Behind struggling Trump, Republicans struggle to keep Senate

(Washington) Donald is not the only Republican threatened by the US elections on November 3. Weighted down by its bad polls, the party is scrambling to save Republican senator seats and retain a majority in the upper house.



Posted on October 14, 2020 at 2:50 p.m.

Michael Mathes
France Media Agency

“I am optimistic,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a close ally of White House candidate Joe Biden, told AFP.

PHOTO GREG NASH, AP

Chris Coons

“I think if the elections were held today, the Democrats would take control of the Senate. ”

The stakes are high: if Joe Biden were also elected president and the Democrats maintained control of the lower house, the party would hold all the great levers of federal power in Washington for the first time since the start of the Obama presidency.

This still-unexpected prospect emerged a few months ago as some traditional Republican voters turned away from the stormy president, discouraged in part by his management of the coronavirus pandemic.

Opposite, Democratic candidates are attracting funding blows, fueled by the growing hope that they could win.

Even South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a party figure and close to Donald Trump, sees his political life jeopardized by a lesser-known rival, Jaime Harrison, who smashed all Senate records with $ 57 million. dollars in the third quarter.

PHOTO JOSHUA BOUCHER, AP

South Carolina Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison

Republicans hold 53 of the 100 Senate seats, but four of them are now ahead in the polls by their Democratic rivals and five, like Lindsey Graham, are neck and neck.

If the Democrats grab three seats and the White House, they could regain control of the Senate, since Vice President-elect Kamala Harris could then, under the Constitution, vote to tie a 50-50 vote.

Distances from Trump

Even Conservative Senator Ted Cruz recently warned that the November 3 parliamentary and presidential elections could turn into a “bloodbath” of historic proportions for Republicans.

PHOTO ERIN SCHAFF, AP

Ted Cruz

His seat is not in contention but his Texan colleague John Cornyn faces a tougher-than-expected challenge, even if he stays in the lead.

Should troubled senators move away from Donald Trump? “In some of these states it is very popular so that would seem to me to be a bad decision,” he told AFP. While avoiding saying if the president was helping his own candidacy in Texas.

“I hope to do better than him in the state,” he simply answered.

Republican senators from Arizona, Colorado and Maine have been struggling for months. And try to distance themselves from Donald Trump.

As they were asked in recent debates if they were proud to support the billionaire, Martha McSally, Arizona, and Cory Gardner, Colorado dodged.

“I am proud to fight for Arizona every day,” said the senator and ex-fighter pilot, who comes eight points behind Democratic candidate and former astronaut Mark Kelly.

“I know South Carolina”

And in Maine, a state that like Colorado voted in 2016 for Hillary Clinton, Senator Susan Collins has fallen behind Democrat Sara Gideon in every major poll since the start of the year.

PHOTO BRIAN SNYDER, REUTERS

Sara Gideon

North Carolina also leans to the left this time. Outgoing Republican Thom Tillis comes five points behind Democrat Cal Cunningham, even as the latter, a married ex-serviceman, recently admitted to having texted intimately with another woman.

Even more surprisingly, Republican senators from states like Iowa, Georgia, South Carolina and Montana are neck and neck with their rivals.

And should Joe Biden record a landslide victory, the ripple effect could bring in even more unexpected sieges in Texas, Alaska, Kansas and even that of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

In South Carolina, Lindsey Graham is defending her loyalty to Donald Trump and her controversial desire to move forward, as head of the Judicial Commission, towards the confirmation of Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett without waiting for November 3.

“Only time will tell how this affects the election,” he said Tuesday.

But the senator rejects the idea that his efforts to have it confirmed as quickly as possible by the Senate could cost him his seat:

“It doesn’t even occur to me,” he said. “Trust me, I know South Carolina. ”

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