The Top Of The GOP Ticket Is Helping Senate Democrats Already

Senate Minority Leader Mitch MccConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, take the escalator to the CVC for a news conference on health care reform on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009. (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
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Democrats are gaining ground in six Senate races, and it has everything to do with it becoming increasingly clear that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

According to a newly released analysis by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, senate races in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Missouri and North Carolina are looking to be more favorable for Democrats than previously predicted as moderate and independent voters grow disillusioned with the GOP.

“Considering the rise of Donald Trump, the polarization in U.S. politics, and a higher rate of straight-ticket voting, this could be bad news for the GOP,” a team of analysts at the UVA Center for Politics wrote.

While the analysts are not predicting that Democrats can pull off victories in all of the states they moved in the Democrats’ direction, the shift reveals that many are expecting Trump and Cruz to be a drag on down-ballot races.

The Center for Politics’ analysis moved the Senate race in Colorado from “leaning Democratic” to “likely Democratic,” the races in Missouri and North Carolina from “likely Republican” to merely “leans Republican” and the races in Ohio and Pennsylvania from “leans Republican” to “toss-up.”

In Iowa, where Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has declared he will not hold hearings to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, the race has moved from “safe Republican” to “likely Republican.”

As Center for Politics points out, Grassley has always performed well in Iowa, amassing more than 60 percent of the vote in the last five re-elections. But, choosing against hearings for Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland could hurt Grassley’s chances with moderate and independent voters in Iowa he has come to rely on for his strong re-election numbers.

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