|Current Polling Averages from Real Clear Politics -- September 11, 2018|
The Democratic Candidate is the incumbent in three of these states, Missouri, Florida, and North Dakota. All three states are close, well within the margin of error. Although President Trump remains popular in Missouri and North Dakota, and has already campaigned against the sitting Democratic Senator, his continued effectiveness and huge amounts of Republican campaign money have made no impact this summer in the Senate races. The Democratic Party's turn out the vote effort will ultimately decide the election here.
The Democrat in Florida, Bill Nelson, has been heavily outspent by Rick Scott, the Republican -- but has important resources coming to play in the form of an emerging Obama coalition which may push minority turn out to Presidential year levels due to African American candidate Andrew Gillum, who is doing surprisingly well in his race for Governor.
The reason why the Texas race, which Ted Cruz is still favored to win, is so important, is that this is turning into the premiere race for ad dollars and Republican National Committee support. Beto O'Rourke is charismatic, and raising huge amounts of national dollars against Cruz. Republicans cannot spend money attacking Democrats in other markets if they spend millions in the expensive Texas market defending this highly visible seat.
Although the odds remain in the Republicans favor, the Democrats now have a 1 in 3 chance of capturing the Senate in my opinion, higher than ever for this year. Declining Trump popularity numbers will continue to raise their odds.