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Politics 2020 Senate races may determine whether Democrats, GOP gain majority

18:05  13 october  2019
18:05  13 october  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

McConnell vows to stop impeachment in fundraising video

  McConnell vows to stop impeachment in fundraising video LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vows to stop any Democratic push for impeachment in a social media campaign ad that he's using as a platform to raise campaign funds off the inquiry of President Donald Trump. In the brief Facebook video, McConnell makes it clear that the Republican-controlled Senate with him in charge will be a firewall against efforts to remove Trump from office."All of you know your Constitution," McConnell says in the video. "The way that impeachment stops is with a Senate majority with me as majority leader.

President Donald Trump slammed Democrats , including former Vice President Joe Biden, at his campaign rally in Minnesota. USA TODAY.

The question for 2020 Senate races could be whether the presidential electoral map remains fairly Democrats are also eying Arizona, where GOP Sen. Martha McSally is running a second Chris Sununu might take on two-term Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in a state that Trump

WASHINGTON – The bruising campaign for the White House between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger will take center stage in 2020 but it's the contest for control of the Senate that will determine the presidential winner's ability to pass legislation, appoint judges and fund priorities.

Light hits the US Capitol during sunrise in Washington, DC.© Getty Light hits the US Capitol during sunrise in Washington, DC.

Democrats, who effectively control 47 seats, need to flip at least four Republican Senate seats to recapture the upper chamber – or three if they win back the White House since the vice president breaks ties.

Republicans hold 23 of the 35 seats up for grabs next year, giving Democrats nearly twice as many pick-up opportunities. Adding to the Democrats' optimism is that many of the races are in states where the president's approval rating sits well under 50%.

Three 2020 candidates have missed about half of Senate votes

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At first glance, 2020 looks like the year where Democrats should take back the Senate majority . Democrats insist this race will be different -- largely because of Collins' extremely high-profile Where might that other pickup come from? The three likeliest suspects are Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina

The Senate map in 2020 is better for Democrats , but still not great. Once again, winning the Senate looks to be a tough slog for Democrats — and that may not change anytime soon. While the House was gerrymandered by Republicans to be more favorable to them, the Senate map is also very tough

Republicans counter that all but two (Colorado and Maine) of the GOP seats up for election are in states Trump won in 2016. And the two most vulnerable Democrats are in states (Arizona and Michigan) that Trump won.

Thirteen months out from Election Day, there remains plenty of questions: Will primary voters nominate moderates or party reactionaries that would have a tougher time winning a general election? How will the the Democratic presidential nominee influence down-ballot Senate races? What kind of effect will congressional Democrats' pursuit of Trump's impeachment have on voters?

“So many things we don’t know," said Jennifer Duffy, a long-time Senate analyst with the non-partisan Cook Political Report.

Duffy and others watching 2020 elections give Democrats less than a 50-50 chance of recapturing the Senate considering there are only a handful of states in play right now.

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  Democrats can lose Trump impeachment battle and still win electoral war Blind Republican support for Trump could backfire because impeachment deserves a fair hearing by open-minded senators. Trump may be accused of secretly seeking the assistance of a foreign country in his 2020 re-election campaign. It's a far more serious charge than the impeachment articles against President Bill Clinton, regarding a married man who had an extramarital affair and then lied about it.Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) wisely - especially in light of polls suggesting that a majority of Americans support an impeachment inquiry - warned her colleagues against a rush to judgment.

One week ago, Senate Democrats looked to have been routed -- or close to it -- by their Republican counterparts. Let's say that at the start of the next Congress Senate Republicans have gained two seats And the reason that's important is that the battle for control of the Senate majority isn't a

The 2020 elections are set to flip the script in the battle for the Senate , as Republicans must defend at least 20 seats, teeing up a series of potentially competitive races that could alter the political map.

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Already the attack ads have been launched by both parties.

Republicans are painting Democratic candidates as socialists who back far-left policies such as "Medicare for All," free college tuition and radical climate change remedies like the Green New Deal. They've begun airing ads in some states that feature Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman New York Democrat and social media star who embodies the party's left-wing ideology.

Democrats are portraying Republicans as climate deniers and anti-immigration zealots who blindly back Trump. They've started airing ads with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican whom opponents accuse of protecting Trump and obstructing important legislation from even getting a floor vote.

There is a soundness to each side's partisan strategy: In 2016, every Senate seat up for election was won by the party whose presidential nominee also captured that state.

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It may be unfair, but the Senate seems designed to thwart Democrats . Lightly populated rural states are given the same weight as states containing It gets worse: Even if Democrats won a sliver of a majority in the Senate , that wouldn't be enough under current rules, since it takes 60 votes to actually

Senate Majority PAC was founded by experienced, aggressive Democratic strategists with one mission: Protect and expand the number of Democrats in the U.S. Senate . Click on a state to see the current make-up of the Senate delegation. It’s critical that Democrats gain at least four seats and

Here's a look at the states in play and the chances the Senate could flip back to Democrats:

Republicans in Blue States

The two Republicans who represent states that Hillary Clinton captured in 2016 – Cory Gardner in Colorado and Susan Collins in Maine – are top targets for Democrats next year.

As a freshman senator who squeaked in five years ago, Gardner is considered more vulnerable than Collins, who won her fourth term in 2014 with 68% of the vote.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's entry into the race gives Democrats a formidable challenger with high name recognition in a state where Democrats will try to capitalize on issues such as climate change and health care.

