GOP Path To Senate Victory: Only Need 51
GOP Path To Senate Victory: Only Need 51
The odds are continuing to shift, even on Election Day. The GOP only needs 51 seats to control the Senate. More seats would obviously be better, but 51 is the minimum. After two years of Kamala Harris as tiebreaker for the Democrats, getting the majority back is of utmost importance.
Are the pollsters waking up to something new today? Or are they just hedging bets against what they’ve been seeing all along and didn’t say much about?
Nearly identical odds from Decision Desk for GOP at 59 percenthttps://t.co/qckrfmZkOp
Overall, Ds vowed as underdogs on E-Day after strong summer
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) November 8, 2022
The wind may be at the back of the GOP, but it means that every single vote counts. The GOP must hold every seat that they currently have, and then take at least one seat from Democrats. Could the GOP afford to lose a seat? Yes, but it would make that road to a majority in the Senate a lot more dicey. Here’s where we currently stand on the hottest Senate races that could mean control of the chamber come next January.
Adam Laxalt has the best shot of unseating Catherine Cortez Masto and making this a GOP pickup. The race has been tight all along, but Laxalt has run a drama-free race and currently stands at 3 points ahead in the aggregate polling. Also helping: Nevada has a Democrat governor, Steve Sisolak, whose challenger, Joe Lombardo, is also running ahead and looking to pick up the seat. The down-ballot effect is a real and compelling one, and the fact that both races are slightly favoring the GOP is a good sign that Nevada could be seat number 51.
We have covered this race repeatedly on this blog, as neither Democrat Raphael Warnock or Republican Herschel Walker has run a great campaign. However, Walker has definitely benefited from the down-ballot effect as well, as the popular Republican governor Brian Kemp is shaping up to absolutely beat Stacey Abrams (D-Star Trek). Kemp has the opportunity to beat Abrams by double digits. The problem with Georgia election law, and how we got into this mess in the first place, is the requirement that a candidate get 50 percent of the vote, or it goes to a runoff election. Now, Kemp will make that 50 percent, but Walker might not. Remember that this is what happened last time between Jon Ossoff and David Perdue in 2020. Perdue got the most votes on election day, but just failed to meet the 50 percent threshold – which gave Ossoff the chance to beat him in the runoff. Most outlets are predicting that Walker and Warnock will go to a runoff election on December 6th. It might be too much to ask that it doesn’t, but it might not be too much to ask that control of the Senate doesn’t come down to this race.
The seat is currently one held by the GOP. With Senator Pat Toomey resigning, keeping the seat in GOP hands is crucial to getting a Senate majority. The coverage of this particular race culminated with the debate between John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz, where Fetterman’s lack of stroke recovery plus his flip-flopping on his extremely radical positions were seen by a nationwide audience. Despite the blame and the damage control afterward, Fetterman has not been able to do much better in these last few days before the election.
Shockingly, Dr. Oz has seen a last minute boost in the FiveThirtyEight polling. How did that happen, hmmm? Will Dr. Oz be able to eke out a win? Hang on to your seats, because Team Fetterman is trying to make it impossible for them to lose.
This is another moment where the down-ballot effect could really help the GOP. Kari Lake is running a strong race and Katie Hobbs is a cowardly candidate, and it looks like Republicans will be able to hold the governor’s mansion. And that is good news for Blake Masters, running against Democrat Mark Kelly. Masters has long run behind Kelly in the race, but is surging at just the right time and is now a toss-up. If the GOP could take Arizona and Nevada, those would be two HUGE pickups and make the numbers adding up to 51 a whole lot easier.
This is still an outlier, but the race between Maggie Hassan and Don Bolduc was never supposed to be this close. It would be sweet poetic justice if Bolduc DOES win, because he got a helping hand from none other than Chuck Schumer, whose PAC decided to support him during the primary so that Hassan would have an “easier” candidate to beat. WHOOPS. And if Bolduc DOES win, GOP leadership should promptly put him in charge of a special investigative committee on the withdrawl from Afghanistan. After all, as a retired brigadier general who served in Afghanistan, he would be PERFECT for the job of holding the Biden team accountable for their failures. Keep your fingers crossed.
North Carolina and Florida were supposed to be competitive races for Democrats to try and unseat Republicans, but that has not happened. Ohio continues to look like it will remain in GOP hands with J.D. Vance.
There are still two more outlier races to be considered – Colorado and Washington state. That either race is competitive is a sign that Democrats are in DEEP trouble. Both are considered “toss ups” by Real Clear Politics, but the fact that Joe O’Dea and Tiffany Smiley are running THIS CLOSE to winning in blue strongholds is a sign. Will the GOP be fortunate enough to win one, or maybe both? It’s a very big IF, but again, the red wave could carry them, too.
It’s going to be a long night. Here’s hoping the path to victory for Republicans is easier than waiting for a runoff election in Georgia. Have you voted yet? If not, what are you waiting for??
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click