Blue Senate Project

A guide to tracking the state of the 2020 battleground senate races — providing resources to maximize dollars to flip the senate blue. Follow @blue_senate

The Blue Senate Project aims to track the latest news, polling, and fundraising details of the critical races in order to best inform you and your donation and volunteer decisions. We know time and money are limited resources. We want to put that to work in the most efficient way possible. Republicans currently hold a 53 to 47 majority. Which means we need to flip at least 3 seats in aggregate.

October 18th, 2020 Updates:

Key Battleground Races - Sorted By Likelihood of Your Donation Flipping the Senate

  #1 Michigan   Poll Avg: +5.8  Odds: 79% 

Gary Peters (D)

- During his six years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Gary drew on his business background to make Washington more transparent and accountable and led efforts in Congress to eliminate wasteful and unnecessary spending. He also served on the Wall Street Reform Conference Committee and was integral in developing landmark financial reform legislation that created the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and prohibits the risky behavior that caused the financial crisis.

- In the U.S. Senate, Gary serves on the Armed Services Committee; Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; and the Joint Economic Committee. He is focused on strengthening our middle class by protecting access to quality, affordable health care, preparing our kids for the jobs of tomorrow and helping small businesses grow.

Challenger: John James (R)

- James is a Trump ally (in 2018 he said he supports Trump “2000%”) who has been hiding from voters and avoiding questions about his far-right positions on issues such as health care (he has referred to the Affordable Care Act as a “monstrosity”). A website run by the Michigan Democratic Party, titled “John James Revealed,” counted the days James went without granting an interview to a Michigan TV news outlet — a number that at one point surpassed 300 days.

- In 2018, James compared Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, to "genocide," drawing criticism from Democrats.

- James opposes the legalization of cannabis.

  #2 Montana   Poll Avg: -1.5  Odds: 34% 

Steve Bullock (D)

- Steve worked as a consumer protection, small business, and labor lawyer and helped lead the fight to raise Montana’s minimum wage. Steve was elected Attorney General and fought the corrupting influence of money in politics by bringing the first legal challenge to the landmark campaign finance case known as Citizens United all the way to the Supreme Court. He also fought to protect access to public lands and streams.

- As Governor, Steve’s worked across party lines with a Republican legislature to get things done, like expanding Medicaid to cover 90,000 additional Montanans, making record investments in education, boosting job training programs, building Montana’s infrastructure and defending Montanans’ access to public lands.

Incumbent: Steve Daines (R)

- According to the Helena Independent Record, Daines had by 2020 "aggressively tied himself to Trump, both backing and defending the president over the last three years."

- Daines rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. In 2019, he said, "to suggest that [climate change] human-caused is not a sound scientific conclusion.”

- Daines opposes most forms of gun control and opposes any restrictions on gun purchases. In 2013, he called Senate legislation to expand background checks "the wrong approach". In 2019 Daines also announced his opposition to red-flag laws, which allow courts to temporarily remove firearms from someone believed to present a danger to themselves or others.

  #3 Georgia   Poll Avg: -0.8  Odds: 34% 

Jon Ossoff (D)

- Jon earned his Bachelors degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and a Masters from the London School of Economics. Jon worked as a national security aide for Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson, handling defense, foreign affairs, intelligence, and economic policy.

- Since 2013, Jon has served as the CEO of Insight TWI, a media production company that investigates corruption, organized crime, and war crimes. Jon’s company has successfully investigated and exposed sexual slavery of women and girls by ISIS, crooked judges, foreign officials who steal U.S-funded food and medical aid, contract killers, human traffickers, war crimes, and bribery.

- Jon is running to ensure every Georgian has great health care, to deliver historic investments in clean energy and infrastructure, to rebuild this economy so working families and small businesses thrive, and to root out corruption so government serves the people — not private interests with legions of lobbyists.

Incumbent: David Perdue (R)

- Perdue stated in October 2017 that the national debt was the greatest threat to the security of the United States. In December 2017, Perdue voted in favor of the Republican tax plan called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was estimated to add as much as $1.5 trillion to deficits over ten years by slashing individual and corporate tax rates.

