Via NBC News:
Republican candidates lead in key Senate races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire, according to new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.
These results put the GOP on the path to retain control of the Senate, even if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election. And they are another illustration of the weakness of Donald Trump, who is either losing or barely winning in states where other Republican candidates are doing much better.
In New Hampshire, incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte is ahead 52 to 44 percent over Democratic challenger Maggie Hassan. In Nevada, Republican Joe Heck leads Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto 47 to 45 percent. Arizona’s John McCain has a 57-38 lead over Ann Kirkpatrick and Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson has a 53-38 advantage over Jim Barksdale.
Trump is effectively tied in all four states with Clinton.
In part, these Republican candidates, three of whom are incumbents, benefit from being better well-known than their Democratic challengers. And other polls have shown Hassan either leading or much closer to Ayotte in New Hampshire.
But if these numbers hold, they will have major implications. Democrats currently hold 46 seats in the Senate, and they are favored to win races in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If Democrats won 50 seats and Clinton were elected president, Tim Kaine would be the tie-breaking 51st vote as vice president.
Just a month ago, there was plenty of talk about these states all leaning heavily towards Hillary, and that fact potentially having consequences for the Senate candidates to compound the misery.
A month ago, however, everyone was proceeding as if it were a coronation, not an election, we were waiting to have. This is still a horse race though, even though one of the horses is looking glue factory ready lately. Too many dismiss Trump at their peril. The longer everyone pretends he doesn’t have a shot, the better shot he probably has. Even Utah, where Evan McMullin’s upstart
nineteenth party independent bid was supposed to destroy Trump’s chances there, is still leaning Donald-ward.
In a normal election, Hillary’s awful couple of weeks would be sinking her, but, again, we left normal behind sometime last spring. The media is doing its duty keeping Hillary (almost literally) held up. Today they were busy letting us know that pneumonia was no big deal we all probably have it right now (I feel fine, thanks). The wear and tear of being a normal human and pretending to care about the voters is obviously getting to Dame van der Cankles, however, and Trump is being presented with some opportunities that he needs to start exploring.
Maybe he should wrestle Vladimir Putin to demonstrate that he’s the more robust candidate.
That couldn’t be weirder than anything else that has gone on this year.