Collector - October 2020 - 39

ADVOCACY

"Voters are voting-by many accounts in
large numbers, based on a snapshot of
how things are right now. There are no
guarantees that anything will improve in
the next month, but kneejerk voting tends
to ignore sound policy."

The calculus in the upper chamber is
slightly different, but no less complicated.
Bucking the midterm election trend,
Senate Republicans increased their
majority in 2018, but only slightly
and in a cycle where Democrats had
to defend 26 seats compared to nine
for Republicans. This time around,
there are 35 Senate seats up for election-
many of which are expected to be
competitive as Democrats vie for
control on Nov. 3. There are 22 Senate
Republicans up for reelection compared
to just 12 Democrats.
The Senate is currently made up
of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and
two Independents (who caucus with
the Democrats). To take the Senate,
Democrats will need to win three or four
seats-three if the administration changes
and four if it does not.
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine,
and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., represent
shifting demographics and will have to win
reelection in states that Hillary Clinton
carried in 2016.
U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Martha
McSally, R-Ariz. (who lost to U.S. Sen.
Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., in 2016 but
was appointed to John McCain's seat),
and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., were targeted
by Democrats as potential pickups from
the beginning. Montana Gov. Steve
Bullock, a Democrat, jumped into the race
against U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.,
after ending his run for the democratic
presidential nomination, adding to the list
of battle states.

COLLECTOR 10.20

After the retirement of U.S. Sen. Johnny
Isakson, R-Ga., Georgia will now be fielding
two Senate races this cycle and Democrats
will be angling hard to take down U.S.
Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Kelly
Loeffler, R-Ga.
Just as it will be for House members,
Senate Republicans are going to have to deal
with top-of-ticket issues, depending on what
voters decide to do.
In 2016, for the first time since the direct
election of senators began 100 years ago,
no state with a Senate contest split the vote
between the presidential election and the
Senate race.
If that were to happen again, President
Trump would have to win for Republicans to
keep the majority in Senate.
Here is why all this matters: The election is
already happening.
Voting by mail is expected to surge
because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In North Carolina, election officials
started sending ballots to voters on Sept.
4. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and
Minnesota followed suit soon after.
In some states, more than half of voters
will cast their votes well before Election
Day. By the time of the first presidential
debate on Sept. 29, voting had already
started in 16 states.
Voters are turning in their ballots as we
speak and, in some cases, they might be
voting for candidates they hardly know.
Primaries across the country were
pushed back due to COVID-19
concerns. Four states only just held
down-ballot primaries in the first half

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Collector - October 2020

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