Downballot Drama

By Ben Wynd

With the 2020 election looming, much of the national media’s attention has been focused on the presidential race. While this race is obviously incredibly important, 2020’s senate races are crucial as well. If democrats win control of the senate, the balance of power would shift dramatically, giving Trump a difficult two years or Biden an easy two. But how would democrats even reach a majority in the senate this year? There are a couple incredibly competitive races that will make or break this election. An almost guaranteed pick up for democrats is in Colorado, where republican senator, Cory Gardner, won his seat in 2014 (a republican wave year). In a state that has since zoomed rapidly leftward, the race is essentially given to democrat John Hickenlooper. However, republicans are almost guaranteed a pick up in Alabama, where democrat Doug Jones narrowly won in the 2017 special election. So what now? Democrats are confident they can oust Republican, Martha McSally, from her senate seat in Arizona. Her opponent is Mark Kelly, a well respected astronaut, who is destroying her in the polls in a state that has shifted rapidly in favor of the democrats over the past 10 years. Another seat democrats think they can pick up is in Maine. Republican senator, Susan Collins, is known for her bipartisanship, however this actually hasn’t helped her. Democratic opponent, Sarah Gideon, has been crushing Collins in a majority of polls. Maine seems like it’s ready for a huge change. The last probable pick up for Democrats would be in North Carolina, where incumbent Republican senator, Thom Tillis, remains relatively unknown among his own constituents. Opponent, Cal Cunningham, is well known and charismatic, making him popular in this very crucial tossup state. Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, and Montana also contain seats that are competitive, however chances of them flipping are slimmer. It’s very important to remember that the presidency is not the only thing at stake in November.