by admingene on March 31, 2020

MARCH 31, 2020


Two PACS associated with the Democratic and Republican U.S. Senate campaign committees have just set initial budgets for their first ads ahead of the November elections and they give a good indication of where the battles are likely to be fought, especially since both organizations have purchased ad time for the same five races and the Republicans added one more.

First, the five common ad purchases:

Arizona:           Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to replace John McCain, vs. Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords.  There have been a few polls here and the latest have Kelly with a 6-7 point lead.

Colorado:         Republican Cory Gardner vs. former Governor John Hickenlooper.  From the moment Hickenlooper got out of the presidential race, Democrats have been very optimistic about this one, but I have not seen any recent polling here.

Iowa:              Republican Joni Ernst is not very popular, but the Democrats won’t choose their candidate until June 2.  Her approval ratings have dropped to 47% but the race may depend on the identity of the as yet unknown Democratic candidate.

Maine:             Republican Susan Collins will be facing State House Speaker Sarah Gideon.  A recent poll (March 5) has Gideon with a 4 point lead over Collins

North Carolina: Republican Thom Tillis vs. former State Senator Cal Cunningham.  Two latest polls  (late February) were split, with each candidate having a slight lead

The Republican Pac has also bought air time in Kentucky, where Mitch McConnell will face former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath.  I have already seen a national ad two times on MSNBC for McGrath.  The two most recent polls were conducted in January, with one having a tie and the other showing McConnell up by 3%.

Two other races to note:

Alabama:         Republicans are having their run-off election in July, and whether Tommy Tuberville or Jeff Sessions wins, it is hard to imagine Democrat Doug Jones holding onto this seat. (Tuberville, endorsed by Trump, is the favorite.)

Montana:         Former Governor and presidential candidate Steve Bullock recently entered this race, giving Democrats a chance vs. Republican incumbent Steve Daines.  The only poll showed a dead heat.

Other races to watch as the year progresses:

Texas (Incumbent Republican John Cornyn)

Georgia special election (Incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler)

Kansas (open seat).

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