Here's where things stand 200 days before Election Day

Democrats are growing more confident about their chances of retaking power in Washington with 200 days to go before Election Day.

It’s an election that both sides now see as turning on the coronavirus pandemic and the American public’s views on how President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE steers the country through the worst public health crisis in modern memory.

Recent polls suggest a tight race, but also give Democrats hope that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE can top Trump in states such as Florida and Arizona that are crucial to his reelection chances.


Democrats are also feeling upbeat about the Senate, where a handful of races will determine whether they can wrest away control of the chamber from Republicans. 

Republicans, for their part, think the well-funded Trump campaign can help reelect the president to another four-year term, an outcome that would greatly increase the party’s chances of retaining the House majority.

And the GOP is hopeful a Trump win could provide the momentum needed to pick up 20 House seats and end Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNew Alzheimer's drug sparks backlash over FDA, pricing Sunday shows preview: Biden foreign policy in focus as Dem tensions boil up back home It's not just Manchin: No electoral mandate stalls Democrats' leftist agenda MORE’s (D-Calif.) second Speakership.

Here’s a look at the three battlegrounds.

White House 

Biden has never seemed like an unbeatable candidate, to say the least.


Polls show his supporters are not as enthusiastic as Trump’s, his gaffes are the stuff of legend and the progressive base of the Democratic Party was hoping other candidates would win the party’s primary.

Yet Democrats do have reason for optimism this week.

The party, desperate to end Trump’s presidency at one term, is uniting around the former vice president quickly.

Former President Obama, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSocially-distanced 'action figure' photo of G7 leaders goes viral Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Overnight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale MORE (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMark Cuban: ProPublica 'not being honest' about taxes on wealthy On The Money: Bipartisan Senate group rules out tax hikes on infrastructure | New report reignites push for wealth tax New report reignites push for wealth tax MORE (D-Mass.) have all endorsed Biden this week, giving him an advantage over 2016 nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump asks Biden to give Putin his 'warmest regards' Huma Abedin announces book deal Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records MORE, who didn’t see the party begin to unify around her candidacy until the summer.

Biden leads Trump in a number of national polls, as well as in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. 

Trump has a big cash advantage at this stage of the race, along with the power of incumbency.

But for the president, the key is almost certainly the coronavirus crisis and the recession it has caused.

Trump was hoping he would ride a strong economy into reelection. Now he must convince voters that his stewardship is the best to steer the country back to economic success.

He’s signaled he wants to begin opening the economy as quickly as possible. He’s also noted that U.S. deaths from the coronavirus are far lower than some projections, which the White House argues is evidence of the success of his policies.

Trump’s argument, an echo in some ways of former President George W. Bush’s in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, is that it would be wrong to change the nation’s leader at this critical time.

The coronavirus crisis also promises to make the election campaign uglier.

Trump has signaled he’ll make Biden’s age and his son Hunter Biden’s business in Ukraine campaign issues. He’s ripped Democrats on personal terms for opposing decisions he’s made during the battle against the pandemic.


Biden and Democrats, for their part, will argue fewer Americans would have died if Trump had taken quicker action.


Democrats must gain the White House and a net three seats to win back the Senate — an uphill climb that is not impossible.

In reality, Democrats probably need to take four Republican seats to win the Senate. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) is a huge underdog in a state Trump is likely to sweep to victory in November.

That means Democrats will probably have to defeat Sens. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyMcGuire unveils Arizona Senate campaign On The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly welcome first grandchild MORE, Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSunday shows preview: Biden foreign policy in focus as Dem tensions boil up back home Why the Democrats need Joe Manchin White House briefed on bipartisan infrastructure deal but says questions remain MORE in Arizona, Colorado and Maine, respectively, and then win a fourth seat as well.

In all three of those contests, Democrats seem to have a decent chance of winning.


Gardner is in the fight of his political life. Not only has Colorado turned bluer in recent years, he’s facing a potential challenge from former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperSenator's on-air interview features carpooling colleague waving from back seat DC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Lobbying world MORE, the prohibitive front-runner in the state's Senate Democratic primary.

In Arizona, McSally is up against Democrat Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut who has shattered fundraising records since launching his Senate bid early last year. McSally lost her state’s last Senate race in 2018 before Gov. Doug Ducey (R) appointed her to fill the vacant seat of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration Arizona AG Mark Brnovich launches Senate challenge to Mark Kelly Arizona Democrats launch voter outreach effort ahead of key Senate race MORE (R-Ariz.). 

Collins is also in a tough race in a state where Biden will be favored to take electoral votes in November.

The best chance for Democrats to pull out a fourth victory might be in North Carolina, where Democrats think GOP Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisInfighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Lara Trump lost her best opportunity — if she ever really wanted it 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 MORE (N.C.) is vulnerable.