But Republicans say Hickenlooper's shaky performance during a short stint as a 2020 presidential candidate and an expected primary challenge from former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff may wound him in the general election.

Susan Collins and woman posing for a picture: Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, walks through the Senate basement before a weekly policy luncheon on April 2, 2019 in Washington.© Zach Gibson, Getty Images Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, walks through the Senate basement before a weekly policy luncheon on April 2, 2019 in Washington.

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Collins' long-held image as a moderate voice on Capitol Hill took on water last year with her pivotal vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Progressives fumed over her vote, promising to raise money and turn out Mainers to keep her from winning a fifth term.

Collins was leading her likely Democratic opponent, state House Speaker Sara Gideon, by double digits in a Gravis Marketing poll released in June. But there was a potential warning sign for the incumbent: the same poll found 48% approved of Collins' performance – the same percentage that disapproved.

The Republicans facing tough re-election battles

Few GOP incumbents have a bigger bullseye than Sen. Martha McSally in Arizona.

The former Air Force fighter pilot has a stellar resume but she is running in an increasingly purple state against a well-funded and high-profile challenger: former astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of former congresswoman and gun-control advocate Gabby Giffords.

Kelly is a first-time candidate and Republican strategists said they hope to exploit that lack of experience on the campaign trail. McSally has never won statewide (she lost a Senate race in 2018 and was appointed to fill the vacancy created by John McCain's death last year). But she wields the power of incumbency and Trump's endorsement could turn out conservative Arizonans wary of McSally.

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Democrats are optimistic they can flip the seats of two other Republican incumbents – Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Joni Ernst of Iowa.

Of the two, Tillis is in deeper peril, according to political experts, partly because there are signs the state might not be as red as it was in 2016. A Charlotte-area congressional seat that Trump won by 12 points in 2016 barely went for a Trump-endorsed Republican in a special election earlier this year.

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The vulnerable Democrats

Just as Republicans Gardner and Collins must find cross-over appeal in states that voted in 2016 for Clinton, Democrats Doug Jones (Alabama) and Gary Peters (Michigan) face a similar challenge because they're running for reelection in states that Trump won.

Jones is considered the most vulnerable incumbent running in 2020 – Democrat or Republican – chiefly because he represents a state that Trump carried by nearly 28 percentage points. Jones, the only Senate Democrat in the Deep South, came to the Senate after winning a closely contested special election in 2017 over Republican Roy Moore, who was tainted by allegations he had romantically pursued and sexually assaulted teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

Doug Jones looking at the camera: Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., speaks at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on © Andrew Harnik, AP Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., speaks at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on "Housing Finance Reform: Next Steps" on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in Washington. Trump administration officials appear before Congress to defend their plan for ending government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ORG XMIT: DCAH124

Moore is running again but so are other Republicans, including Congressman Bradley Byrne and former Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville, neither of whom carry the political baggage that helped Jones win his seat.

Don’t Be Surprised If Trump Is Never Impeached

  Don’t Be Surprised If Trump Is Never Impeached An impeachment that seemed inevitable a few days ago is looking more and more like it may never happen.Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives would not move forward with a vote on impeachment any time soon. The statement comes as a month of pressure has built up behind efforts to unseat the president over a phone call with the Ukrainian president. While Democrats insist, contrary to precedent, that they do not need to hold a vote, their unwillingness to hold one may show the impeachment train is skidding off the tracks.

Republicans also believe that Peters is very beatable, largely because many Michiganders don't know him or aren't sure what to make of him. Polls show more than a third of state voters don't have a firm opinion of him despite nearly five years in office.

Peters is "weak" Duffy said. "It’s not that he has angered voters. It’s that they have no idea who he is.”

Republicans are also optimistic because GOP businessman and Army veteran John James, who outperformed expectations in a 2018 loss to Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabinow, has entered the race.

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The open seats

A senator's decision not to seek reelection presents a rare opportunity for opposing parties because it traditionally provides a better chance to flip a seat when there's no incumbent touting years of constituent achievement or legislative accomplishment.

But none of the four open seats – three GOP states (Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee) and one Democratic (New Mexico) – are in much danger of changing party control, according to political analysts.

Traditionally red Kansas could be the exception if Republican Kris Kobach wins the primary. The immigration hard-liner who lost a gubernatorial contest to Democrat Laura Kelly in 2018 is seen by analysts and political operatives on both sides as a weak candidate who would likely put the state in play if he wins the GOP nomination next year.

Georgia's open seat (created by the early retirement of Republican Johnny Isakson) will be paired with Republican David Perdue's reelection bid. That would give Democrats two chances to pick up a seat in a Deep South state that's been trending more purple recently. But chances of winning one of those were hurt when rising Democratic star Stacy Abrams opted not to run.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2020 Senate races may determine whether Democrats, GOP gain majority

Democrats Haul In Cash But GOP Optimistic About Legislative Races .
In competitive General Assembly races, a majority of Democratic challengers and incumbents are out-raising their opponents and hoping dollars convert to voters on Election Day. © Photo by Patricia Cason, VCU Capital News Service In competitive General Assembly races, a majority of Democratic challengers and incumbents are out-raising their opponents and hoping dollars conv Stakes are high with all 140 General Assembly seats up for re-election on Nov. 5 and a push to flip both chambers to a Democratic majority.

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