According to an Axios poll, five Senate Democrats would lose their seat to the Republican candidate if the election were held today and three have approval ratings under 50 percent.
Currently, Democrats are defending 10 Senate seats in states that President Trump won in 2016. In six states, Trump’s approval is higher than 50 percent, compared to 43 percent nationally. These numbers highlight how hard it will be for Democrats to pick up the two seats that are needed to obtain the majority in the Senate.
The most vulnerable senators are Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Job Tester in Montana and Claire McCaskill in Missouri, each with an approval rating that is either under 50 percent or just above it. Trump’s is well above that in all three states.
The Democratic senators that are the least vulnerable are Bill Nelson of Florida, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Trump’s approval is at just 46 percent in Florida and Pennsylvania and its 54 percent in Ohio.
There has been no set Republican challenger set up for Montana, West Virginia, Indiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan so the numbers that this poll has collected are likely to change once there is a Republican candidate established in those states. The approval rating for that chosen senator may give a better idea of where they stand with the voters in their states.
When looking at the states specifically Trump’s approval is higher than the incumbent senators in six states: Montana, West Virginia, Indiana, North Dakota, Missouri, and Ohio. But it’s higher than his national approval rating in all 10 states up for grabs right now.
North Dakota voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 36 point margin, but a generic Republican candidate would have just a 2 point lead over Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.
It is especially looking bad for Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin who has a narrow three-point advantage over a generic Republican candidate but that small gain is underscored by outside conservative groups that have already spent millions of dollars in attack ads against her.
In Pennsylvania, it looks to be a toss-up with Sen. Casey polling nine points ahead of his GOP challenger Lou Barletta, whom Trump has already publicly endorsed (though the president’s approval rating in the state is 46%).
The numbers should be more solidified once actual Republican candidates are placed in the states that still need them and then we will probably see those small Democratic leads falls away.