Even if Democrats win the presidency this year, it would be hard for any Democratic president to get a lot done with policy, given the current make-up within Congress.
While Democrats control the House of Representatives, currently Republicans have a majority in the Senate, with 53 senators in the “upper house” part of the GOP caucus.
But a new poll from a left-leaning organization demonstrates some hope for Democrats to take control of the Senate this year, too.
Our new polls in Maine and Arizona find Sara Gideon leading Susan Collins 47-43 and Mark Kelly leading Martha McSally 47-42.
That now means our most recent polls in 4 GOP held Senate seats have found at least a 4 point Democratic lead:https://t.co/6eLUqIjVNO
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) March 5, 2020
Public Policy Polling, which receives a better-than-average rating from FiveThirtyEight in terms of accuracy (and which accurately predicted the popular vote outcome in 2016’s presidential race, within the margin of error), released data on four senate elections set to commence in 2020.
All four seats are held by Republicans — and all four show Democrats with a lead of four points or more, according to polls from PPP.
In Maine, Democrat Sara Gideon leads Sen. Susan Collins, 47 percent to 43 percent, respectively. It’s nearly the same story in Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly receives 47 percent support against Sen. Martha McSally’s 42 percent.
North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis is losing to challenger Cal Cunningham, 46 percent to 41 percent. Previous polling from PPP also has John Hickenlooper defeating Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado by 13 points.
📢📢📢 NEW Polling Shows Dems Have Lead in 4 Key Senate Battlegrounds >>>@SaraGideon leads Collins 47-43 #mesen #mepolitics@CaptMarkKelly leads McSally 47-42 #azsen @CalforNC leads Tillis 46-41 #ncsen #ncpol @hickenlooper leads Gardner 51-38 #cosen https://t.co/KjzVv3NjFk
— Lauren Passalacqua (@laurenvpass) March 5, 2020
One of the biggest factor in at least a few of the races seems to be President Donald Trump’s unpopularity. PPP explained:
One thing making life harder for both Collins and McSally is Donald Trump’s unpopularity in their states. In Maine only 42% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 56% who disapprove, and in Arizona only 45% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 51% who disapprove.
Four Senate seats flipping would change leadership in the Senate, but there’s a bit of a hitch: according to Cook Political Report, one Democratic Party member’s senate seat, belonging to Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, is in “lean Republican” status. If Jones does indeed lose this November, the Senate would be tied, 50-50 — with tie-breaking votes dependant on the vice president, making the presidential election even more dire.
Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana is poised to reverse himself and run for the Senate, three Democratic officials tell NYT, a decision that would hand the party a coveted recruit who could help reclaim a majority in the chamber. https://t.co/K7zmOsP76f
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 4, 2020
However, with reports indicating that Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana will run as a Democrat for senator in that state, it’s possible that a fifth seat could flip. Bullock’s opponent, incumbent Sen. Steve Daines, is in a “solid Republican” position right now.
However, Bullock’s popularity in the state is at a higher rating than Daines’ is at, meaning in the next few months things could change significantly for Montana, in terms of which party will win in this year’s race.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.