Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Can the GOP Hold the Senate?

The presidential election has taken up most of the public's attention, but it is not the only interesting political battle this cycle. While the House of Representatives will likely remain in Republican hands, the Senate is up for grabs. The outlook at this point is roughly 50-50 for either party to take control. Here's how the math breaks down.
The public will elect 34 senators this cycle. These are the seats being contested. Here's a handy map from 270towin.com visualizing it:
This map is a challenge for the GOP. 24 Republican-held seats are up for election, compared to only 10 Democratic seats. Senate elections run in six-year cycles, so the Republicans are defending all the gains they made in 2010, including eight seats from states Obama won in 2012. On the other hand, Democrats must defend only a handful of seats, mostly in blue states, as they lost just about everything else in 2010. There are zero Democratic seats in play from states that Mitt Romney won.
This geographical challenge for the GOP is compounded by the relative popularity of President Obama, whose job approval is near its highest point in his second term, and the unpopularity of Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton's unpopularity mitigates this, to some extent, but the net result of all these forces is a pickup opportunity for the Democrats. The question is how many seats they can get.
The GOP currently holds 54 Senate seats, which means it can afford to lose 3 seats and still be secure in its majority.
Read the rest of this story HERE.

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