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How About the Senate?


This is promising:

Democrat Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut who is hoping to unseat Republican Sen. Martha McSally in Arizona’s 2020 Senate race, raised $4.2 million during April, May and June, exceeding his first-quarter fundraising. 

All told, he has raised $8.3 million since announcing his candidacy in February, and he has nearly $6 million cash on hand, according to his campaign.

More than 85,000 contributors have donated to Kelly’s campaign, and more than 90% of his second-quarter donations were less than $100, highlighting his display of strength among small donors, his campaign said.

Kelly’s performance likely gives him a financial advantage over McSally, the Republican incumbent who was appointed to the seat once held by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Also very promising:

Sen. Susan Collins hasn’t even announced she’s running for reelection, but she already has a serious Democratic challenger angling to take her down. Last week, Democrat Sara Gideon announced her campaign for Senate in Maine. As speaker of the state House of Representatives, Gideon could be the challenger Democrats need to defeat Collins, who first won her seat in 1996. Maine’s Democratic lean and Collins’s increasingly polarized profile could make the incumbent vulnerable, and Gideon’s entry into the race reflects this.


If Maine continues to go blue in 2020, Collins is likely to be in real danger. While the state is not overwhelmingly Democratic, it has consistently voted for the party’s presidential candidate in every race going back to 1992. And nowadays, states usually back the same party for president and Senate.

Collins is also a more polarizing figure now than she once was, especially after her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court last year. While Collins has built a moderate profile with one of the most centrist voting records in the Senate, her support for Kavanaugh shifted views of her job performance along partisan lines, with sharp increases in approval among Republicans and, conversely, disapproval among Democrats. The former makes it less likely that Collins will get a primary challenge, but the latter suggests Collins could be in trouble in a general election. Gideon’s introductory video specifically referenced the vote, saying it put women’s health choices in “extreme jeopardy.”

Collins’s poll numbers still look good, but remember that several of the Dem incumbents who lost in 2018 had pretty good numbers well into the year. Negative polarization puts Collins in deep trouble, even if the Roberts Five decide to punt abortion for another term.

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