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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Senate Is Up for Grabs

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. The update looks at political and demographic trends through the 2018 midterm.  Our next book will explain 2020. As of early May, the signs are negative for the GOP

E.J. Dionne at The Washington Post:
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) says that when he first announced he would run for the U.S. Senate, he “didn’t know what Montana and the country was going to look like in the short period thereafter.” With the covid-19 crisis, all his time has been taken up by being a governor, not a candidate. So far, that has only helped him in his campaign to unseat Republican Sen. Steve Daines.

In Maine, House Speaker Sara Gideon, a Democrat seeking to end the long career of Republican Sen. Susan Collins, says the pandemic has “laid bare the inequities that already existed” and underscored the need for a “vision of what it means to work together and for each other instead of trying to sow divisiveness.” This brings home Gideon’s case against Collins’s willingness to ally with President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), two of the most divisive figures in American politics.

Colorado’s former governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat with a good chance of ousting incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, expresses a sense of gravity about this campaign that he never felt in his races for mayor of Denver or governor.

“I will never forgive myself if I lose it,” Hickenlooper told me, “and I will do everything in my power, I will work as hard as humanly possible, to make sure that I win this, just because I feel in my bones that our democracy has been so weakened by this relentless partisanship, the constant division.”

And Democrat Cal Cunningham, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who is facing incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.), says that many North Carolinians today feel “an urgency that did not exist prior to March of this year” about “health coverage . . . about jobs, the economy.”

Issues that were once “percolating for many” are now “personal for everyone.”

If Bullock, Gideon, Hickenlooper and Cunningham all win, Democrats will likely take over the U.S. Senate and end McConnell’s days as majority leader.