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 CruzO'Rourke raised .1 million from over 128,000 donors on campaign's first day O'Rourke on Israeli-Palestinian conflict: 'We don't have the best negotiating partners on either side' O'Rourke: 'I think we can win Texas' in 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 HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE, with the latest poll showing a slight lead by Heller after a period where Rosen had a narrow but consistent margin.


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 McSallyPentagon agrees to set up McSally's military sexual assault task force Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' 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 McCaskillLobbying world Dem candidate has Hawley served subpoena at CPAC Annual scorecard ranks GOP environmental efforts far below Dems in 2018 MORE, who probably ended up on the wrong side of the Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughCourt-packing becomes new litmus test on left Warren, Harris, Gillibrand back efforts to add justices to Supreme Court Pence traveling to SC for Graham reelection launch 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 says she wants to get more involved in politics Bipartisan lawmakers introduce resolution supporting vaccines Hillicon Valley: Cohen stuns Washington with testimony | Claims Trump knew Stone spoke to WikiLeaks | Stone, WikiLeaks deny | TikTok gets record fine | Senators take on tech over privacy MORE is gone.

Now moving further east to Florida, incumbent Democrat Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonEx-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight 2020 party politics in Puerto Rico 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 HeitkampRed dresses displayed around American Indian museum to memorialize missing, murdered native women Lobbying World Lobbying World MORE voting against the Supreme Court confirmation. Further, the only seat in each state where Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE won is in Montana, where Democrat Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSanders, Ocasio-Cortez back 'end the forever war' pledge Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ White House pleads with Senate GOP on emergency declaration 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.”