Midterm 'Blue Wave' May Fizzle in the Senate

Democratic incumbents in swing states are looking shaky, according to new poll
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2018 1:42 PM CST
New Poll Is Happy News for Senate Republicans
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reason to smile over a new poll.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Democrats are expected to make big gains in the House when the midterm elections take place later this year. A new poll, however, suggests the party might actually lose ground in the Senate. In the poll for Axios, Survey Monkey looked at 10 races where Democratic incumbents are fighting to retain their seats in states won by President Trump in 2016. Trump may have low approval ratings nationally, but in six of those states, he is more popular than the Democratic senator. Of the 10 races, a Republican would currently win five of them (Montana, West Virginia, Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota.)

Democrats lead in the other five—Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida—but only in the latter two races do the Democratic incumbents (Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Bill Nelson of Florida) have leads bigger than 5 points. Democrats will head into the election hoping to pick up two seats to take control of the Senate, but the poll suggests it's a tough fight. As Neil Stevens of RedState puts it, "the House may be at risk of a bloodbath for Republicans, but the Senate looks like a rock for the GOP this year." In the New York Times, an op-ed by Columbia University's Musa al-Gharbi takes note of high GOP turnout in the recent Texas primaries and writes that the 2018 "blue wave narrative" so prevalent among pundits might need some reassessment. (More Senate Democrats stories.)

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