Trump rejection leaves Republicans at risk of losing Senate majority

RIO – It is not just the choice of the White House occupant that generates anxiety in Americans. Democrats and Republicans are waging an uphill battle for control of Congress in these elections, the composition of which will be instrumental in determining the complexity of the obstacles the next president will face in implementing his agenda. As in the presidential election, the predictions are unfavorable for Donald .

In the House, there is little doubt that Democrats will retain the majority obtained in 2018, but the dimension of the triumph remains to be seen. In the Senate, the dispute is fierce and Republicans are at significant risk of losing the majority they have held since 2015.

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Senate control is critical, as it opens the way for the government to more easily implement its legislative agenda. Without the support of Republican leader in the House, veteran Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky senator since 1985, Trump probably would not have been able to carry out his conservative revolution in the courts or get rid of the House approved impeachment process.

The Republican Party now has 53 of the 100 seats in the House. Democrats and independents, who generally line up, are 47 and two. Therefore, the opposition needs to elect four senators to reach the 51 required to form a majority. If Joe Biden is elected, the number drops to three, because in the event of a tie, the vice-president has the casting vote.

The legislative race is also a referendum on Trump and his conduct, which question the balance between powers and the health of American democracy. The polarization, even more explicit in the face of the president’s anti-science stance in his response to the Covid-19 pandemic, is also reflected in Congress.

“If Republicans lose the Senate, especially in states where they have historically been successful, such as Georgia, Iowa, Arizona and even Maine, they will assume that it is a reflection of disapproval of the president, not their own campaigns,” he said. GLOBE Casey Burgat, political scientist at George Washington University.

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Contested seats

In 2020, a third of the Casa’s seats are at stake. Of these 35 vacancies, 23 are currently occupied by Republicans and 12 by Democrats. According to a survey by the Cook Political Report, Joe Biden’s party is expected to lose at least one of its seats, but will likely retain the other 11. Thus, it would need to convert four seats to obtain a majority.

Of the 23 Republican seats at stake, two stand a good chance of changing ownership: in Colorado, where dissatisfaction with Trump is reflected in Senator Cory Gardner, who is seeking re-election, and in Arizona. Disputed by Democratic astronaut Mark Kelly and Republican Martha McSally, this spot belonged, for more than 30 years, to John McCain, one of Trump’s greatest critics within his party.

Congress in check:Trump rejection leaves Republicans at risk of losing majority in Senate

In seven other seats, the battle is vote by vote. In South Carolina, Republican icon Lindsey Graham risks losing to Democrat Jaime Harrison, who raised a record $ 57 million in just one quarter. Still, the defeat of Graham, one of Trump’s main allies, would be surprising.

Democratic efforts are concentrated in three states. In North Carolina, Senator Thom Tillis, an advocate of Trump’s response to the pandemic, is 3.8 percentage points behind Democrat Cal Cunningham, according to the Real Clear Politics website. In Iowa, Joni Ernst, another supporter of the president, has only a small advantage over Democrat Theresa Greenfield.

In progressive Maine, Republican Susan Collins wages the toughest battle in her 23 years in the Senate. Last month, she voted against the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a position that made Trump tweet that it was not worth trying to support her. For many supporters, she is too critical of the president. For many Democrats, it is too aligned with the White House.

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Polarization

Another sign of political polarization is that in 2016, for the first time in recent history, all states voted for president in the same way that they voted for the Senate. Today, Trump leads in Iowa and Biden, North Carolina, according to FiveThirtyEight. The difference, however, is within the margin of error in both cases.

In Maine, the former vice president appears to have a narrow advantage in the Collins district (the state distributes its votes at the Electoral College based on the outcome of each congressional district and the winner of the popular vote throughout its territory). If Democrats get these two seats, just like those in Arizona and Colorado, a Biden victory would give them the majority.

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According to FiveThirtyEight, the Democratic Party’s chance of controlling the Senate is 76%. Still, a victory would not give Biden carte blanche to implement his agenda. Democrats have come together to defeat Trump, but internal differences are likely to surface if they are in the situation.

“There is the most progressive wing of the party, represented by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and the most moderate,” said American University political scientist Candice Nelson. – If Biden wins, it will be interesting to see how he will negotiate. He will not be able to simply implement what he wants.

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In the House, where all 435 seats are at stake, the Republican fear is that the defeat will be massive. Democrats currently have 232 deputies – 14 more than the 218 needed to form a majority. FiveThirtyEight predicts that on Tuesday, that number will rise to 240. According to the Reuters agency, there are 44 seats considered competitive, of which 27 are occupied by Republicans.

One phenomenon seen in the mid-term elections in 2018 was the rise of young, progressive parliamentarians and representatives of minorities. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib – the four members of the “Squadron” who stole the spotlight and sparked Trump’s ire – are virtually guaranteed re-election. The search for diversity, it seems, is an even stronger factor this time.

– We see a more diverse group of candidates than in 2018. It is a Democratic focal point to have candidates who represent the country better – said Burgat. – Republicans try to do the same, they have more women candidates than in the past, in an attempt to seek the female vote, which historically they lose to the Democrats.

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