'Eye-popping' new Senate polls 'imply a Democratic wave of epic proportions': elections analyst
Sen. Mitch McConnell, photo by Gage Skidmore

Although control of the Senate is widely seen as a 50-50 tossup, FiveThirtyEight elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich points to a series of new polls showing Democrats in very strong position to take over the chamber.

In particular, Rakich singles out new polls from Colorado, North Carolina, and Montana to argue that Democrats seem to have gained the upper hand in the battle for the Senate.

"Some recent Senate polls have been so eye-popping that we’re compelled to write about them -- if only to sound a note of caution," he writes. "Those polls imply a Democratic wave of truly epic proportions."

Two polls from Colorado show Democrat John Hickenlooper with leads of at least 17 points over incumbent Cory Gardner (R-CO), while a poll out of North Carolina shows challenger Cal Cunningham with a 9-point lead over Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC).

And a poll from deep-red Montana has popular former Gov. Steve Bullock with a seven-point lead over Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT).

Rakich acknowledges that these polls are significantly better for Democrats than other polls conducted of these states, but he doesn't believe they can be completely dismissed.

"The fact that they are even remotely plausible reflects a vulnerability for the GOP in the age of the coronavirus," he writes. "Americans are souring on President Trump’s handling of the crisis, and congressional Republicans are reportedly worried that it will drag them down too. The pandemic has also devastated the economy, which has historically been bad news electorally for the party in the White House."

While Rakich says it's too early to draw firm conclusions, he does say that "a second consecutive Democratic wave election is on the table" as a possibility.