But will money from BOTH sides actually influence the Senate races?
The fight for the Senate continues to grow tighter, which has led Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to push even more of her campaign money to Democrat senate candidates. The Democrats only need five seats to take the majority or four if Hillary wins. Politico reported:
Clinton, who entered October with more money than any other candidate ever at her disposal, will spend more than $6 million total on paid media and get-out-the-vote efforts in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire — each of which also has Senate races — said campaign manager Robby Mook on a conference call with reporters on Monday.
In addition, the campaign will throw $1 million into Indiana and Missouri, two states where Clinton trails Trump, but where Senate Democrats see obvious opportunities to pick up seats.
“Donald Trump is becoming more unhinged by the day, and that is increasing prospects for Democrats further down the ballot,” said Mook of the new push.
Is this wise for Hillary? Possibly since last month, the GOP regained confidence when it found out that voters have actually separated the senate candidates from Trump. The Senate Leadership Fund has poured $21 million more into the tighter races, which includes New Hampshire, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) almost had a mishap when she said in a debate that she considers Trump a role model. The Democrats and her opponent Gov. Maggie Hassan immediately jumped all over it, but a poll from The Boston Globe found the remark didn’t harm Ayotte at all. In fact, the poll found she now has a six point lead in the race.
Despite professing her want to help the Senate races, Hillary’s her actions speak differently:
While Clinton advisers said the candidate would start going after Senate Republicans and hopefuls for ties to Trump, however, the Democratic nominee has yet to actually do so consistently. After briefly criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio at a Miami rally last Tuesday, she neglected to mention Rep. Joe Heck, Nevada’s GOP Senate candidate, while campaigning with his opponent, Catherine Cortez Masto, in Las Vegas the next day.
She then held no public events over the weekend, and she doesn’t appear to be planning a return to the campaign trail until Friday at the earliest, leading some Democrats to wonder whether Clinton has missed her window in striking at the GOP’s Senate hopes when that party was at its weakest.
Hillary’s allies want her to do more. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) thinks she spends too much time in Florida and Ohio, which do not have competitive races. The Democrats have all but caved that Rob Portman and Marco Rubio will win those states and have moved funds to others.
FiveThirtyEight blog predicts the Democrats will probably only pick up a seat in Illinois. New polls have also showed that Sen. Ron Johnson’s campaign in Wisconsin has found new life, even though the Koch brothers pulled away.
Question remains, though, if the money from both sides will help:
Another, far less optimistic hypothesis for Democrats is that voters are purposely splitting their tickets. As my colleague Nate Silver pointed out on Tuesday, there’s some evidence that voters split their tickets when they feel confident in predicting who the next president will be. If they’re certain it will be a Democrat, they’ll vote for a Republican for Senate, and vice versa. It’s known in political science as “anticipatory balancing.” With Clinton’s lead becoming clearer by the day even as her favorability rating remains low (albeit not as low as Trump’s), it wouldn’t be surprising to see voters seeking a Republican Congress as a check on a President Clinton.
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