90 Miles From Tyranny : Republicans Confidently Move Closer to Improving Senate Majority

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Republicans Confidently Move Closer to Improving Senate Majority

A fresh set of polls out this week and last have Republicans more confident than ever that, while questions over which party will control the House majority after the midterms still loom, they will likely lock up not just control of the Senate majority but a strengthened majority to boot.

The GOP currently has 51 seats in the Senate, while Democrats and independents who caucus with Democrats hold 49 seats–meaning Republicans, walking into Nov. 6, cling to the slimmest of majorities ahead of the midterms. But because of the map of seats that are on the ballot this year, and the fact that many of them include red state Democrats up for re-election in states President Donald Trump won against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016, Republicans have been able to channel their energies less into defense and more into fighting to pick up as many seats from Democrats as possible.

There are four Senate seats–those in Texas, Tennessee, Nevada, and Arizona–that are currently GOP-held that are viewed as competitive going into this midterm. In two of them–Texas and Nevada–the incumbent Republican senator is running for re-election. In Arizona and Tennessee, new candidates have emerged. In each of these four races, with the possible lone exception of Arizona, recent polling seems to indicate Republicans will hold them all.

Texas is particularly interesting because Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a 2016 GOP presidential primary rival of Trump, faces a well-funded challenge from Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX). O’Rourke has smashed fundraising records, and polls earlier in the campaign seemed to suggest that the flashy Democrat who openly embraces impeachment of Trump, if elected, has a chance at dethroning the first-term incumbent political heavyweight Republican Cruz. But, since President Trump held a come-together rally with Cruz in Houston–which was attended by tens of thousands, with more than 100,000 RSVPs, leaving thousands outside unable to get in–polling has swung back in Cruz’s direction.

A new survey released on Tuesday evening from CBS11/Dixie Strategies, in fact, found Cruz has pulled over the 50 percent mark to 52 percent and commands a double digit lead of ten percent over O’Rourke’s 42 percent, with five percent were...Read More HERE

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