The GOP’s Chances of Winning Control of the U.S. Senate Keep Looking Better

The presidential race may be the big story this year, but control of the House and Senate are also at stake. Many believe that Democrats are favored to win control of the House, but Republicans have their best shot of not only winning control of the U.S. Senate but also winning a majority that is likely to last for several cycles. 

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And recent developments suggest that Republicans could flip a few more seats than expected. 

The first seat is in Nevada—a state I’d pretty much given up on, even though Trump had only barely lost it in 2020 and 2016. However, Trump has had a consistent lead in the polls for some time now. 

Sen. Jacky Rosen, the incumbent Democrat, appears to be losing ground in her state. According to the Cook Political Report, which is known for its nonpartisan analysis, Rosen’s race has been changed from “Lean Democrat” to “Toss Up” status. 

“The Nevada shift may be a bit surprising,” notes Jessica Taylor of the Cook Political Report. “After all, it’s the only one of the swing states Democrats carried in both 2016 and 2020 at the presidential level, and Republicans haven’t won a statewide federal race here since 2012. And of the quartet now in Toss Up, it is still probably the toughest.”

I should point out that Taylor is incorrect. In 2022, Nevadans elected Republican Joe Lombardo as their governor, and it should be noted that  Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) only narrowly defeated Republican Adam Laxalt in 2022. 

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The other elections that are seen as toss-ups are Ohio, Montana and Arizona, and Taylor argues that there are other incumbent Democrats on defense this year who may end up seeing their “Lean Democrat” designations be recategorized as “Toss Up.”

One such race might just be in Maryland, of all places. According to a new poll, former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) beats both potential Democrat nominees for the U.S. Senate in general election matchups in the race to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Ben Cardin.

A Goucher College poll released Tuesday showed Hogan receiving 44 percent of voter support, leading Alsobrooks by 4 points in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up.

A separate 11 percent said they were undecided.

In a hypothetical match-up between Hogan and Trone, Hogan barely defeats the House Democrat, 43 percent to 42 percent. A separate 10 percent said they were undecided.

The margin is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

“Should former Gov. Larry Hogan win the Republican primary, our results indicate that the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin would be closely contested against either Democratic candidates—U.S. Rep. David Trone or Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks,” Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center, said in a statement. “Abortion, gun control, and health care, as well as Democratic control of the U.S. Senate, all matter for Democrats, but public safety, economic development, and tax issues rise to the top as the key issues for voters overall.”

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At the very least, this puts a formerly safe seat for Democrats in the competitive column, and they’ll have to invest resources to fight for it. Biden might be forced to campaign there on behalf of the Democrat nominee—if he’s not too politically toxic.

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