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 John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' 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 BidenFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' 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 PelosiBrown says Biden's first moves as president should be COVID relief, voting rights Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Pelosi dismisses talk of White House compromise on stimulus: They 'keep moving the goal post' 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 SandersOcasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden All fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown The Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds MORE (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAll fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown What do Google, banks and chicken salad have in common? Final debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit MORE (D-Mass.) have all endorsed Biden this week, giving him an advantage over 2016 nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris lists out 'racist' actions by Trump in '60 minutes' interview: 'It all speaks for itself' Trump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report Clinton says most Republicans want to see Trump gone but can't say it publicly: report 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 McSallyTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Mark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave MORE, Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Democrats seek to block appeal of court ruling ousting Pendley, BLM land plans MORE and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Trump autographs pumpkin at Maine campaign event: 'It'll be on eBay tonight' Trump makes rare campaign stops in New England in closing stretch 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 HickenlooperBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Democratic super PAC pulls remaining ads from Colorado Senate race 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 McCainMark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego More than 300 military family members endorse Biden Jennifer Lawrence says until Trump she was 'a little Republican' 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 TillisBiden and Trump neck and neck in three Southern states: poll 10 under-the-radar races to watch in November Pence adviser Marty Obst tests positive for COVID-19 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 ErnstTrump looms over Ernst's tough reelection fight in Iowa Democrats lead in 3 of 4 Iowa House races: poll The Hill's Campaign Report: Obama to hit the campaign trail l Biden's eye-popping cash advantage l New battleground polls favor Biden MORE (R).

Republicans hope they can take out Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersThe Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Jaime Harrison raises million in two weeks for South Carolina Senate bid BlackPAC rolls out Senate race endorsements for the first time 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 McConnellSenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Trump looms over Ernst's tough reelection fight in Iowa Democratic senator votes against advancing Amy Coney Barrett nomination while wearing RBG mask 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 CruzGOP clears key hurdle on Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, setting up Monday confirmation Texas and North Carolina: Democrats on the verge? Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE (R) in 2018; and Georgia, where both of the state’s Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerSchumer warns of COVID-19 danger posed by Pence on Senate floor Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 BlackPAC rolls out Senate race endorsements for the first time 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 HurdTrump predicts GOP will win the House Changing suburbs threaten GOP hold on Texas Bottom line 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 Defense: Armed Services chairman unsold on slashing defense budget | Democratic Senate report details 'damage, chaos' of Trump foreign policy | Administration approves .8B Taiwan arms sales Democratic House chairman trusts Pentagon won't follow 'unlawful orders' on election involvement Overnight Defense: National Guard says no federal requests for election security help | Dems accuse VA head of misusing resources | Army official links COVID-19 to troop suicides MORE's (D-N.J.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindDemocrats, GOP fighting over largest House battlefield in a decade Republican fears grow over rising Democratic tide Wisconsin Rep. Ron Kind wins primary 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 CunninghamMichigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test Chamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 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 HillKatie Hill to launch 'Naked Politics' podcast Katie Hill claims hackers used government account to accuse her of 'workplace abuse' Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta endorses California Democratic House challenger 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 SpanbergerDuring pandemic, 'telehealth' emerging as important lifeline to connect patients with caregivers Chamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch Spanberger's GOP challenger raises over .8 million in third quarter 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 McBathThis week: House returns for pre-election sprint House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts Black Lives Matter movement to play elevated role at convention 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 HandelHouse Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts Black Lives Matter movement to play elevated role at convention QAnon backer Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia GOP runoff 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.