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What's at Stake in the Battle for the Senate: Why Democrats Face Such an Uphill Battle

11-06-2018
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US Capitol Senate

What It Will Take to Win the Senate

Right now, Republicans control the Senate by a slim 51 to 49 margin. So Democrats need to flip just two seats currently held by the GOP in order to win control.

That may not sound too hard, but it's being considered a long shot. Here's why.

Democrats are defending 26 of the 35 Senate elections on Tuesday, which means they have a lot more on the line. In fact, 10 of those races are taking place in states President Trump won in 2016, and Republicans are expecting to take several of those seats away from Democrats in states like North Dakota and Missouri.

In other words, the GOP could actually expand their control over the Senate by quite a bit. Meanwhile, Democrats are fighting hard to take seats that have been held by Republicans in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Tennessee.

Other states worth watching include: Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and even New Jersey.

Republicans automatically retain control of at least 42 of their Senate seats that are not up for election this year, so it will be difficult but not impossible, for Democrats to win the majority.

What's Firing up Voters

Voters on both sides of the aisle appear to be highly motivated this time around. While Trump's win in 2016 galvanized the Left, some of the polls show there may be backlash against the way Democrats treated Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation battle.

"The whole fight over Kavanaugh, due process issues, and innocent until proven guilty, have made a difference in the polls," CBN Politcal analyst John Waage said.

And the sudden emergence of a huge caravan of migrants heading toward the US border just before the election has also fired up both bases, but especially conservatives who are concerned about border security.

That gave President Donald Trump a lot to talk about as he dashed around the country right up to Election Day, campaigning to keep majorities intact.

"So if you want more caravans and you want more crime, vote Democrat, it's very simple," Trump said. "If you want strong borders and safe communities vote for Republicans."

What's at Stake in the Midterms

President Trump could face a divided Congress should the House swing to the left while Republicans maintain control of the Senate after Tuesday's vote. Even if they lose the House, if Republicans keep the Senate, they still get to control the approval process for new judges.

Rep. Jacky Rosen, (D) Nevada Senate Candidate said, "The future of our Supreme Court, the future of the Affordable Care Act – all of it, every single bit of it is on the line in this election."

And Trump knows this election will impact the future of his agenda – specifically, in nominating and confirming conservative judges. "We overcame the Democrats' smear campaign and confirmed the newest member of the United States Supreme Court," he said.

The Republican-controlled Senate has confirmed 84 of President Trump's judicial nominees, including two Supreme Court justices. 

Arizona Senate candidate Rep. Martha McSally (R) explained, "That will come to a screeching halt if the majority flips, and that's why this race is so important."

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) said, "The key to controlling the Senate is obviously to make sure we have good conservative judges, good conservative judges that believe in the Constitution."

Democrats are bringing in their own heavy hitter while campaigning to boost Obamacare and bring President Trump's legislative accomplishments to a standstill.

President Barack Obama told an Illinois rally, "They have declared war on Obamacare, they've declared war on the Affordable Care Act and all the provisions in it."

There are other potential serious consequences. On the Democrat side, Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke is saying he would push to impeach the president if elected.

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