If they can’t win there, they may look to Iowa, where Democratic outside groups are spending millions to oust Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstOvernight Defense: Pentagon details military construction projects getting .2B restored from wall funds | Biden chooses former commander to lead Navy | Bill seeks to boost visa program for Afghans who helped US Meghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration Senate bill would add visas, remove hurdles to program for Afghans who helped US MORE (R).

Republicans hope they can take out Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersSenior Biden cyber nominees sail through Senate hearing Colonial Pipeline may use recovered ransomware attack funds to boost cybersecurity OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE (D), who has a relatively low name ID. Trump pulled a surprise win in the state in 2016, giving the GOP hope he could do so again and that his coattails could help down the ticket.


Democrats believe that they may be able to bring three other states into play: Kentucky, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMaher goes after Manchin: 'Most powerful Republican in the Senate' Supreme Court confounding its partisan critics Why the Democrats need Joe Manchin MORE (R) is facing a well-funded Democratic opponent in Amy McGrath; Texas, where Democrats are energized after a near-win against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden tries to erase Trump's 'America First' on world stage Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (R) in 2018; and Georgia, where both of the state’s Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerHerschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 MORE, will face voters in November.

Each of those states will likely prove challenging for Democrats, and party operatives concede that while their chances there have improved, they’re still a reach. 


The House is the least likely chamber to flip in the general election.

Republicans need a net gain of 20 seats to take back the majority. Republicans also have to take into account the redistricting in North Carolina, which will endanger two GOP-held seats, as well as retiring Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdFirst Democrat jumps into key Texas House race to challenge Gonzales Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel MORE’s (R-Texas) district, which Democrats are favored to take. 

It would appear Republicans are well positioned with Democrats holding 30 seats in districts Trump carried in 2016, but not all of those races are competitive. The Cook Political Report rates Rep. Angie Craig’s (D-Minn.) district, which Trump won by 1.2 percentage points, as “lean Democratic.”

Meanwhile, Cook rates Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillOvernight Energy: Climate emerges as infrastructure sticking point | US recovers millions in cryptocurrency paid to pipeline hackers | Chief scientist: NOAA is ' billion agency trapped in a .5 billion budget' Chief scientist: NOAA is ' billion agency trapped in a .5 billion budget' GOP lawmakers request briefing on Democrats' claims of 'suspicious' Capitol tours before Jan. 6 MORE's (D-N.J.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindHouse Democrats hit Republicans on mobile billboard at GOP retreat House Republicans pressuring Democrats to return donations from Ocasio-Cortez Race debate grips Congress MORE’s (D-Wis.) races as “likely Democratic.” Trump won Sherrill’s district by 1 point and Kind’s district by 4 points. 

Having Biden as their presumptive presidential nominee could also play to House Democrats’ advantage in November. Vulnerable House Democrats, such as Rep. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamJoe Cunningham to enter race for South Carolina governor Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' Lobbying world MORE in South Carolina’s 1st District, had voiced concerns about the prospect of Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, at the top of the Democratic ticket. 

However, Republicans do hold an advantage in a number of key districts. Cook changed the rating for the race to fill former Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillMaher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' Former Obama official named NFL senior VP of communications Republicans fret over divisive candidates MORE’s (D-Calif.) district from “lean Democratic” to “toss-up”; California Assemblywoman Christie Smith (D) and former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia (R) will face off in the vote-by-mail special general election there on May 12. 

Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerFive takeaways on the House's return to budget earmarks Lawmakers say companies need to play key role in sustainability On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since lockdowns | Retail sales surge in March | Dow, S&P hit new records MORE’s (D-Va.) race in Virginia’s 7th District, which was also won by Trump in 2016, is considered a “toss-up” by Cook. The website also rates Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathGun violence: Save the thoughts and prayers, it's time for Senate action Sunday shows preview: US hails Israel-Hamas cease-fire; 'vast differences' remain between Biden, GOP on infrastructure Lawmakers brace for battles with colleagues as redistricting kicks off MORE’s (D-Ga.) seat in Georgia’s 6th District as a “toss-up.” That district was won by Trump in 2016 and was formerly held by former Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelOssoff defeats Perdue in Georgia Senate runoff McBath wins rematch against Handel in Georgia House race House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts MORE (R-Ga.), who is running again for the seat. 

The coronavirus pandemic could have the biggest impact on the race. The crisis has forced candidates in all races to resort to virtual campaigning.

Republican candidates could see an enthusiasm and fundraising advantage with Trump at the top of the ticket. However, Democrats will likely be given another opportunity to run on health care, an issue with which they solidly won the House in 2018.