Politico: List of competitive U.S. Senate seats shrinking, with TN still on the list

The U.S. Senate battleground map has shrunk dramatically in recent weeks, reports Politico, and that’s a net plus for Democrats but not enough to change their status as heavy underdogs to win the chamber in November.

Democratic incumbents look increasingly safe in four Rust Belt states President Trump carried in 2016 — Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Republicans are locked in a bitter primary until August. Both parties agree a core universe of states are truly in play: Republicans are targeting Democratic incumbents in Missouri, Indiana, Florida and North Dakota, while Democrats are contesting GOP-held seats in Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee. There is disagreement on how competitive West Virginia and Montana are.

One big clue on which states are truly in play came this week when the Democratic Senate Majority PAC placed fall ad reservations in Florida, West Virginia, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Tennessee, Nevada and Arizona. For now, the group decided Brown, Casey, Stabenow and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) don’t need extra help.

Steven Law, who runs the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, said that Democrats’ “target list is a lot like ours.”

“There were a few states they left off that we think could be competitive,” said Law, whose group has not yet placed its reservations. “But right now, we think the field of battle is already probably about 80 percent defined, and I think both sides see the battle lines as they are.

(Note: The Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC said its ad buy totals $80 million in the nine targeted states, but did not give a state-by-state breakdown. Press release HERE.)

… In Tennessee, Democrats are upbeat about former Gov. Phil Bredesen, who won every county in the state when he last ran in 2006 and remains popular. Republicans argue Bredesen will go the way of other Democratic retreads, like Ted Strickland and Evan Bayh in 2016, both of whom lost by sizable margins. Trump visited Tennessee late last month to boost Rep. Marsha Blackburn and attack Bredesen, though Republicans acknowledge they will need a more sustained effort to drag down Bredesen’s favorability.

3 Responses to Politico: List of competitive U.S. Senate seats shrinking, with TN still on the list

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.