Election 2020: The Blue Shift in the Senate Races

The last day to vote is drawing nearer and nearer, yet there continue to be shifts in a variety of races across the country. Today, let’s look at the latest with the Senate, specifically our goal to flip that chamber. In a nutshell, the momentum is definitely on the Democrats’ side.

(I primarily looked at the most recent race ratings at Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball to write this post.)

As a reminder, the ratings continuum looks like this:

Safe D ⚬ Likely D ⚬ Lean D Toss-UpLean R ⚬ Likely R ⚬ Safe R


Sen. Doug Jones (D) vs. Tommy Tuberville (R) Oh, I want Senator Jones to win re-election so badly. Not just because I want the majority in the Senate, but because he’s such a good man. We should all be so lucky as to have someone like him representing us in Congress. This race has remained unchanged: Cook still has this in Lean Republican, and Sabato has it in Likely Republican.


Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) vs. Dr. Al Gross (I) Alaska’s politics are a bit different, so don’t mind the independent label for Dr. Gross. The Democrats are backing him. Both Cook and Sabato recently moved this race from Safe to Lean Republican as it has gotten quite a bit more competitive.


Sen. Martha McSally (R) vs. Mark Kelly (D) Although this race started in the Toss-Up column a year ago, it’s now been in Lean Democratic for a while.


Sen. Cory Gardner (R) vs. John Hickenlooper (D) Gardner has been in a weak position for a while now, but it just got worse. Sabato just moved this race from Lean to Likely Democrat. Yes, you read that right.


Sabato and Cook disagree a bit on Georgia. For both the regular Senate race (Sen. David Perdue vs. Jon Ossoff) and the special election (Sen. Kelly Loeffler vs. Rev. Rafael Warnock), Cook has them as Toss-Up races, but Sabato gives the Republicans a slight edge and has them as Lean Republican.


Sen. Joni Ernst (R) vs. Theresa Greenfield (D) Cook Political Report moved this from Lean Republican into the Toss-Up column about a month ago, but Sabato just moved it to Lean Democrat!!


Barbara Bollier (D) vs. Roger Marshall (R) There’s no incumbent in this race, but the race was only ever in the Likely Republican column, until a couple of weeks ago, when it softened to Lean Republican.


Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) vs. Amy McGrath (D) Both Cook and Sabato still have this race as Likely Republican.


Sen. Susan Collins (R) vs. Sara Gideon (D) Collins, like Gardner in Colorado, has been in weak shape this entire campaign. Cook Political still has the race as a Toss-Up, but Sabato moved it to Lean Democratic.


Sen. Gary Peters (D) vs. John James (R) Michigan looks pretty good for Joe Biden, but Gary Peters is still only in the Lean Democratic column. So, he has the advantage, but this race could break either way.


Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) vs. Mike Espy (D) Cook still has this race in Safe Republican, but Sabato softened this to a Likely Republican rating recently.


Sen. Steve Daines (R) vs. Gov. Steve Bullock (D) Cook Political moved this race into the Toss-Up column, but Cook still has this race as Lean Republican

North Carolina

Sen. Thom Tillis (R) vs. Cal Cunningham (D) Thom Tillis has been looking shaky for a while, but North Carolina politics (and voter suppression) is a mess. I have to assume that’s why this race is still in the Toss-Up column.

South Carolina

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) vs. Jaime Harrison (D) This really has been a shocker over the course of the campaign. This race started as a Safe Republican, and slowly kept weakening. Sabato recently moved this race down to Lean Republican, and Cook moved it to Toss-Up!


Sen. John Cornyn (R) vs. MJ Hegar (D) Sabato still has this race in Likely Republican but Cook softened it to just Lean Democrat!!

After looking over these latest ratings, I encourage you to pick one of the Senate races you really want to win (if you haven’t done this already) and sign up to help. You can find the candidate’s campaign websites with volunteer and donation links here: How to Break the GOP Stranglehold on the Senate

Get Out the Vote Tip of the Day: Take a picture of you mailing your ballot or your “I Voted” sticker and share it widely. Research proves there is a powerful psychology at work that encourages others to follow suit and vote!

Get the rest of my tips here: 19 Quick Ways to Turn Out the Vote in 2020

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2 replies

  1. TokyoSand, in NC, Tillis got closer when Cunningham decided to have an affair in the middle of the campaign. He was separated, but she was married and her husband was injured military. Tillis and his GOP funders are playing up Cunningham’s indiscretion. Cunningham is a better candidate than Tillis, who has done some shady and unethical things as Senator and former Speaker of the House.

    Someone needs to let Kentucky GOP folks know that KyNect, which they love is Obamacare, and is in jeopardy. You would be surprised how many do not know that. Keith

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