Warren’s Liberal Celebrity Act Could Put Senate Democrats In An Even Deeper Hole
Liberals are touting Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as the Democratic nominee for President in 2020, but new polls show her political career may not live to see 2019.
That’s bad news for Democrats, who are already defending 10 more U.S. Senate seats than Republicans, many of which are in states won by Donald Trump.
A poll released on Monday by public radio station WBUR shows 46 percent of Massachusetts voters think Warren’s re-election seat should go to someone else in 2018.
Democrats aren’t expressing worry because you can’t beat someone with no one, and even with low poll numbers, there is no high-profile Republican to oppose her.
“Low numbers don’t necessarily mean there’s an opening for just anyone to challenge her,” MassINC Polling Group President Steve Koczela tells POLITICO. “Republicans who want someone different face the same challenge they always face: Who will challenge her?”
One possible challenger could be the state’s Republican Governor, Charlie Baker. Buoyed by the nation’s highest approval rating for a governor, Baker could pose a dangerous challenge to Warren, should he run.
But while Warren finds herself in a rough patch, other Senate Democrats are facing even direr straits.
33 Senate seats are up for election in 2018. 23 of them are held by Democrats and two by Democrat-aligned independents. Republicans are defending only eight seats.
Of those 23 Democrats, 13 are in close races. Only two of the eight Republicans are expected to face competitive races.
Who’s ahead of Elizabeth Warren in the Senate’s likely unemployment line?
Jon Tester, Montana
Tester squeaked to victory in 2012 with only 49 percent of the vote. Possible Republican opponents in a state won by Donald Trump are 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte and Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton.
Obama lost Montana in 2012, but only narrowly. His massive turnout machine narrowed the presidential gap to only a few hundred votes but carried Tester and other Democrats to upset victories.
Joe Donnelly, Indiana
Donnelly narrowly defeated a Tea Party Republican, who himself unseated the overwhelming favorite incumbent Republican Senator Dan Coats. Facing a much weaker opponent, Donnelly earned 50% of the vote in an election in which Barack Obama’s turnout machine delivered an upset in Indiana.
Donnelly won’t have the luxury of Obama’s influence in 2018.
Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota
A Democrat representing the massively conservative state of North Dakota, Heitkamp has been walking a political tightrope for five years. Having defeated a Republican for the open Senate seat in the nation’s closest race, she starts out as a toss-up for re-election.
Like Tester and Donnelly, she won’t enter 2018 with the assistance of Obama’s presidential campaign and the thousands of additional Democrats it brought to the polls.
Claire McCaskill, Missouri
Long considered a swing state, Missouri has now solidified itself as a Republican-leaning state. McCaskill’s reputation as a “straight talker” endears her to some independents, but it may be grating on the state’s growing Republican electorate.
She may face Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner, which neutralizes the “War on Women” narrative she has clung to like a life raft.