1. Republicans have strong candidates
Up and down the board, the GOP has done a good job at recruitment and retention. Ohio’s Rob Portman has amazed Washington with his hard work and outstanding poll numbers. Roy Blunt, facing a good challenger, has run a top-notch campaign and looks to win handily in Missouri.John McCain (Ariz.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) are seasoned veterans who know how to win elections. New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte is a tough campaigner and has courageously taken on some in her own party to better position herself for the general election. Richard Burr (N.C.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.) similarly are professionals who know what they are doing.
2. Democrats have weaker candidates
Ted Strickland in Ohio has been a disaster, so much so that the Senate minority leader’s political action committee has pulled funding from that race. Katie McGinley is stilted on the Washington campaign trail. Evan Bayh, who many thought would easily win his race in Indiana, has been portrayed as a Washington lobbyist who lost touch with his base. Russ Feingold’s faltering campaign in Wisconsin is the only reason Ron Johnson is still in the race.
3. Republican Senate candidates are flush with cash
The Never Trump movement might be against the GOP candidate at the top of the ticket, but it’s fine with each and every Senate candidate. As a result, many have turned their fundraising prowess to raising money for these candidates. Usually, presidential candidates take up the lion’s share of campaign money. That’s simply not the case this year.
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