Having projected the Presidential Election of 2020 yesterday, today I will project, six months out, subject to change as we get closer to the election, the likely Senate balance in 2021-2022.
It seems very likely at this point that the Democrats will win the majority of the US Senate, and kick out Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader.
And I think the odds of Kentucky defeating McConnell for reelection are growing.
So let us look at state by state for the Senate in the 2020 election cycle.
There will be 12 Democratic held seats and 23 Republican held seats up for election.
This insures that the Democrats will gain seats, and it would seem highly likely that they will gain at least 3 seats, enough for control if Joe Biden wins the Presidency, as his female Vice President would be able to organize the Senate, and break any potential tie votes.
Much more likely is that the Democrats might gain up to 7 additional seats, by winning 8 races, but likely losing Doug Jones in Alabama, but that loss is certainly not an automatic result so the total number of Democrats could go to 53-55 as a maximum.
Other than Doug Jones, who has proved to be an inspiration that Alabama has potential for growth, the other 11 Democratic seats seem safe.
Tom Udall is leaving his New Mexico Senate seat, but it seems safely Democratic, as does Ed Markey’s seat in Massachusetts, although he might lose the Senate primary to Joe Kennedy III, but the seat will stay Democratic.
Turning to the Republicans, the following 11 seats seem safe:
Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming, although Lamar Alexander in Tennessee and Mike Enzi in Wyoming are leaving office, but still both of those states seem safe for Republicans.
So that leave 11 seats safe, but the other 12 unpredictable.
Most likely to go Democratic are in likeliness to occur:
Martha McSally seat in Arizona
Cory Gardner seat in Colorado
Kelly Loeffler seat in Georgia
Susan Collins seat in Maine
Steve Daines seat in Montana
Thom Tillis seat in North Carolina
Less likely to switch parties are in likelihood of occurring:
Joni Ernst seat in Iowa
Pat Roberts (retiring) seat in Kansas
David Perdue seat in Georgia
John Cornyn seat in Texas
Lindsey Graham seat in South Carolina
Mitch McConnell seat in Kentucky
My judgment is that one of those last six seats, likely Iowa, will also go Democratic, which means a gain of 7 seats to 54 or 53 if Doug Jones loses his seat.
But also, Kansas and Georgia (David Perdue) could surprise, and we can hope for a “miracle” that the two most despicable of a horrible group of Republicans, Graham or McConnell, might actually be defeated, along with Cornyn.
So in the best of all worlds, which would be a dream, imagine if the Republicans lost all 12 seats in contention, and did not defeat Doug Jones in Alabama, and we would have the grand total of 59 seats!
But reality sets in, and expect 53-55 seats for the Democrats, subject to changing dynamics, so we will look at this again in October.