CLOSESenate Democrats suffer big losses in Indiana, Tennessee

Democrats are hoping for a ‘blue wave’ in the midterm elections, however they’re protecting extra seats than they’re difficult. Will they lose seats?
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Democrats’ hopes of taking the Senate took a significant hit Tuesday when Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly fell whilst the birthday party additionally misplaced a pick-up alternative in Tennessee.

Beto O’Rourke’s spirited problem towards Texas Republican Ted Cruz gave Democrats hope of choosing up territory somewhere else in their uphill combat to win regulate of the Senate.

And Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia survived in a state President Donald Trump gained by way of 42 proportion issues, in line with the Associated Press.

But the Senate combat in the swing state of Florida was once neck-and-neck between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

Meanwhile, Fox News and CNN projected that Republican Marsha Blackburn would defeat Democrat Phil Bredesen in a GOP-held seat Democrats had was hoping to turn.

The Associated Press declared GOP challenger Mike Braun the winner over Donnelly. Trump visited Indiana 3 times in the overall two weeks to generate fortify for the Republican candidate.

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Donnelly was once one in all 5 Democratic incumbents suffering to live to tell the tale in states Trump simply carried. 

Trump dubbed Donnelly “Sleepin’ Joe” all through a marketing campaign rally days after Braun gained a sour GOP number one working as a businessman outsider in the mould of President Donald Trump.

Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Joyce bragged Tuesday that the birthday party has a brand new nickname for Donnelly that “we think will really stick this time: former Senator Donnelly.”

Although House Democrats headed into Tuesday with the wind at their backs, Senate Republicans had hopes of including to their narrow 51-49 majority.

The explanation why? Democrats are protecting 26 of the 35 seats at the poll, together with 10 in states gained by way of Donald Trump.

“It’s the worst map for one party I have ever seen,” wrote veteran political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg.

 

Besides Donnelly and Manchin, the opposite Democrats working in most sensible Trump states are Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jon Tester of Montana, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

Senate Democrats suffer big losses in Indiana, Tennessee

The final time they have been at the poll, the country wasn’t as divided alongside partisan traces and electorate have been extra prepared to separate their tickets.

“People are voting in a more parliamentary way,” mentioned Charlie Cook, head of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

The incumbents enthusiastic about nonpartisan native problems – comparable to serving to veterans – whilst closely emphasizing well being care, a subject matter with numerous crossover attraction, in particular for feminine electorate.  They’ve promised to be with Trump after they trust him and rise up to him when they do not. 

Red-state Democrats have had the tough activity of preserving their base enthused about their re-election bids whilst attracting sufficient of the Republicans they wish to raise their states.

After Manchin voted for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the liberal workforce MoveOn.org didn’t come with West Virginia in its voter mobilization marketing campaign.

“We just felt like we couldn’t in good faith spend our members’ money on a race where the Democratic candidate was so far from where our members are on such an important issue,” mentioned MoveOn’s Nick Berning.

Trump targeted his final campaign blitz on turning out the Republican vote in states with shut Senate contests. 

“I think I’ve made a big difference,” the president mentioned out of doors the White House on Sunday prior to flying to extra states.  “I think I’ve made a difference of five or six or seven.” 

His marketing campaign stops didn’t come with Wisconsin, Pennsylvania or Michigan – states Trump narrowly carried however the place the Democratic incumbents have had more straightforward re-election campaigns than anticipated. 

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, referred to as them “snap-back” states. Trump’s small 2016 margin method there are lots of electorate “who’ve a birthday party ID no longer aligned with the president.”

“Given the first opportunity, they reassert their old selves,” he mentioned.

Conversely, the long-standing partisan leanings of pink Texas are challenged by way of O’Rourke’s social media-fueled marketing campaign towards Cruz. In closely blue New Jersey, Democrats needed to pour tens of millions of bucks into last-minute promoting to assist Sen. Bob Menendez, who survived an ordeal on bribery and different corruption fees final fall, then was once admonished by way of the bipartisan Senate ethics committee.

Democrats was hoping to offset any losses with pickups in Tennessee and Arizona, states the place the Republican incumbent selected to not search re-election after being publicly crucial of Trump.

In Nevada, the place Sen. Dean Heller is the one Republican senator dealing with re-election in a state Trump misplaced, Heller has each embraced Trump and attempted to create far.

Heller mentioned 80 % of what the president’s performed has been “very, very good” whilst the remainder has been a “reality TV show.”

Conceding that Democrats’ trail to profitable the Senate on Tuesday is a slender one, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, head of the marketing campaign arm of Senate Democrats, emphasised that his birthday party is in much better form than any individual would’ve predicted 18 months in the past when Republicans idea they might win sufficient seats to have a filibuster-proof majority.

“No one’s speaking about that presently,” Van Hollen said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

Cook, the nonpartisan handicapper, mentioned it is conceivable for Democrats to select up a Senate seat or two. But the possibly consequence, he predicted on the Friday before the election, is that Republicans no less than grasp secure, if no longer achieve one or two Senate seats, whilst dropping the House.

The Senate does no longer at all times transfer in the similar course because the House in an election. In 1970, for instance, Republicans gave up 10 seats in the House whilst gaining one in the Senate.

But a birthday party hasn’t ever misplaced entire regulate of the House whilst expanding energy in the Senate, in line with Eric Ostermeier, writer of the Smart Politics weblog run by way of the University of Minnesota.

“This is odd since the odds are so closely stacked in desire of the birthday party this is in fact the fewer common birthday party,” Sabato said. “The Democrats just about have been at the back of the 8 ball in the Senate from the start.”

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