Can Dems Really Take Back the Senate?

By on October 12, 2017
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Just two years ago it would have been unthinkable, but given the developments that have unfolded so far under the Trump administration, Democrats are now seeing a real possibility of taking back the Senate as early as the 2018 midterm elections.

It’s a stark turn for a party that had all but conceded its minority status until the next Presidential election at the earliest. According to Politico, however, the party has been reinvigorated and is looking at key races in which GOP stalwarts could face fierce primary competition as potential opportunities to retake the upper chamber:

From Politico:

Senate Democrats, once all but resigned to staying in the minority until at least 2020, say the door to retaking the chamber in next year’s midterms has cracked — just barely — if everything breaks their way. And instead of boasting about how many more seats they’re about to pick up, Republicans are now pondering the once-unthinkable possibility of losing the Senate, and with it, the ability to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominees.

The last part of that statement is perhaps the most important. With Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy reportedly mulling retirement within the next year, even a 51 member Democratic majority could stifle any nominee Trump puts out to take his place…all thanks to the nuclear options that the GOP invoked in order to jam Neal Gorsuch through the confirmation process.

But how will Democrats take back seats? Well, it could be that Steve Bannon of all people will be their greatest help. The self-avowed Leninist has promised to support far-right GOP primary candidates in almost every 2018 Senate race as part of his declared war against Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment. The sheer attrition that would take place from such a move is likely to leave several key seats up for grabs as the eventual GOP nominee for each one would come into the general election already bloodied.

Is it still a longshot? Sure it is. But it’s not astronomically impossible, which is a major improvement from where we were just a couple years ago.