On Saturday, just hours before Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by a narrow 50-48 vote in the U.S. Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made it sound like the entire Kavanaugh fiasco had been a positive for Republicans:
“It’s been a great political gift for us. The tactics have energized our base. We want to thank the mob, because they’ve done the one thing we were having trouble doing, which was energizing our base.”
While the McConnell/Kavanaugh/Trump alliance may have energized the GOP base, Republicans are now facing an enraged Democratic base on the other side, and that means McConnell won’t be the most powerful man in the Senate for much longer.
10 contested Senate seats will decide who controls the upper house of Congress in 2019: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
The bad news for Democrats is that Heidi Heitkamp, the Democrat in the North Dakota race, appears to be toast. She continues to fall back in the polls and is an incumbent in a deeply red state. That means she is almost guaranteed to lose, barring some last-minute miracle.
But in the other nine state, Democrats look to either be in good shape or at least tied with their GOP opponents.
Specifically, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia seem to be trending towards the Democrats, and even incumbents such as Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and John Tester (D-MT) appear more resilient than had been predicted.
The bottom line: With a surge of female and younger voters — both of which are deeply disdainful of Donald Trump and the GOP — the Democrats are poised to win seven or eight of the 10 Senate races listed above. That number could be a bit smaller, as Tennessee is still somewhat in play.
One race appears to be a legitimate toss-up, and that’s Texas, which should be a cakewalk for Ted Cruz (R), but isn’t with less than a month left. And that’s a very bad sign for the Republicans.
When the votes are counted and the smoke clears, don’t be surprised if Democrats hold the Senate majority by as much as 55-45. That number could even be as high as 56-44. Either way, that means Trump won’t be able to get any of his judicial nominees through and could also spell his doom if impeachment is initiated in the House.
So let’s take a moment and thank Mitch McConnell for all but guaranteeing he won’t be running the show in the Senate for much longer.