Expert says Senate will be up for grabs in 2020

Elaine Kamarck, a fellow at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, said Friday that Democrats will have a better chance of winning the Senate majority in 2020.

"We always knew that it was hard [for Democrats] to take the Senate, mostly because of the seats that [were] up," Kamarck, who is also the director of the Center for Effective Public Management, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

"That will not be the case in 2020. There are more Republican seats up. There's the excitement of a presidential [race], and we've got a big age gap in the electorate these days. The more young people vote, the more Democratic outcomes are, and we're going to see that, I think, in 2020," she continued.

"So Democrats have a lot to look forward to," she added. 

Kamarck's comments come as new polling shows Democrats feeling increasingly optimistic about their future after their midterm victories. 

A new American Barometer survey found that 53 percent of Democrats polled said they felt "more optimistic" about the direction of the country, while 13 percent said they felt "more pessimistic," and 34 percent answered "about the same as before." 

Still, winning back the Senate won't be easy for the party. 

If Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) holds his lead in Florida and defeats Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonRepublicans amp up attacks on Tlaib's Holocaust comments The muscle for digital payment Rubio says hackers penetrated Florida elections systems MORE, Republicans are likely to have a 53-47 edge in this year's Senate. 

In 2020, the best Democratic chances for gains are in Maine and Colorado, which are the only states won by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection What the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push MORE in the last presidential race that have GOP incumbents up for reelection.

Democrats will also be defending Sen. Doug Jones's seat in Alabama, which could be tough to hold.

Other possible targets for Democrats in 2020 include Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstBullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited' Dem Senate campaign arm hits GOP lawmakers over Trump tax law GOP angst grows amid Trump trade war MORE (R-Iowa), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisLawmakers call for investigation after census hired registered sex offender Dem Senate campaign arm hits GOP lawmakers over Trump tax law Graham encourages Donald Trump Jr. to plead the Fifth MORE (R-N.C.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.). 

— Julia Manchester