While most of the national focus has been on the presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the battle for control of the US Senate is nearly as important.
Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats), so Democrats need to flip at least four seats to claim the chamber they lost during the 2014 midterms. But polling from throughout the campaign season suggests they have a chance to do so.
The most likely races to flip are Maine, Colorado, and Arizona. In Maine, Republican Susan Collins — the only GOP member to vote against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett — is in for a tough battle against Sara Gideon, the speaker of the state House of Representatives. In Colorado, Sen. Cory Gardner is being challenged by former Gov. John Hickenlooper, who currently leads in the polls. And in Arizona, incumbent Martha McSally is up against Mark Kelly, an astronaut and former Navy captain.
Even if Democrats win all three of those seats, they’ll still need at least one more to take the majority. Possibly more, if endangered Democrats in Alabama and (to a lesser extent) Michigan lose their seats. Those additional pickups could come in North Carolina, where Thom Tillis faces a challenge from Cal Cunningham, although Cunningham’s prospects were hit slightly by a sex scandal in early October. It could come in Iowa, which has one of the tightest races of all between Sen. Joni Ernst and Democrat Theresa Greenfield. And it could even come in Montana, where Gov. Steve Bullock is challenging incumbent Republican Steve Daines.
Democrats have laid out an ambitious list of what they’d like to accomplish if they retake the chamber; Republicans have a narrower list if they retain it, including a light stimulus package.
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