Generic GOP Candidates Win Polls in Majority of Senate Battleground States

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May 3, 2018

In recent polling of 12 battleground states, generic Republican Senate candidates lead in seven states by an average of 6.3 percent.

Democrats are counting on a massive wave to give them control of the Senate this year; however, the April polls show the party may have a difficult time winning some key seats.

The Morning Consult poll results show 12 states where Senate seats are up for election this year, and of the 12, Democrats will be defending seats in 10 of them.

The seats that would currently remain Republican or flip from Democrat to Republican, according to the poll, include those in Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, and Montana.

Arizona: the open seat vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) would go to a Republican, 40 [percent]-34 [percent]

Florida: the Republican (Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)) beats the Democrat (incumbent Bill Nelson), 38-37

Indiana: the Republican beats the Democrat (incumbent Joe Donnelly), 39-34

Missouri: the Republican (Attorney General Josh Hawley (R-MO)) beats the Democrat (incumbent Claire McCaskill), 38-33

Montana: the Republican beats the Democrat (incumbent Jon Tester), 42-37

North Dakota: the Republican (Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)) beats the Democrat (incumbent Heidi Heitkamp), 38-30

West Virginia: the Republican beats the Democrat (incumbent Joe Manchin), 43-29

Out of the 12 states, Democrats would only gain a seat in one, Nevada. In the five states where Democrats lead, they lead by an average of only 2.6 percent.

Republicans currently maintain only a slim majority in the Senate, holding 51 of the chamber's 100 seats. If the balance of power is tied 50-50, Republicans will retain the majority due to Vice President Mike Pence's role as President of the Senate. As the Morning Consult poll shows, Republicans have the opportunity to expand their majority, although many Democrats and pundits believe the Democratic Party will take back control of the Senate. Republicans have been in the majority since winning several seats in 2014.