Democrats hold fading odds of winning Senate this November

Democrats hold fading odds of winning Senate this November
© Greg Nash

A few short weeks ago, the Democrats thought they had a chance to win Texas as part of a master plan to gain control the Senate. Today, however, that looks decidedly improbable at best. The Senate race in Texas, which had been competitive and even showed Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke ahead in one poll amid record fundraising, now has seen incumbent Republican Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' Barr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks MORE extending his lead to close to 10 points.

Other Senate races that were once thought to be close, and possibly winnable by Democrats, have seen a similar progression in the last few weeks. Nevada has gone back and forth between Democrat Jackie Rosen and Republican Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE, with the latest poll showing a slight lead by Heller after a period where Rosen had a narrow but consistent margin.

ADVERTISEMENT

In Arizona, the same pattern is observable. Polls have shown Democrat Kyrsten Sinema with a consistent single digit lead for the bulk of the last couple of months over Republican Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyArizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE, who faced a very difficult and divisive primary. Now, the most recent poll shows McSally up 6 points, in keeping with the trend we have seen in the southwest.

Moving back towards the east, Republican Josh Hawley, the attorney general of Missouri, is in a dead heat with Democrat Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE, who probably ended up on the wrong side of the Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Kavanaugh book authors dismayed about Democrats 'rush to judgment' on impeachment calls Clinton celebrates first visibly pregnant CEO to be on business magazine cover MORE confirmation for swing voters there. In Tennessee, the lead that Democrat Phil Bredesen, the former governor and Nashville mayor, enjoyed over Republican Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTaylor Swift 'obsessed' with politics, says she's cautious about celebrity support backfiring for Democrats The evolution of Taylor Swift's political activism Kellyanne Conway responds to Taylor Swift criticism by invoking pop star's lyrics MORE is gone.

Now moving further east to Florida, incumbent Democrat Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonMedia and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 MORE is in what appears to be a statistical dead tie with Republican Governor Rick Scott. Much of where it ends, of course, will be determined by how Scott handles disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

Once thought to be an entirely winnable seat for Democrats, North Dakota appears gone for the Democrats in part because of Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE voting against the Supreme Court confirmation. Further, the only seat in each state where Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE won is in Montana, where Democrat Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocratic senators quietly hope Biden wins over rivals GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson to resign at end of year Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE has a comfortable advantage over Republican Matthew Rosendale.

Put another way, Democratic hopes of winning the Senate are literally evaporating each day, and the lead that they have in the House has gone from 31 seats to 26 seats, according to Real Clear Politics average.

My best guess today is that Democrats will lose a few seats in the Senate, win the House very narrowly, a much less auspicious prognostication than I and most close observers expected just two to three weeks ago.

Douglas E. Schoen (@DouglasESchoen) served as a pollster for President Clinton. A longtime political consultant, he is also a Fox News contributor and the author of 11 books, including “Putin’s Master Plan: To Destroy Europe, Divide NATO, and Restore Russian Power and Global Influence.”