Ultimately, every day that Trump stubbornly refuses to change course is another day that it becomes increasingly likely he may not only tank his own re-election bid but could be on a kamikaze mission to take the Republican-held Senate down with him. At this point, a net gain of five to seven seats for Democrats looks far more probable than the one to three seat gain that would leave them shy of a majority.
July Ratings Changes:Shane Goldmacher at NYT:
- Arizona: Martha McSally (R) — Toss Up → Lean D
- Iowa: Joni Ernst (R) — Lean R → Toss Up
- Georgia: David Perdue (R) — Lean R → Toss Up
- Minnesota: Tina Smith (D) — Likely D → Solid D
- New Mexico: OPEN (Udall) — Likely D → Solid D
“As Republicans get more and more in tune, it’s hold the Senate at all costs,” said Dan K. Eberhart, an energy executive and a major Republican donor. “The House is gone. And the White House is looking increasingly like an uphill battle. This is not a good picture for us.”
A wave of Democratic challengers raised more in the second quarter than their Republican rivals, according to campaign filings made last week, including in Montana. In North Carolina, a relatively unknown Democratic challenger, Cal Cunningham, nearly tripled Senator Thom Tillis’s haul, raising $7.4 million to $2.6 million. In Maine, Senator Susan Collins, the Republican, was substantially out-raised by her Democratic opponent, Sara Gideon — more than $9 million to $3.6 million.
And in Arizona, Mark Kelly, a Democrat who is a former astronaut and the husband of former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, raised almost $12.8 million. His nearly $24 million in the bank is more than twice as much money as Senator Martha McSally, the Republican incumbent, reported in a race a number of Republicans fear is slipping away.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, has been warning donors in dire terms about permanent and systemic shifts that could come about in a fully Democratic-controlled Washington next year: adding Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., as states, expanding the Supreme Court, and the end of the legislative filibuster, which has previously served as an institutional brake on congressional majorities, according to people who have heard his pitch.
“We recognize that the Senate is the backstop,” said Scott Reed, the chief strategist for the United States Chamber of Commerce, calling it the group’s “top priority” in 2020.