But that leaves four races: defending Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Joe Donnelly in Indiana, and earning the two pickups Dems need to get to 51, Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona and Jackie Rosen in Nevada.
Surprisingly enough though, Dems are betting that Rosen has Republican Dean Heller's seat in a place where she too can win, so Dems are moving on pure offense and are going after Bob Corker's seat in Tennessee with former Democratic Gov. Phil Breseden in a position to pull a Doug Jones.
A heavily funded Democratic group will spend tens of millions of dollars to mobilize voters in the Republican-leaning states where control of the Senate is likely to be decided this November, stepping in to fill a void left by years of decay in Democratic infrastructure at the state and local level.
Senate Majority PAC, the principal “super PAC” supporting Democratic efforts to capture the chamber, intends to steer at least $20 million into the voter-mobilization campaign ahead of the midterm elections, officials with the group confirmed. The program, which follows a similar — successful — Democratic effort in Alabama last year, underscores the degree to which outside groups that can take massive donations have supplanted the traditional role of political parties.
The initiative by Senate Majority PAC — which will run through an affiliated nonprofit group, Majority Forward — will span more than a dozen states where Senate seats are at stake. But it is to focus on four states above all: Missouri and Indiana, where endangered Democrats are seeking re-election, and Arizona and Tennessee, where strong Democratic challengers are running for open seats currently held by Republicans.
Those four races are among the country’s most competitive. And for Democrats to take control of the Senate, they would likely have to win at least three of them, or perhaps all four, depending on the outcome of races in other states.
Republicans currently hold the Senate by a slim majority, with 51 seats, but Democrats are largely on defense this year because so many of their senators in red states are running for new terms.
Paul Dunn, a strategist for Senate Majority PAC, said that in those four states, Democrats need both to drive up turnout among left-leaning voters and to make inroads in more conservative communities.
“These are states that you need to do everything to win,” Mr. Dunn said. “You have to have close margins in areas that are harder for Democrats, but we also need to increase participation in areas where we are strong.”
The turnout program, officials said, would mimic a narrower effort mounted by Senate Majority PAC in Alabama last year, during a special election for the seat Jeff Sessions vacated to become attorney general. Senator Doug Jones, a Democrat, won the seat with the help of $6 million from Senate Majority PAC, which funded both heavy advertising and get-out-the-vote operations.
That's right folks, Democrats are actually going to concentrate on turning out black and Hispanic voters as well as reaching out to disaffected Trump voters.
I may have a heart attack. Somebody actually listened to my advice and realized you can do both without one coming at the expense of the other, especially in states like Arizona and Nevada.
Good on the Dems for remembering who brought them to the dance to begin with.