- Perdue supports eliminating the EPA and was one of 22 senators urging for the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

- Perdue is a close ally of President Trump and has voted with the Trump position 95% of the time. In July 2018, Perdue said that he opposed tariffs but that he would support President Trump on his tariff increases. In November 2019, Perdue blocked a vote on recognizing the Armenian genocide after receiving a White House request to do so.

  #4 Georgia (Special)   Poll Avg: +11.9*  Odds: 48% 

Raphael Warnock (D)

- Reverend Raphael Warnock grew up in Kayton Homes public housing in Savannah. When he enrolled at Morehouse College, Reverend Warnock didn’t know how he would pay the full tuition. With the help of low-interest student loans and Pell Grants Raphael graduated, earned a Ph.D., and was ordained in the ministry. Fourteen years ago, he was chosen to serve as Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the former pulpit of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was the youngest pastor selected to serve in that leadership role at the historic church.

- As Senator, Reverend Warnock will bring to Washington the concerns of struggling Georgia families who wonder why no one is looking out for them. He will focus on fighting for quality, affordable health care, for the dignity of working people who are paid too little as our government works more for Wall Street, and to make sure every voice is heard.

Challengers: Kelly Loeffler (R) and Doug Collins (R)

- Loeffler currently serves in the US Senate after being appointed by Governor Kemp to succeed Johnny Isakson who resigned in 2019 due to health concerns. She is a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, of the WNBA. Loeffler has been a vocal critic of her team’s elevation of the Black Lives Matter movement. She has said that the movement has advocated defunding and abolishing the police, abolishing our military, emptying our prisons, destroying the nuclear family and that it promotes violence and antisemitism. Loeffler is the wealthiest US Senator holding ~$520M in assets.

- Doug Collins is the US Rep for Georgia’s 9th congressional district. Collins is one of the most ardent public supporters of President Trump. He supports the repeal of the ACA, rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, and strongly opposes same-sex marriage. In a January 2020 interview, he stated that Democrats "are in love with terrorists" and "They (Democrats) mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani." Democratic responses were quick, with Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), an Iraq War veteran who lost both legs in combat, responding, "I left parts of my body behind fighting terrorists in Iraq. I don’t need to justify myself to anyone."

  #5 Alabama  Poll Avg: -5.5  Odds: 39% 

Doug Jones (D)

- Jones was born in Fairfield, Alabama, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Cumberland School of Law. After law school, he worked as a congressional staffer and as a federal prosecutor before moving to private practice. In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed Jones as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. Jones's most prominent cases were the successful prosecution of two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls and the indictment of domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph. He returned to private practice at the conclusion of Clinton's presidency in 2001.

- Doug ran for Senate in order to be a voice for reason in the turmoil of modern Washington. He believes that the issues that affect our daily lives – healthcare, wages, true equality for all – have become bargaining chips between parties. Jones is currently the only statewide elected Democrat in Alabama. He is considered a moderate Democrat who demonstrates a willingness to work with Republicans and split with his party on certain issues.

Challenger: Tommy Tuberville (R)

- Tuberville is a former football coach who most notably served as head coach for Auburn University from 1999 to 2008. On July 14, 2020, Tuberville won the Republican nomination for the Alabama US Senate seat, defeating former Senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

- Tuberville opposes abortion, favors repealing the Affordable Care Act, and supports Trump's proposal to build a wall on the border with Mexico. He dismisses the science of climate change, saying that the global climate "won't change enough in the next 400 years to affect anybody".

  #6 Kansas  Poll Avg: -1.7  Odds: 33% 

Barbara Bollier (D)

- After a career as a doctor, Barbara ran for the Kansas House of Representatives in 2010 to make a difference across the state. There, she served as an independent voice for Kansans, earning a reputation as a leader willing to stand up to both political parties to solve the challenges facing our families.

