There may be ten Senate seats being discussed heavily by the media as potential pickups by one political party or the other, but I seriously doubt that Tennessee, Texas, or West Virginia are actually in play. Left-wing media outlets may believe Beto O’Rourke could take out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), but that appears to be a pipe dream.
But there are seven Senate seats that could flip on Tuesday. I’m not telling anyone to get their hopes up, but these are the races to really watch.
This is Democrats’ best chance to pick up a Senate seat, even though Arizona is a reliably red state. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) is tied in the polls with Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. The two are running for the open Senate seat vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who is retiring.
Arizona typically votes for center-right senators, so McSally has the upper hand for sure, and polls can’t always be trusted.
Still, Republicans can’t count Sinema out.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has a slim, statistically insignificant lead in the Sunshine State against Republican Gov. Rick Scott. At first, this race looked like a real pickup potential for Republicans, but now it’s not so clear.
Florida voters are also voting for a new governor and the race has gained national attention since Democrat Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee Mayor and Sen. Bernie Sanders acolyte, appeals to left-wing media.
Florida is a swing state, so it could vote Democrat, even though it’s hard to imagine my former home state electing such a far-Left candidate for governor. Still, the Senate and the gubernatorial election will feed off of each other.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is another Democrat who voted for Gorsuch but against Kavanaugh, despite voters in his state wanting Kavanaugh confirmed. He’s running in a state won by Trump and is tied in most polls, so he could be in real trouble.
Donnelly is the only Democrat in Indiana to hold a statewide office, and has aligned himself with Trump on occasion, including the possibility of changing birthright citizenship rules.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is locked in a tight race against Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley. Polls either show them in a tie or with Hawley up slightly.
McCaskill has also tried to pretend she’s more aligned with Trump as she’s struggled in her re-election campaign, even running a political ad that claimed she wasn’t one of those “crazy Democrats.”
But her record shows completely the opposite. McCaskill is so left-wing she has been at the forefront of the fight against due process on college campuses. She subscribes to the “believe all women” movement no matter how absurd an accusation may be.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) has a small but steady lead in a state Trump won in 2016. Trump has been hammering Tester for months and will be visiting the state to campaign on behalf of Republican Matt Rosendale.
Trump is popular in Montana, but Tester has a high name recognition and is an incumbent, so he could still win.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) at first looked like he was going to lose for sure, but he now has a slight lead in the polls. Early voting in the state, so far, puts Democrats ahead, but that, like exit polls, doesn’t really matter, as nothing is set in stone until after the election.
Heller has remained close to Trump, even though Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016.
This is the Republicans’ best chance to pick up a Senate seat. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has been trailing in the polls by a wide margin for weeks, and though she voted for President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, she voted against Brett Kavanaugh, even though voters in her state wanted Kavanaugh confirmed.
Heitkamp also did significant damage to herself when her campaign printed a large ad that outed the names and locations of women alleged to have been victims of sexual abuse. Some of the women said they never gave permission for their names to be printed, and one even said she was not a victim.
If every one of these seats does flip, the final makeup of the Senate would be 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats, a net gain of three seats for the Republicans.