With the November election just a few weeks away, polling continues to strike fear in the hearts of Republican operatives.
Now, party officials are even fearful that they may lose control of the U.S. Senate, a prospect the Washington Post called “unthinkable” up until now. “Shipwreck” is the word used by a party operative talking to the Post.
Senate seats are up for election every six years and this year’s map features Democrats defending states where Trump won, sometimes by large margins. In West Virginia, a poor and heavily white state which Donald Trump won by 40 points, Democrat Joe Manchin seemed like a sure pick-up for the GOP. The Post says the party was talking “assuredly” about picking up the seat until recently.
“But less than two months till the Nov. 6 election, Republicans barely mention Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — states Trump won — as opportunities to knock out a Democrat, while McConnell reiterated that nine seats, plus Texas, were at stake,” the Post reports.
Instead, they’re increasingly focused on Texas where the Trump administration fears “unlikable” Sen. Tex Cruz, R-Texas, is in danger of falling to upstart Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
Trump’s own polling numbers have recently dropped, falling six points in several estimates, one of the steepest drops the unpopular president has had during his reign.
If Republicans don’t have a majority in the Senate they will have almost no recourse in stopping laws from making their way from the House to the Senate, as the filibuster that used to force a 60-vote supermajority on the most important matters has been all-but eliminated in recent years.