Democrats Are the Odds-On Favorite

That has been my position for weeks. 

Almost 100 Days Out, Democrats Are Favored to Take Back the Senate

Please consider Almost 100 Days Out, Democrats Are Favored to Take Back the Senate by Jessica Taylor.

“Something remarkable would have to happen for Republicans to still have control of the Senate after November,” remarked one GOP pollster. “It’s grim. There’s just so many places where Democrats either have the upper hand or are competitive in states that six months ago we wouldn’t have considered at risk.”

“If you’re an incumbent in a bad environment sitting at 44 percent, you should be pretty damn scared,” another alarmed Republican strategist said. “The expanding map has made it really hard, and there’s just a lot of Democratic momentum right now."

By looking at the numbers, the battleground becomes clear — Arizona is falling down the list for the GOP to defend, and Colorado is threatening to. If the election were today, Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina stand as the most vulnerable, closely followed by Maine. That leaves what Republicans see as the tipping point states of Montana, Iowa and Georgia. But they have other states they have to watch and worry about, including Kansas, Texas, and even Alaska and South Carolina. 

The bottom line is that even Republicans believe Michigan is gone for Trump, and even if James might be able to overperform the president, especially in the Detroit suburbs, polls don’t show it’s enough, so it remains in Lean Democratic. 

Let's turn to the polls to see what influenced Cook Political.

Senate Polls Released July 14 Through July 26

Senate Polls Released July 14 Through July 26

The above polls from FiveThirtyEight Senate Polls. I removed polls sponsored by political parties or PACs.

Republicans in Danger of Losing the Senate

On June 12, I wrote Republicans in Danger of Losing the Senate.

Trump's mishandled Covid-19 and the George Floyd riots so badly that a red backlash may cost Republicans the Senate.

The map I posted at the time had Democrats ahead 47-43 with the rest tossups. Here is my map for reference. 

Mish's Senate Map on June 12, 2020

Note that I already had Minnesota in the solid Democrat category. I had some states as tossups because there were no polls.

My Tweet at the Time

My Senate Map July 26, 2020

Mish's Senate Map July 26, 2020

I created the above map on 270-to-Win

That link will take you to my interactive map that you can modify. 

What Will It Take to Flip the Senate?

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Assuming Democrats win the presidential election 50 seats is enough. The Vice president will get a tie-breaking vote. 

To win a 50-50 tie, Democrats need to win 1 of 4 of NC, GA, IA, or MT. 

I have Colorado in the likely Democrat camp whereas Cook says "Arizona is falling down the list for the GOP to defend, and Colorado is threatening to."

Colorado Threatening?

There are no recent Colorado Polls, but the latest 4 polls have Democrat Hickenlooper over Gardner by +11, +18, +17. 

The most recent poll (June 29-30) was Hickenlooper +11.

If you wish to call Colorado and North Carolina tossups, the Democrats need 2 of 5 of  NC, GA, IA, CO, or MT. 

If you wish to add Maine to the tossup list as well, then the Democrats need 3 of 6 of NC, GA, IA, CO, ME, or MT. 

The problem for Trump is that even if you label all of those as tossups, Democrats have a reasonable lead in NC, CO, and ME with the others genuine tossups.

What About Iowa?

FiveThirtyEight has Democrat Greenfield over Republican Ernst by 2 or 3 percentage points in five consecutive Iowa Polls in June or later, with the most recent in July.

I call that a tossup.

Conclusion

In an election in which it is increasingly likely Trump gets slaughtered, holding on to leads in three close Senate states out of six (or two of them and flipping a third elsewhere), is an odds-on bet.

An outright Democrat majority of 53-47 is possible, albeit unlikely, at the moment.

My base case now is Democrats win 50 or 51. 

50 will do it but with that slim of a majority it will be tough to get much done, especially if Collins holds on in Maine.

Whatever the outcome, there will be only one person to blame: Trump. 

Trump Will Lose to Biden

For analysis of why Trump will lose to Biden, please see Only 13 Percent of Voters are Still Undecided

Mish

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