2020 Senate Overview (April 3, 2020): Senate is (Still) In Play

By Nathan L. Gonzales & Jacob Rubashkin

The spread of coronavirus has thrown even the most mundane tasks into uncertainty, yet the fight for the Senate remains the same. Control of the Senate was on the line before the health crisis and continues to be at stake in November.

Over the last year, the size and scope of the battlefield has evolved, almost all in favor of Democrats. Minnesota and New Hampshire, currently held by Democrats, have dropped from the list of most competitive races, while Republican-held seats in Texas, Kansas, an additional Georgia seat and most recently Montana are now in play. Democrats, however, have had a plausible path since at least October.

Republicans are now defending 10 of the 12 most competitive Senate seats in the country. That discrepancy is part of the reason why Democrats are within striking distance of the net gain of four seats they need for a majority. Democrats can also control the Senate by gaining three seats and winning the presidential race.

Some Republicans believe GOP senators could see a boost from the coronavirus crisis because it’s an opportunity to demonstrate tangible work being done by Congress, including dispersing cash. Only time (and future polling) will tell whether that scenario is playing out. It’s more likely that the most competitive Senate races are influenced by the voter sentiment toward President Donald Trump, including his handling of the crisis.

One thing is for sure: coronavirus has changed the…

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