The Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races in battleground districts that you need to know about, shout about and support to make the biggest impact possible in the election on November 6th.
As of the release date of this episode, we are 21 days out from election day. That’s exactly 3 weeks away, leaving just 3 weekends of volunteering left. State voter registration deadlines are quickly passing, so if you are still not registered, or know someone who is putting it off, make that your first priority.
Because we’re running short on time, for the next few weeks we are only going to highlight on air the battleground races that are considered toss ups. However, we will still provide information for ALL of the battleground races in the show notes and at The Midterms Minute H.Q..
Last time, we told you about the toss up Senate races where Democrats could pick up seats. Today, we’re going to focus on the vulnerable Democratic incumbents in toss up battleground Senate races who must retain their seats. These races are, of course, all taking place in states which Trump won in 2016. Every one of these Democrats is a moderate at best, but they all voted against Kavanaugh and the GOP tax bill. As a reminder, 35 of the 100 Senate seats are up this November, including two special elections. Democrats are defending 26 seats, 10 of which are in states Trump won. They must retain all 10 of those Senate seats and pick up at least 2 more to take the Senate.
FLORIDA: We already covered Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson’s toss up race in a previous segment on Florida’s battlegrounds. But just a quick update that Nelson is only ahead of Governor Rick Scott by one to two percent in most polls. It is going to be very, very close.
INDIANA: In Indiana, where Trump won by 19%, Democratic incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly is facing Republican State Rep Mike Braun. Braun is a businessman and NRA member who is vehemently anti-abortion and wants to replace Obamacare with…oh, right, he doesn’t have any idea. Donnelly has a slight lead on Braun in most polls, but Politico has listed this race as the GOP’s best opportunity to pick up a Senate seat.
MISSOURI: In Missouri, where Trump won by 19%, Democratic incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill is facing Republican State Attorney General Josh Hawley. Hawley is trying to paint himself as a legal champion of the people, but he is part of the multi-state GOP lead law suit that would completely invalidate the Affordable Care Act law if they win. Hawley has a slight lead in most of the polls and he is now using McCaskill’s vote against Kavanaugh to claim she only cares about her party. When McCaskill won her re-election in 2012, it was the last time a Democrat won a statewide election in Missouri.
MONTANA: In Montana, where Trump won by 20%, Democratic incumbent Senator Jon Tester is facing Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale. Tester won re-election in 2012 by less than 4 points. Trump publicly battled with Tester after he released allegations that the White House physician Ronny Jackson, Trump’s nominee for the next US Secretary of Veterans Affairs, engaged in professional misconduct, including a DUI and mistreating an employee. Rosendale is a big Trump supporter and real estate developer from Maryland who calls himself a “rancher” every chance he gets even though he doesn’t own any cattle. His ads bend over backwards to call moderate Tester a “radical leftist career ruiner.” Tester currently has a slim lead in the majority of polls.
NORTH DAKOTA: And finally, in North Dakota, where Trump won by 36%, Democratic incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp is facing Republican Representative Kevin Cramer. Heitkamp won re-election in 2012 by only 1% and Trump’s margin of victory in Montana was the largest of any Republican presidential candidate in the last five elections. Though Heitkamp has tried to show her independence by saying she has voted with Trump 50% of the time, she voted against Kavanaugh. Cramer, an anti-abortion, anti-Obamacare candidate heartily endorsed by Trump, is pouncing on Heitkamp’s votes against Kavanaugh and last year’s tax bill as evidence that she is voting along party lines. And of course, he’s doing everything he can to make voters associate Heitkamp with Hillary Clinton, including - and I wish I was kidding - literally merging their faces in a TV ad and calling them “Heidary Clintkamp.” Yea…someone paid money for that creativity.
Finally, for anyone who is already registered to vote or thinks they are, please, please, please take a few seconds today to confirm your registration. Voter purging is happening across the country and the sooner you know there is an issue, the better your chance of getting it corrected before election day. Visit HeadCount.org to quickly be directed to your state’s specific website to confirm your voter registration. If there is a problem, contact 866-OUR-VOTE to report the problem and get guidance ASAP.
So, if making the Blue Wave a reality in November is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting Democrats in battleground races across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
THE MIDTERMS MINUTE
REGISTER TO VOTE: RocktheVote.org/register-to-vote/
CONFIRM VOTER REGISTRATION: HeadCount.org/verify-voter-registration/
CHECK VOTING DATES & POLICIES: RocktheVote.org/voting-information/
Get Involved/Resources: THE MIDTERMS MINUTE H.Q.
TOSS UP BATTLEGROUND DEMOCRATIC SENATE SEATS
FL-Sen: Bill Nelson (D)
IN-Sen: Joe Donnelly (D)
MO-Sen: Claire McCaskill (D)
MT-Sen: Jon Tester (D)
ND-Sen: Heidi Heitkamp (D)
Posted October 16th, 2018; Researched & Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1219: How the GOP became the most destructive force in the world