October 9, 2020

The Senate Must Be Saved

If the Democrats take the upper chamber, they’ll have a clear path to tyranny.

Lost amid the focus on the presidential campaign is the race for control of the Senate — a race that could be every bit as consequential as the one for the White House.

If the Democrats win the presidency and secure a majority in the Senate, everything changes: statehood for Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, and four guaranteed Senate seats for the Democrats; a Supreme Court illegitimately packed with hand-picked leftist justices to overturn its current balance and composition; and no more Senate filibuster to protect against reckless and ill-conceived legislation. In short, American government as we know it is at stake.

And in terms of Senate electoral cycles, it’s a bad year for the Republicans. They’re defending 23 seats, while the Democrats are defending just 12.

As we’ve noted before, the GOP has a heavy lift. They currently hold a 53-47 majority in the upper chamber, but they’re defending as many as nine seats in competitive races. With Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in the polls, and with his fellow Democrats leading in many of the Senate’s most competitive races, Republicans risk losing the only governmental institution that stands between Liberty-loving Americans and an authentically radical leftist agenda. Of course, the polls have been wrong before…

As for the individual races, let’s start with a bit of good news. That 53-47 Republican lead is really a 54-46 lead. Alabama Democrat Doug Jones is certain to lose his short-lived seat to Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville. So the Democrats really need to flip four seats and the presidency, or five seats without the presidency, as the vice president casts the tie-breaking vote in a 50-50 Senate.

Republican seats are at greatest risk in the following five states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina. Democrats have also put up surprisingly strong challenges in Georgia, Kansas, Montana, and South Carolina, but none of those seats is likely to flip unless everything else flips, too.

State polls are especially unreliable, but with that caveat, here’s a quick rundown of the five crucial races listed above.

Arizona: Republican Martha McSally, a former fighter pilot, is in real trouble against Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of popular former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The RealClearPolitics average of polls has her down seven points.

Colorado: Incumbent Cory Gardner is also in trouble, trailing the state’s former governor, John Hickenlooper. The most recent state poll from a few weeks ago had him closing the gap with Hickenlooper to five points, but Gardner is still the underdog.

Iowa: Republican Joni Ernst would seem to be in the strongest position among these five Republicans, but outside interests are pouring a lot of money into this race to unseat her. The RCP average has businesswoman Theresa Greenfield leading Ernst by five points. A “hold” by Joni Ernst is crucial.

Maine: Longtime moderate Republican incumbent Susan Collins is trying to survive a tough challenge — and a lot of outside money — from Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, who’s up nearly four points in the RCP average.

North Carolina: Here, finally, Republicans might be catching a break. Democrat challenger Cal Cunningham has been leading consistently in the polls against Republican incumbent Thom Tillis, but the events of the past week have likely changed all that. Cunningham, who’s married with children, is now under investigation by the Army Reserve for an extramarital affair — an affair that he’s admitted to. Not only that, but he reportedly cheated on his mistress. (If a guy’s mistress can’t trust him, who can?) He’s since done the requisite “apology” thing, but with a campaign built around themes like duty and honor, Cunningham’s self-inflicted wound has likely turned the race in Tillis’s favor. A Republican “hold” here is all but essential to keeping control of the Senate.

One other Senate race, though, bears watching. Republican challenger John James is giving incumbent Gary Peters all he can handle in Michigan. Any doubt as to the fears he’s generating among Democrats should be dispelled by the $5.4 million recently pumped into his campaign by the PAC of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. James, 39, is black. He’s also a successful businessman and a former Army helicopter pilot. He’s been bucking nationwide trends toward the Democrats, and his campaign’s internal polling has him within the margin of error against Peters, who’s little more than a mediocrity.

Needless to say, an upset here would be a big blow to the Democrats’ senatorial designs. With the Republicans sure to flip one seat in Alabama, a win by James in Michigan would mean a 55-45 Senate, which would allow the GOP to lose four of the above-listed seats without losing control of the upper chamber even if President Trump loses. And that would mean no packing the Supreme Court, no politically motivated statehood for DC and Puerto Rico, and no getting legislatively steamrolled by a hard-left Senate devoid of the filibuster.

Elections do indeed have consequences. Huge consequences. And on November 3, Liberty-loving Americans will have a lot more at stake than merely the presidency.

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