According to CNN elections analyst Harry Enten, across the country, the poll positions of Democratic Senate candidates are correlated quite closely to the poll positions of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. As he explains, that correlation means that if Biden is able to win the presidency and carry a diverse selection of states from across the country, than these Democratic Senate candidates seem likely to also cruise to victory. Democrats need at least three and maybe four additions to their present Senate seat total in order to secure the majority in the chamber. Adding three would leave the Senate 50-50, but a Democratic vice president (Kamala Harris) could break ties. Adding four would give Dems a 51 seat majority.
‘Given the lineup of seats up in the Senate, chances are Democrats will take the Senate if former vice president Joe Biden takes the presidency. If President Donald Trump wins a second term, chances are Republicans will retain control of the Senate. Right now, the Democrats are favored to take control of the Senate because of Biden. We could be looking at record straight ticket voting this cycle, and Biden’s advantage in the presidential race is seeping down into the Senate races.’
Republicans’ insistence on sticking close to Trump certainly has not provided many opportunities for them to make an appealing case to voters outside of the party’s most fervent base. In five states where Republicans currently hold Senate seats and are up for re-election this November, Democrats “hold at least nominal polling advantages,” Enten notes. These states include Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina. In Arizona, the Democratic advantage is huge — in the results from a recent CNBC/ Change Research survey, Democratic candidate Mark Kelly led Republican incumbent Martha McSally by 8 percent. He leads by an average of 5.5 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.
Enten shares that when comparing the FiveThirtyEight presidential polling average with the FiveThirtyEight Senate lite model in states around the country, he discovered that the “average difference between the presidential and Senate margins in all the races is about 4.3 points.” Among the races which tend to have the most polling data, the average difference is just 3.4 percent. For example — in Arizona, the FiveThirtyEight Senate lite model projects a 5.8 percent winning margin for Mark Kelly. Meanwhile, the site’s presidential polling average in the state has Biden in the lead by 3.5 percent — which is pretty close to the estimated Senate margin.
Thus, the state of play seems to be that Biden and some Senate Democratic candidates are in the same boat. If one side wins, the other side would likely as well — and with Biden pretty solidly in the lead in national polling, that’s a good sign for those concerned with holding the GOP accountable.
If Democrats successfully win control of the Senate in the upcoming elections, then that would relegate Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to the role of Minority Leader (if he’s still in the Senate), and that would mean an end to his relentless partisan ideological co-opting of the chamber.