2020 Senate Overview (July 10, 2020): Democrats Poised to Control the Senate

By Nathan L. Gonzales & Jacob Rubashkin

The Senate has been in play for at least nine months, but Democratic chances of winning control of the chamber have improved significantly in the last few weeks. 

As Joe Biden has grown a significant lead over President Donald Trump in the race for the White House, the Senate battleground has improved for Democrats down the ballot. Some states, such as Colorado, Arizona, Maine, and North Carolina, have been competitive for the entire cycle. But previously lower-tier contests in Iowa, Montana, and Georgia are now neck-and-neck races. And Kansas, Texas, and even Alaska and South Carolina can’t be considered solid for Republicans anymore. That gives Democrats more than one legitimate path. 

Democrats need a net gain of four seats for a majority, but can control the Senate by gaining three seats and winning the White House. With less than four months to go before Election Day, the most likely outcome is a Democratic net gain of 3-5 Senate seats. Since Biden has a clear advantage in the presidential race, that means Democrats are more likely than not to win control of the Senate.

Democratic candidates continue to raise money at astounding rates, but arguably the biggest factor in boosting Democratic chances is Trump underperforming his 2016 totals by 8-12 points or more. It’s not that a large number of Democratic candidates are going to win Trump states, it’s that Trump is on pace to win fewer states than four years ago. 

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