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MEMO: Three Weeks Out, Democrats Have Put More Than A Dozen Senate Seats in Play

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

DATE: October 13, 2020

MEMO: Three Weeks Out, Democrats Have Put More Than A Dozen Senate Seats in Play


Democrats have forced Republicans to defend more than a dozen GOP-held seats and control of the Senate remains firmly in play as we move into the final three weeks. With Election Day fast approaching, here’s a quick look at the increasing number of paths to taking back the majority.

RATINGS CHANGES: Core Battlegrounds, Expansion States Move in Democrats’ Direction

Major nonpartisan election analysts have not moved any of the competitive races in Republicans’ favor in the past two months. Meanwhile, a growing number of GOP-held seats have become more competitive or now tilt or lean towards Democratic candidates.

Since September 1:

Cook, Inside Elections, and Crystal Ball have previously moved Georgia’s regular election, Iowa, and Montana all in Democrats’ direction.

FUNDRAISING: Democratic Challengers Shattering Fundraising Records

Democrats are announcing record-shattering Q3 fundraising reports, fueled by small-dollar donors giving at unprecedented levels to combat the billionaire mega-donors and special interests and end Mitch McConnell’s majority:

The DSCC also reported raising nearly $27 million in August and increasing our cash on hand to $41 million heading into September. This was the committee’s best monthly fundraising haul in history. Thanks to our grassroots supporters, the DSCC outraised the NRSC by nearly $8 million in August and started September with a more than $27 million cash on hand advantage.

OUTSIDE SPENDING: McConnell Allies Dumping Tens of Millions Into Republican-Leaning States

Republican billionaires and wealthy special interests are responding to Democrats’ grassroots advantage by funneling tens of millions of dollars into McConnell-led efforts to save the GOP’s Senate majority.

In the final three weeks, the constellation of McConnell-aligned groups is now spending more than $93 MILLION defending GOP-held seats – nine of which are in states that President Trump carried in 2016: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In October alone, the NRSC and McConnell’s Super PAC network have added more than $20 million into Alaska, Kansas, and South Carolina.

This spending reflects how smart and aggressive Democratic campaigns have expanded and transformed the Senate map.

POLLING: Health Care Continues to Resonate As Voters Prioritize COVID Relief Over Rushing to Fill Supreme Court Vacancy, Oppose Overturning ACA

The public’s top concern remains the public health crisis and if Senate Republicans’ health care voting records weren’t already toxic enough, they have become an indefensible liability in the weeks leading up to the election. Coronavirus infections have surged to a two-month high, cases are surging across the country, and Mitch McConnell’s Senate has blocked a new relief package from moving forward for months.

Instead of passing more relief to combat this public health and economic emergency, Senate Republicans are rushing to confirm a Supreme Court justice who could be the deciding vote ruling in favor of their dangerous lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act and end protections for people with pre existing conditions. President Trump’s Supreme Court pick is facing growing scrutiny over her track record of “skeptical comments” on past Supreme Court decisions upholding the health care law. The GOP’s threat to quality, affordable health care for millions of Americans during a pandemic is now front and center in the weeks leading up to November. Poll after poll shows the lawsuit and the decision to fill the Supreme Court vacancy are deeply out of step with voters.

  • Morning Consult, 9/24-9/27: A “record-high” 62% of voters support the ACA, including 59% of independents and even 36% of Republicans. 56% think the health care law should be improved and strengthened, while just 20% said it should be struck down by the Supreme Court.
  • Navigator Research, 10/2-10/5: There is 2 to 1 opposition to the Supreme Court striking down the ACA, and voters want the Senate to focus on handling the pandemic over the Supreme Court confirmation by a 16-point margin.
  • Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 9/21-9/24: 61% of political independents, a clear majority, agree with Democrats that the next Supreme Court justice should be chosen by the winner of this fall’s presidential election.
  • Associated Press, 10/7: Even Republican strategists are admitting that “the decision to rush to fill the Supreme Court vacancy… has not swung voters toward the GOP as hoped.”

Bottom Line: An expanding map that keeps shifting in our direction, a candidate fundraising advantage driven by record-breaking grassroots donor enthusiasm, and a high-profile contrast on health care and the failed response to coronavirus have put Democrats in an increasingly strong position to flip the Senate with just three weeks to go.

Next Post

NEW DSCC VIDEO: Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage, Health Care Benefits at Stake As GOP Rushes to Fill Supreme Court Vacancy

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