WASHINGTON — There is a good chance the Democrats could take reclaim control of the U.S. Senate in November, thanks to the large number of seats the Republicans are defending.
A key race to watch: Missouri, where former military intelligence officer Jason Kander leads Republican incumbent Roy Blunt in 2 of 3 polls taken in October. Kander is killing it in the Show Me State, thanks to showing off his AR15-assembly-while-blindfolded skills.
Also look to Illinois, where Democratic Representative Tammy Duckworth leads polls by a wide margin. Duckworth, also a military veteran, is challenging incumbent Republican Mark Kirk.
At present, the Democrats have 44 seats. Two independent caucus with the Democrats, giving them 46 seats to the Republicans’ 54 seats. Thirty-four seats are up for grabs. The Democrats are defending just 10 seats, while the Republicans are defending 19. This leaves the GOP more vulnerable.
The Democrats would need to flip just 5 seats to take control. Four if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.
Flipping five seats would give the Democrats a 51-seat majority. Some of the more vulnerable states for the Republicans are Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, New Hampshire, Missouri and Pennsylvania, where Democrats are polling strong and challenging Republican incumbents.
With the Democrats in charge, maybe Supreme Court nominees can get a hearing. But they better act fast. In 2018. the Republicans will defend just eight seats in solid red states. Meanwhile, seats held by 23 Democrats and the two independents will be up for grabs.