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Senate Hopes Slipping Away for Democrats

Map doesn't look good, pollsters say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2018 8:16 AM CDT
Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia Stacey Abrams, left, speaks as her Republican opponent Secretary of State Brian Kemp looks on during a debate Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool)
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(Newser) – With congressional races around the country tightening up, fewer Democrats are talking about a "blue wave"—and some concede that the Senate now looks out of reach. To win control of the chamber, Democrats need to pick up two seats and hang on to 10 others in states that voted for President Trump in 2016. "It's always been an inside straight, and it still is," Democratic pollster Paul Maslin tells the AP. "If it had been a different year, with a different map, we might have had a terrific sweep. That would be a long shot." Pollsters now believe control of the House could come down to a handful of races. In other election news:

  • A fiery debate in Georgia. There were no punches pulled in the Georgia gubernatorial debate Tuesday night, where Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp clashed on issues including immigration and health care, the Hill reports. Kemp accused Abrams of encouraging undocumented immigrants to try to vote, while Abrams accused Kemp of using his position as secretary of state to suppress minority votes.

  • Big money in Sunshine State. The Miami Herald looks at the money pouring into Florida's gubernatorial race from across the country. Republican Ron DeSantis has the support of GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, while Andrew Gillum, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, has raised funds from George Soros and Tom Steyer, among others. "It’s really a proxy battle," says GOP political strategist Mac Stipanovich. "It’s Donald Trump and his prestige against Democratic progressivism and what they hope is the wave of the future."
  • RNC boosts war chests. The Republican National Committee has given the House and Senate campaign arms an extra $3.5 million each to counter a wave of Democratic spending, insiders tell Politico. The RNC has now given the congressional campaign committees $17 million.
  • "No-go zones" for Trump. Republicans in Senate races in states like Montana have been very happy to see the president, though other areas, including the Pacific Coast, are "no-go areas" where GOP candidates in races that could decide control of the House are stressing their independence from the president and do not want to be seen with him, the New York Times reports.
  • Democratic hopes in Kansas. The Washington Post looks at the gubernatorial race in Kansas, where Democrats are hoping for victory in a state that Trump won by 20 points in 2016. Polls show Democrat Laura Kelly about even with Republican candidate Kris Kobach, who was endorsed by Trump but is deeply unpopular with moderate Republicans. Senior state Republicans, including two former governors, have endorsed Kelly.
(Texas saw a massive turnout in early voting Monday,)

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