Painting the Senate red?

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This morning’s article highlights how difficult 2018 will be for Senate Democrats. Everyone knows that Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Joe Manchin, Sherrod Brown and Joe Donnelly are vulnerable in 2018. They’ll be fighting a difficult, uphill fight this time.

There’s another tier of Democrats that are vulnerable, though they aren’t considered to be as vulnerable. That list includes Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Tammy Baldwin and Debbie Stabenow. That might be shifting. First, Bill Nelson is in for a dog fight:

Term-limited Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is expected to challenge incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in next year’s Senate race. A new poll from the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida shows Scott trailing Nelson by just a single point, 37 percent to 36 percent, with one in five voters undecided.

Scott holds a much higher job approval rating than does Nelson among voters in the state, 59 percent to 35 percent, which may be attributed to his recent response to Hurricane Irma. A separate poll out this week from Mason-Dixon showed that two-thirds of Floridians gave Scott a rating of “excellent” or “good” for his handling of the hurricane.

Florida isn’t the only state where Democrats might be in a difficult spot. Salena Zito’s article highlights the possibility of Michigan being more competitive than expected:

DETROIT — John James emerges with confidence from a former Detroit elementary school that has been transformed into a charter high school in the northwest side of the city. It is a stride any parent would hope to see in a son or daughter graduating from this school, founded by Jalen Rose, a former NBA player and member of the University of Michigan’s legendary “Fab 5” squad.

Outside the leafy campus of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy High School, parents wait for their children to emerge as a handful of students play on the school’s clay basketball court. James, a member of the school’s board, has just finished a board meeting, to discuss his decision to run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

That isn’t all:

James is young, accomplished, black, determined, devout, and the kind of new conservative that the Grand Old Party needs in order to shake up next year’s midterm election cycle. He is at once full of energy, grace, command, and passion. When he tells you he is running on conviction, everything about this young man tells you he is not a poser. “I am called to a life of service. I want to serve my country and my community and my state. When I would come back from Iraq on leave during the great recession, the economic and societal devastation I saw here in my own state floored me,” he said.

To be fair, James is competing against other GOP candidates. Still, he’s the type of candidate that seems straight from Central Casting. If James wins the GOP primary, he’ll have a better-than-expected shot at defeating Debbie Stabenow.

Posted in Claire McCaskill, Democrats, Election 2018, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, Joe Manchin, Jon Tester