Has Trump Put the Senate Out of Democrat Range for 2020?
The big story of Election 2020 is not that the Democrats, as expected, took the House, though not in numbers in any way constituting a "wave." That's pro forma for a midterm.
It is what happened in the Senate. If the leaners fall in their current directions, the GOP's victories in the Senate will have put it essentially out of range of a Democratic majority in 2020, a year in which the Dems have a decided advantage as the Repubs did this year.
Although the mainstream media will be super loathe (loathissimo?) to admit it, this redounds to the credit of Donald Trump, who, as we all know, spent the last weeks stumping like crazy for Senate candidates in states that had voted for him in 2016. He seems to have pulled it off. He will be rewarded by the loyalty of the victors.
Only Dean Heller in Nevada -- a terrible candidate who resembled a used car salesman more than a senator (not the only one) -- has fallen thus far to Jacky Rosen.
Meanwhile, Republicans have scored upsets in Indiana (Braun defeating Donnelly), Missouri (Josh Hawley -- a true comer for the GOP -- ousting the meretricious Claire McCaskill), North Dakota (more predictable with Cramer easily beating Heitkamp), and notably Florida (where that Job-like public servant, the estimable Rick Scott, has moved from Governor Scott to Senator Scott). At the same time DeSantis defeated Gillum in that state -- another clearly Trump-inspired victory.
Still outstanding are Arizona, where McSally -- another mediocre Republican candidate, though not as bad as Heller -- leads Sinema by a whisker, and Montana, where Rosendale could well oust incumbent Tester.
If both of these finally fall in the GOP direction, Trump may well have put the Senate out of range for the Democrats in 2020, barring an astonishing "blue wave" that is unlikely to happen.
Not only that, the complexion of the Senate has changed beyond just party affiliation. NeverTrumpish Bob Corker has been replaced by total Trump loyalist Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee. Personality-challenged Ted Cruz -- once the enemy of the president and a man who only squeaked through in Texas as compared to Governor Abbott who waltzed in -- now owes undivided fealty to Trump. Given the tenor of the times, "new" Senator Mitt Romney is not likely to let his TE (Trump Envy) upset the Republican apple cart.
Even though the mainstream will tell you the opposite, to a great degree, Trump is better placed for a reelection than before this midterm. A recalcitrant House, holding endless hearings no one wants to hear, will give him a useful target against which to run. The impeachment idea -- previously stupid -- now looks ludicrous. The big challenge for Trump will be to win the Republican suburbs that drifted away this time. (HINT: It's the economy, stupid.)
The final takeaway of this election is the incredible waste of money that occurred. It definitively showed us what we might already have known -- that billionaires (Steyer, Bloomberg, etc.) tend to be egomaniacs willing to spend virtually anything to foist their views on the public. But what do they get for their money? Not much, as far as we can tell. The record amount spent on the Texas senatorial election alone might have cured cancer. Something's wrong.
Roger L. Simon - co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media - is an author and screenwriter.