Senate Watch: Sabato, WaPo Models Shift Forecasts Toward GOP

Posted: Sep 20, 2016 2:05 PM

If you read this post, and the various analyses and updates that preceded it, these changes from political prognosticator Larry Sabato and the Washington Post won't come as a surprise. The anti-Hillary movement in the presidential race -- even as Trump faces a tall task -- has been a boon to Senate Republicans' fortunes. If Hillary wins, Democrats need to net four seats to regain the majority. If Trump wins, they'd need five. Either one is achievable, but the GOP has its own (widening) path to victory, too:

Election years are fluid, so it would be foolish to bank on that map staying exactly the same for the next month-and-a-half.  But let's say Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida all stay shaded red, while Colorado, Wisconsin and Illinois (where a new poll shows a fairly close contest) remain blue-ish.  That leaves pure toss-ups of Indiana, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Hampshire.  Democrats would need to hold Harry Reid's seat, then win two of the other three races to achieve a 50-50 upper chamber split. That's doable, but hardly a lock. You know things aren't going their way when Reid and company return to their perennial whining about money in politics -- opprobrium that doesn't apply to certain people's money, of course. Even after Jeb Bush and friends  spent $130 million to win four delegates and a (funny!)  also-ran cameo at the Emmys, this predictable and unevenly-applied attack persists:

The shift marks a dramatic reversal for Senate Democrats, who have gone from hoping for an anti-Trump-fueled electoral wave to insisting that their darkening poll numbers, dragged down by Clinton’s unpopularity, aren’t accurate. Senate Democrats also say a big fundraising haul for Republicans is to blame. "The big Republican donors that give dark money, the Koch brothers and all the rest of them, they’re panicky about Donald Trump, so they’re all in with Mitch McConnell and Republican senators," Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri said in an interview last week, referring to the Senate majority leader. "We don’t have as many of those types that have real huge money and can give lots of money. The ones that we have are also panicked about Donald Trump and they’re giving to Hillary Clinton."

They just don't have as many deep-pocketed interests spending lavishly to promote their candidates and agenda items, you see. Unless you include labor unions' mega donations, alongside generous help from the Soros/Steyer/Bloomberg set. Democrats routinely out-raise and out-spend Republicans, both in victorious and losing cycles. It's almost as if money isn't the determinative factor they love to pretend it is. They wouldn't want to lose their precious pretext for trying to repeal first amendment protections in pursuit of their partisan interests, after all.  I'll leave you with new anti-Democrat attack ads from three of those four jump-ball races, plus another broadside against "phony Patrick Murphy" in Florida: