Though most of the mainstream media is focused on the presidential election, upcoming congressional elections are just as important for Democrats to win, but according to several new polls, Democrats are losing ground on that front.
Several AARP polls released Thursday found that in the race for eight hotly contested Senate seats, GOP incumbents are surging ahead of Democrat challengers — terrible news for Democrat strategists looking to control both the House and the Senate.
There are eight seats seen as critical for Republicans to retain in order to keep the Senate majority. These seats are held by Sens. Martha McSally (AZ), Cory Gardner (CO), David Perdue (GA), Kelly Loeffler (GA), Joni Ernst (IA), Susan Collins (ME), Steve Daines (MT), and Thom Tillis (NC).
In AARP polls conducted in 11 states for voters over the age of 50, most of these races remain close — some with razor-thin margins — but Republicans are quickly gaining ground.
According to the Arizona poll, “[Democrat Mark] Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, is facing McSally … Kelly leads McSally 48 percent to 45 percent among all Arizona likely voters, and he leads 50 percent to 46 percent among 50-plus voters.”
In Georgia, Democrat Jon Ossoff currently leads Perdue 48 to 47 percent, which is well within the poll’s 3.6 percent margin of error, and Perdue leads Ossoff 52 to 45 percent among voters age 50 and older.
In Montana, incumbent Sen. Daines leads challenger Steve Bullock (D) 50 to 47 percent, which is within the poll’s 3.4 percent margin of error.
Voters above the age of 50 are seen as a key demographic that could ultimately sway the election. AARP posits that older voters — especially older women — are the most dependable voters, and in some critical swing states, “their share of the total vote the last few cycles has been higher than their share of each state’s population.”
Democrats on notice
Democrats hoping to take back control of the Senate are faced with the reality that the momentum is not on their side. Nancy LeaMond, an AARP executive vice president, said that the election will be a “battle of inches” in a recent statement.
“To borrow a phrase from Al Pacino in the football film Any Given Sunday, this year’s Presidential race is a game of inches,” LeaMond said. Democrats must win four Senate seats in order to achieve their goal.
“The election will be decided in a handful of battleground states, and AARP’s survey results show that either candidate can win,” she continued.
“One thing that isn’t in doubt is that 50+ voters will cast the majority of ballots. So, candidates need to address their concerns if they want to get across the goal line.”