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The U.S. Senate: Historic Upsets in the Making?

With increasingly harsh rhetoric from Donald Trump these days, it isn't too farfetched to think that two stalwart Trump allies, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) could face upset defeats on November 3.

While the insider political pundits have yet to list either among the most vulnerable of Republican senators up for reelection, there are signs that both could be in trouble.

According to Newsweek, McConnell's Democratic challenger, former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, has taken a narrow lead over the veteran Republican leader and Trump bootlicker.

And in South Carolina, where Democratic fortunes appear to be slowly improving, recent polls have shown that Graham and his Democratic challenger, former state party chair Jaime Harrison, are in a virtual dead heat.

The widely respected Cook Political Report, moved Graham's seat to "Likely Republican" rather than "Solid Republican", indicating a softening of support for Graham in the usually reliably red state -- perhaps due to his flip flop from harsh Trump critic to ardent defender.

Can you imagine Trump's consternation if either or both of those senators were defeated on November 3? Of course, if Trump also goes down, what he says or thinks about that won't matter in the least. While there is a long way to go until the November election, Trump's recent precipitous slide in the polls, which has him down at least 14 points to Democrat Joe Biden, does not bode well for a president who can't keep his mouth shut and continues to make new enemies at every turn.

Now, even the generals are distancing themselves from him, as Gen. Mark A. Malloy, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did yesterday, apologizing for appearing with Trump at his infamous Bible toting photo up after chasing away protestors with teargas and rubber bullets.

Should the political winds blow McConnell and Graham away it would almost guarantee a Democratic takeover of the Senate, where only a net three-seat switch is needed should Biden win the White House -- otherwise, it would take four. But there are far more vulnerable Republican seats in play this year than those held by Democrats, and neither McConnell nor Graham are listed among them.

The shocker for McConnell came when a recent poll conducted by the RMG Group showed McGrath with 41 percent of voters support, compared to McConnell's 40 percent. But, when voters were told that McGrath supports congressional term limits while McConnell does not, her lead jumped significantly, with 45 percent of voters supporting her and McConnell dropping to 30 percent, Newsweek pointed out.

In South Carolina, Harrison, a personable African American, has been all over the airwaves with effective adds that tell his story of emerging from poverty to graduating from Yale University, returning to his home state to teach school before working in business where he claims to have helped to generate thousands of jobs for South Carolinians. He also ran an effective ad using Graham's own words, first as he blasted Trump as being "unfit for office" and then becoming an ardent defender.

He's been generating considerable positive publicity in South Carolina and has begun to attract national media attention. In mid-May, The State reported that while odds remain long, Harrison has a narrow path to victory. However, on June 10, The New York Times, reporting on Graham's first major campaign event since the coronavirus shut things down, said his outspoken defense of Trump has strengthened, not weakened, his position in the state.

Regardless, there are signs of change in South Carolina, as Rep. Joe Cunninham, a Democrat, was elected to represent the district that includes Charleston having gained the support of college-educated white voters and disaffected Republicans. That combination, plus the expected strong support from black voters who comprise 28 percent of the state's electorate, could lead to perhaps one of the most unlikely upsets of all in 2020.

Wrote The Cook Report's Jessica Taylor on April 30, "Harrison has a unique story to be able to reach both black voters and potentially peel off former Graham voters, especially white college-educated women that were Republicans' Achilles heel in 2018. That combination can be targeted with his money and could make this race a closer one than the state's seen in over 20 years."

And what if it's a trifecta on November 3?

What if both McConnell and Graham are defeated and Donald Trump is kicked out of the White House? That would mean a Democratic landslide, and that would change America for the better for years to come.


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1 Comment

Prayers for the Democratic landslide.

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