EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.
The summer months have been filled with political theater, as Democratic debates have dominated 2020 elections coverage. But with so much focus on the presidential race, not enough attention is being paid to the Senate races that will determine the fate of the next president’s agenda.
On the surface, the Senate map in 2020 is favorable to Democrats. After defending 22 seats in the 2018 midterms, including 10 in states that President Trump won two years earlier, the Democrats will be on offense in 2020, with Republicans holding 22 of the 34 seats up for grabs. Democrats look to have outstanding pickup opportunities in Colorado and Maine, both states where Hillary Clinton prevailed in 2016, and in Arizona, where they won a Senate race last year. They also have a chance to compete in several states that are trending blue, such as Texas and Georgia, and where Trump’s support is weakening.
But picking up the four seats required to win the majority remains a tall order, especially with Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) facing a tough reelection battle. To stand a chance, Democrats will have to field the strongest candidates possible in every winnable race. And, on that front, they are currently falling short, with a number of top recruits, such as former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, declining to run.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.