2018 State Political Trends. Why Did Democrats Lose Senate Seats?

Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, North Dakota and Indiana continue to trend Republican because Democrats don’t seem to have a strategy to appeal to rural voters, or those who work in manufacturing. Arizona and Nevada are now trending Democratic because Republicans seem anti-immigrant. West Virginia and Montana, despite their support for Trump, continue to elect Democratic senators. Democrats lost two Senate seats in 2018, reducing their status to 47 seats compared to Republicans’ 53-seat majority.  Democrats gained two seats in Arizona and Nevada, but lost seats in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota.

New Democratic Senators

  • Arizona: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) won against a crowded and divided Republican field for the seat of Jeff Flake, a Republican who has been outspoken against Trump and retired due to divisions within his party.
  • Nevada: Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) beat Sen. Dean Heller (R). His party is divided on Trump.

New Republican Senators: 

Democratic Incumbents

  • California: Diane Feinstein, at age 85, easily won re-election. CA, A Democratically-dominated State, May Represent America’s Future.
  • Michigan: Trump very narrowly won this state in 2016, and Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow easily won re-election.
  • Montana: Democratic incumbent Jon Tester was Trump’s top target. He survived by promoting a bipartisan record and legislation he pushed that has been signed by Trump.
  • Ohio: Sherrod Brown easily won re-election.
  • Virginia: Tim Kaine easily won re-election.
  • West Virginia: Trump is popular in West Virginia, and campaigned against Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin but Manchin won re-election by emphasizing his bipartisan credentials.
  • Wisconsin: Trump very narrowly won this state in 2016. Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin won handily despite a huge influx of money for her opponent. She may run for president in 2020.

Republican Incumbents

  • Mississippi: Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), the first female MS Secretary of Agriculture, was an appointee to the seat of seven-term senator Thad Cochran (R). She won against Mike Espy, an African American, former Democratic congressman and former Secretary of Agriculture under Clinton who was acquitted on corruption charges. Can Mississippi Ever Overcome White Supremacist Image?
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