An analysis conducted by the nonpartisan and independent newsletter The Cook Political Report has determined that Democratic lawmakers are poised to pick up enough seats to regain the Senate majority.
On Oct. 25, the newsletter predicted that the Democrats would pick up five to seven seats in the November election. Democrats only need to pick up five seats to regain control of the Senate; only four if Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins the election.
Based on how many Republicans have to defend their seats in this election and which ones are vulnerable to a Democratic challenger, the fate of the Senate will largely depend on the outcome of six congressional races, Politico reports.
Election observers who want to track the outcome of the Senate majority may want to pay attention to races in Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
The Cook Political Report assessed that GOP lawmakers in competitive races had been effectively distancing themselves from GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s more controversial proposals and statements. That advantage crumbled after Oct. 7 when a 2005 audiotape of the business mogul bragging about groping and kissing women without consent surfaced.
Since then, several Democratic contenders have edged past their Republican counterparts in these six crucial races.
“A lot of them, which have been pretty tight for many months now, are moving in our favor,” said communications director Sadie Weiner of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “And we’re sitting two-and-a-half weeks out of the election with the wind at our back.”
The newsletter noted that early voting has already begun, meaning that GOP lawmakers have virtually no time left to shift the momentum of the election season.
One strategy that Republican candidates can employ is urging their constituents to re-elect them as a balance against Clinton, who is looking more and more likely to become the next president. By using this strategy, many of these Republican lawmakers are basically admitting defeat in the presidential race.
FiveThirtyEight, the polling website spearheaded by statistician Nate Silver, currently gives Democratic lawmakers a 74.6 percent likelihood of regaining the Senate while only offering GOP lawmakers a 25.4 percent likelihood of maintaining their majority.
The Clinton team, sensing the opportunity to not only win the presidency with a comfortable lead in the polls but to also help usher in a more cooperative Senate majority, have been shifting their campaign resources accordingly.
“We’re going to be emphasizing the importance of election Democrats down the ballot,” Clinton told reporters on Oct. 22, Reuters reports.