Polls Show Major Problems for Senate Democrats in 2018

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) / Getty Images
March 8, 2018

Senate Democrats have serious problems as they head into the 2018 midterm elections, new polling shows.

Five Senate Democrats currently trail Republican candidates and would lose to them if the midterm elections were held today, while Democrats in several other races only lead their GOP opponents by a small margin, according to new Axios/Survey Monkey polls.

Democratic Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) all trail a Republican challenger by 13, nine, eight, six, and two percentage points, respectively.

President Donald Trump enjoys a positive approval rating of between 53 and 65 percent in each of those senator's states. Tester, Manchin, and McCaskill each have lower approval ratings in their states than Trump, Axios reported.

Democrats hope to take control of either the House of Representatives or the Senate in November. Many observers consider their prospects grim in the Senate, where Democrats are defending 10 seats in states that Trump won in 2016. Democrats need to flip two seats to win a majority in the chamber.

In Ohio, Rep. Jim Renacci (R.) trails incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D.) by only five points. Trump's approval rating in Ohio is 54 percent, according to the polling.

Democratic Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.) are the least vulnerable of the 10 senators, holding leads of nine and 10 points, respectively, over Republican candidates.

The Axios/Survey Monkey polls were conducted from Feb. 12 to March 5 among a total sample of 17,289 registered voters living in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, Montana, and North Dakota.