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 CruzDem bundler: Donors waiting on 2020 commitments until Beto O'Rourke makes decision The Hill's Morning Report — GOP victorious in Florida while Dems say `Sunbelt strategy’ looks bright for 2020 Dem gains put Sunbelt in play for 2020 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 HellerElection Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race Dem gains put Sunbelt in play for 2020 Cortez Masto named Dem Senate campaign chairwoman MORE, with the latest poll showing a slight lead by Heller after a period where Rosen had a narrow but consistent margin.

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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 McSallyElection Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race Dem gains put Sunbelt in play for 2020 Reelection campaign starts now, like it or not 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 McCaskillWhy Democratic policies outperform Democratic politicians in rural America Josh Hawley will defend the First Amendment and religious liberty Missouri New Members 2019 MORE, who probably ended up on the wrong side of the Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughThe future of abortion politics is changing Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship 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 BlackburnTennessee New Members 2019 McConnell reelected as leader, Thune promoted to whip Rick Scott appears with GOP senators, ignores voter fraud question as recount continues MORE is gone.

Now moving further east to Florida, incumbent Democrat Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonElection Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race Officials overseeing elections should relinquish authority while running for office, says polling editor Rhetoric on voter fraud, suppression erodes confidence in elections, says polling editor 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 HeitkampBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Trump to nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as next EPA administrator North Dakota New Members 2019 MORE voting against the Supreme Court confirmation. Further, the only seat in each state where Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPaul Ryan defends Navy admiral after Trump's criticism Trump discussing visit overseas to troops following criticism: report Retired Army General: Trump is ‘acting like an 8th grader’ in attacking ex-Navy SEAL who led bin Laden operation MORE won is in Montana, where Democrat Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Cortez Masto poised to become DSCC chair Mellman: The triumph of partisanship 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.”