought they would be in this position. If turnout breaks toward the Democrats in key states on election day then they really could win the Senate.
Donald Trump has already prepared his tweets and press releases taking credit for a big Republican Senate victory. He is already bragging that because of him (and his many rallies) the GOP will keep Senate control.
Nothing would be sweeter than to have Donald Trump eat his words. It might even shut him up, for a little while at least.
It would also be sweet to get rid of Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader. And to get rid of Chuck Grassley as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And to shut up Lindsey Graham.
If Democrats take control of the Senate there would be no more rubber-stamping of Trump’s right-wing judicial appointments. There could be more Senate investigations into Trump corruption and collusion.
These new polls show that if Democrats fight hard to the very end, and if they get every possible Democratic voter to the polls, then they really might win back Senate control. And what a wonderful day it would be in America if that actually happens.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.