Presidential polling dominates most major news outlets’ headlines, but all-important Senate races often receive far less attention. Whoever wins the 2020 presidential election will have to govern with the aid of the Senate, after all. If the president cannot command a majority, the effectiveness of his presidency will be in jeopardy.
Liberty Nation has chosen the following states for a more in-depth analysis, either because they are virtual toss-ups or because the races in these states will be tight.
The Peach State is in a unique position this election cycle because it will hold a “jungle primary” in addition to one regular Senate race. The special election in Georgia will be decided in a January run-off if none of the candidates secured 50% of the vote.
Loeffler & Collins (R) Vs. Warnock, Lieberman & Tarver (D)
In head-to-head polls between favorites Kelly Loeffler and Raphael Warnock, the Democrat contender leads, but this could all change when it comes down to just two candidates after the first round of voting. If the totals of all candidates are added together, Loeffler has the lead, suggesting more support for Republicans.
An average of all the major polls in October shows Republicans leading Democrats by 44.3% to 41.3%.
Perdue (R) Vs. Ossoff (D)
The other Senate race in Georgia is a lot more formulaic: two contenders, one vote. So far, incumbent Senator David Perdue has the edge over his opponent. Of the 16 major polls since July, only three have given Jon Ossoff a lead. RealClearPolitics has this as a toss-up race, but the numbers suggest this will be a run-of-the-mill victory for the Republican.
The last time a Democrat won a U.S. Senate seat was in 2008, with the huge victory of Tom Harkin. Despite Senator Chuck Grassley (R) handily winning each of his elections since 1986 by more than 30%, the seat presently held by Joni Ernst is not such a sure thing.
Joni Ernst (R) Vs. Theresa Greenfield
When Ernst won her first term in 2014, it was by more than 8%, suggesting that she has a fair amount of support in the state. However, according to media outlets, her support of President Trump could be more of a hindrance than a help. Polls give Greenfield an average lead of under 2%, well within the margin of error.
Based upon Senator Grassley’s electoral performances, there are clearly many people willing to vote Republican in Iowa, but perhaps this will come down to the actual candidate and how well they connect with voters rather than party affiliation.
The race for the Arizona Senate seat, formerly held by John McCain, is one of the most hotly contested this year. State law dictates that the winner of the November 3 election will assume the post on November 30. Many pundits suggest that this was the impetus behind the fast-track confirmation proceedings for Amy Coney Barrett. Martha McSally has been serving this term since January 2019 after being defeated in the midterms just two months earlier by Kyrsten Sinema.
Martha McSally (R) Vs. Mark Kelly (D)
Mark Kelly is leading by an average of 7.8% and has not trailed McSally in a single since June. RealClearPolitics has this seat as a “likely Democrat” result, and it is difficult to see how the incumbent can make up ground in the time remaining.
In McCain’s six elections to the Senate, each was with a convincing majority, his smallest margin of victory being 13%. There is certainly an appetite for Republican representation in Arizona with a majority in both the state Senate and House of Representatives, but McSally appears not to be capable of expanding the GOP power base.
To be continued next week.
Read more from Mark Angelides.