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Can Democrats Take the Senate?


US capitol by John Griffith flickr

Voters will make a decision in November that could very well change the course of American politics and history. No, we’re not talking about the presidential race, but a whole group of races that are equally, if not more important than the presidency: The US senate contests that could change control of the upper house of Congress. If Democrats can take back the Senate, it will have massive ramifications. But can they do it?

Going into this election cycle, Dems face an unfavorable uphill battle for the chamber, but with six months to go before election day, Republicans may have a reason to be nervous. Democrats need to net four seats to win back a majority, and while there are many Republicans up for reelection this year, they are mainly in states seen as strongholds and likely to stay red. But not all of them, and they aren’t as red as they may seem.

One place where the Dems are surging is in fundraising. In key races in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Maine, they’ve out-raised their counterparts. But there is also massive amounts of super PAC money flowing in on both sides. There’s also some home in the races against two of the worst people in the Senate, Lindsay Graham and the tortoise of terror himself, Mitch McConnell.

The race in Maine looks like it will be particularly contentious, as Senator Susan Collins faces a serious challenge after a term where she’s been seen as the deciding vote in favor of Trump in many cases. Collins, who is deeply unpopular going into this race, is running against Sara Gideon who outraised Collins by 300% in the first quarter. In early polling, Gideon is already leading against Collins, which is a good sign for Democrats.

In Arizona, former astronaut Mark Kelly is a strong candidate, with double the cash of his opponent, incumbent Martha McNally. And against Corey Gardner in Colorado, former governor John Hickenlooper is also a strong candidate for the Democrats. These two strong chances for them might make up for potential losses in Alabama and Michigan.

But the real exciting prospects for many are against Graham and McConnell. Graham has been outraised by Democrat challenger Jaime Harrison, and some early polling says Harrison has a chance to defeat the man who once tried to stand up to Trump, but then became one of his most spineless and obsequious enforcers.

The biggest fish, however, is Mitch McConnell, a man who seems to think it is his job to be even more evil, heartless, greedy, and partisan than even Donald Trump. McConnel is facing a legitimate challenge from Amy McGrath who also outraised McConnell in the first quarter, and the unpopular McConnell might have reason to be afraid.

We are still a long way from November, but the balance of the Senate is incredibly important. Especially if you’re not feeling enthusiasm for the presidential race, this is the perfect time to adopt a Senate candidate to support and stump for, because if the Senate turns blue, that means everything for the Supreme court, for the laws that get passed and, if in the horrible even Trump is reelected, it could be the only thing standing between us and oblivion.

(via Politico, image: Pexels)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.