A big blue wave is coming: The top 10 Senate races to watch election night

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Ten Democrats are poised to win Senate seats currently held by Republicans in this election. These races help creates a very real chance for a majority Democrat Senate.

Thirty-five Senate races will be decided in the November 3 election. Twelve Democratic and 23 Republican senators are on the ballot. And ten of those Republicans have a tough fight to keep their seats.

Here are the ten Democrats that have the best chances against their incumbent Republican opponents.

Sara Gideon, Maine

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Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, Democrat Sara Gideon, has a narrow lead over GOP Sen. Susan Collins. Gideon is focussing on the growing distrust of Collins among her Maine constituents.

Collins voted to acquit Trump during his impeachment, and then told reporters that the president had “learned his lesson.” That didn’t work out any better than Collins’s vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. Although she has largely toed the party line, now Collins seems unwilling to say she will even vote for Trump…

Maine voted blue in the last seven of the presidential elections. This may be the year for a Democratic Senate win over Susan Collins.

Cal Cunningham, North Carolina

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Democrat Cal Cunningham is a former state lawmaker, military prosecutor, and Iraq war vet. He is maintaining a narrow lead over Republican Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina.

A life-long North Carolinian, Cunningham has hammered Sen. Tillis for not expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act in the state, which left more than 200,000 people without access to affordable health insurance. Cunningham has also attacked Tillis’s environmental record, and placed environmental justice high on his list as he fights for a Senate win.

Mark Kelly, Arizona

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Democrat Mark Kelly boasts a career as an astronaut, engineer, and former U.S. Navy captain. But even with all that, he’s not too tough to put on a mask when he is out and about.

Kelly is running against Republican Senator Martha McSally, who has never had a Senate win — she was appointed to the late Sen. John McCain’s old seat in 2019.

John McCain’s widow endorsed Joe Biden for president, and McSally does not exactly have the president’s full-throated backing. The odds are stacked against Sen. McSally — even Trump barely gives her the time of day. 

John Hickenlooper, Colorado

Democrat Hickenlooper at an event

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Former governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper seems likely to win Senate Republican Senator Cory Gardner’s seat in the battleground state of Colorado. A former geologist, small business owner, and Mayor of Denver, Hickenlooper prioritizes the environment, healthcare, and employment.

Hickenlooper’s opponent, Gardner, once said that Trump’s character defects went, “beyond mere moral shortcomings,” and that Trump has a “disdain for dignity unbecoming of the presidency.” But once Trump was elected, Gardner became an avid sycophant of the president. Most recently the Republican Senator voted for Trump’s nominee to fill RBG’s seat, and claimed during his debate with Hickenlooper that Trump is “an ethical and moral man.”

Jon Ossoff, Georgia

Senate challenger Jon Ossoff of Georgia sits with Congressman John Lewis.

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Polls show Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff neck-and-neck with Republican incumbent Senator David Perdue. Perdue cancelled out of the final debate with Ossoff — not surprising after their second debate, in which, as Rachel Maddow said, “Ossoff wiped the floor with Perdue and then left him laying there, wet.”

“It’s not just that you’re a crook, Senator,” Ossoff said. “It’s that you’re attacking the health of the people that you represent. You did say COVID-19 was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no significant uptick in cases. All the while you were looking after your own assets and your own portfolio.”

Perdue made a series of stock trades soon after the coronavirus spread to the United States, potentially enriching himself using information that he failed to use to warn his constituents. Perdue’s campaign also lengthened the image of Ossoff’s nose in attack ads to make sure voters would remember that Ossoff is Jewish.

Classy.

Jaime Harrison, South Carolina

South Carolina Democratic senate candidate Jaime Harrison

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The South Carolina senate race is in a statistical tie, as Democrat Jaime Harrison challenges Republican Lindsey Graham for a senate win. Harrison was able to out-raise Graham by nearly double until Lindsey spent so much time on Fox News begging for money that the network cut him off while he was whining.

Graham has spent four years abandoning previous positions and turning himself into pretzel to please Trump. Most recently, Graham tossed his original statement that a supreme court justice should not be nominated in an election year, to help Amy Barrett win Senate confirmation after US citizens had begun voting.

Graham also gets in his own way by saying African Americans or immigrants, “can go anywhere in this state (South Carolina), you just need to be conservative,” and that there is a place for young women in America “if you are pro-life, if you embrace your religion, and if you follow traditional family structure.”

South Carolina voters may show Graham that Jaime Harrison can go anywhere — like to the US Senate.

Theresa Greenfield, Iowa

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Iowa’s Democrat challenger Theresa Greenfield trounced incumbent Republican Joni Ernst in a moment that went viral. Greenfield showed her agricultural chops while answering a question about the break-even price of corn. Including an exact current price and a list of farmers’ considerations as to whether they could make a living at that rate, the Democratic challenger aced that round.

When Republican Ernst got the same question — but about soybeans — she made it hard to believe she even knew what beans were let alone what it takes to grow them.

Currently, this race is a toss-up. Trump spent time in the home stretch of his election campaigning in Iowa, and Ernst is struggling to hold on in this Republican stronghold as well.

Steve Bullock, Montana

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Two-term Democratic Governor Steve Bullock won reelection as governor even though Trump took the state in 2016. Bullock has name recognition and a 60% approval rating on his side. Montana pollsters say the race is “too close to call.”

Bullock is running against first-term Senate Republican, Steve Daines, whose campaign seems to be relying on a message of “don’t let the Democrats get too many seats” to win Senate reelection. Republican Daines is holding a slight lead over Bullock, but that may not last through Election Day. Daines didn’t score much backing from the president; Trump phoned it in on this race with an eight-minute conference call to back the Republican incumbent.

MJ Hegar, Texas

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Texas military veteran MJ Hegar is now within two points of John Cornyn in the race for Cornyn’s Senate seat.

Cornyn tried to distance himself from his identity as a Trump enabler by likening his relationship with the president to that of a woman in a tragic marriage. More recently, his campaign manipulated videotape of Hegar to misrepresent her position on a carbon tax.

Cornyn’s tactics are a far cry from Hegar’s straight-shooter identity, and Cornyn will have a tough time convincing voters that he is the one with a consistent message. This incumbent may be as reliant as the president on suppressing the vote.

Amy McGrath, Kentucky

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Former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath is running in Kentucky against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Recent polls still show McConnell winning this race in Kentucky and maintaining his seat, but the gap is not that wide.

McConnell is spending the last days of his campaign bragging about ramming through Amy Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. “We worked through the weekend,” he said. But he hasn’t worked at all on the hundreds of bills passed by the House of Representatives — including the Heroes Act — that have gathered dust while he forces the Senate to remake US federal courts in his own conservative image.

McGrath called Barrett’s confirmation “hypocritical and cynical,” since McConnell blocked former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, for the better part of an election year. “That’s not what our Senate’s supposed to be doing. And he knows it.”

Your vote counts!

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No matter where you live, make sure your voice is heard — vote! And then wait for your vote to count.

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