WASHINGTON – After six years as a minority, Democrats have an uphill but real chance to wrest control of the Senate from Republicans in January, and more opportunities in 2022.
However, as states become more clearly defined by party, it is becoming more difficult for Democrats to obtain and maintain a majority.
Thanks to this month’s elections, Democrats will hold all four Senate seats from Arizona next year – where the trend for both parties is almost the same – and Colorado, which is increasingly Democratic.
If by the second round of January they win both seats in Georgia, which has recently leaned towards them, they will command the Senate thanks to the tiebreaker vote of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and the House would be 50-50.
Yet while Democrats have made these and other gains since losing control in the 2014 election, they have lost the foundations of their former majority.
Gone are the seats of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Dakota, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina and West Virginia, all of which leaned toward the Republicans in the presidential election.
Balance of power in the Senate.
Additionally, three Senate Democrats are from states President Donald Trump easily got away with in the election where he lost to Joe Biden.
Senators Joe Manchin, 73, of West Virginia; Jon Tester, 64, of Montana, and Sherrod Brown, 68, of Ohio, are names that weigh and that without them the Democrats could not keep those seats.
Nothing is set in stone in politics, where a situation can change abruptly.
In addition to Georgia, Democrats hope to win Senate seats in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, as well as Texas, as the state’s Hispanic population grows.
“A few years ago, people would have laughed at the idea of two Democratic senators from Arizona,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland.
Biden’s message of uniting the people will be a “potential stronghold in some of these states” for Democratic candidates.
The recent elections underscore how states have become strong partisan columns and this pattern of loyalty is expected to persist largely into the future.
In the 2022 election, Democrats will defend 13 Senate seats, all in states where Biden won.
Trump won 18 of the 21 seats the Republicans will protect. Biden won two more, and The Associated Press has yet to declare the presidential winner in Georgia.