- Barbara is a strong advocate for public schools, access to affordable healthcare and balanced budgets. Following the Great Recession, she worked with a bipartisan coalition to put the state back on sound fiscal footing. And when Governor Sam Brownback forced his radical tax experiment on Kansas, she stood up to her own political party and voted no.

- In 2016, Barbara ran for the State Senate. There, she continued her fight to reverse the Brownback tax experiment, adequately fund our schools, and make healthcare more affordable for all. She partnered with then-Senator Laura Kelly and other commonsense leaders to build the bipartisan coalition that ultimately ended the failed Brownback tax plan that had devastated Kansas for years.

Challenger: Roger Marshall (R)

- Roger Marshall, like Bollier, is also a former physician. Marshall is the US House Rep representing Kansas’ 1st district. Marshall believes in reducing the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency and repealing the Affordable Care Act. Marshall has repeatedly demonstrated a fundamental disregard for Medicaid and has claimed that “[poor] people just don’t want health care”.

  #7 Alaska   Poll Avg: -3.7  Odds: 27% 

Al Gross (I)

- Al Gross is a doctor who understands the prohibitive cost of healthcare. Dr. Gross wants to offer Medicare as a public option, on the health care exchange for people to buy at cost, which will be markedly less expensive than what people are paying for health insurance today, without compromising access. He plans to take on big pharma to decrease drug prices and hold them accountable for the opioid epidemic that has destroyed the lives of too many Alaskans.

- With a background in science, Dr. Gross knows what a serious threat climate change is to the State of Alaska, where they are literally losing villages to the ocean. He believes we can continue to create jobs and grow our economy while taking major steps to protect our land and water and reducing carbon emissions. He believes Alaskans have enormous potential to develop wind, hydroelectric, solar, and tidal power as new energy sources.

Incumbent: Dan Sullivan (R)

- Sullivan has voted repeatedly to scrap the Affordable Care Act and its coverage guarantees (a primary motivating factor for Gross’ entry into the political arena).

- Sullivan criticized House Democrats for the impeachment process and defended the Senate’s decision not to call new witnesses. Sullivan also defended the president’s right to pursue investigations in Ukraine.

- Sullivan opposes same-sex marriage, has an “A” rating from the NRA and believes the Affordable Care Act needs to be repealed and replaced.

  #8 Mississippi   Poll Avg: -3.0  Odds: 28% 

Mike Espy (D)

- Mike Espy is a graduate of Howard University and Santa Clara Law School. He helped reform Mississippi’s school funding law to increase revenue for rural public schools, and later he served as Mississippi’s Assistant Attorney General where he was the Director of Consumer Protection.

- Espy was elected the first African American Congressman from Mississippi since the Reconstruction Era. He won by reaching across racial lines and campaigning on issues affecting all Mississippians, like helping family farmers stay afloat and keeping rural hospitals open. In Congress, he wrote an economic development bill benefitting rural Mississippi that was signed into law by President Reagan.

- President Bill Clinton nominated Espy to be Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, the first Black person to hold that position. Espy negotiated foreign trade deals expanding markets for American farmers and took on entrenched interests to adopt badly needed reforms in the food inspection system.

Incumbent: Cindy Hyde-Smith

- During her campaign in 2018 against Espy, Hyde-Smith said of a cattle rancher, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be in the front row." Hyde-Smith's comment immediately drew harsh criticism, given Mississippi's notorious history of lynchings and public executions of African Americans.

- During her first term in the Mississippi Senate, she proposed renaming a state highway after Confederate President Jefferson Davis, but the legislation did not pass. In 2014 Hyde-Smith posted a photo of herself at Davis's home, Beauvoir, wearing a Confederate cap and carrying a rifle, with the caption "Mississippi history at its best!" In November 2018 it was noted that Hyde-Smith attended a school that was created to avoid court-mandated racial integration and made use of various confederate symbols, and that she sent her daughter to a similar school.

  #9 Texas   Poll Avg: -4.8  Odds: 17% 

MJ Hegar (D)

- MJ served three tours in Afghanistan as a combat search and rescue and medevac pilot. During a rescue mission in Afghanistan, MJ’s helicopter was destroyed by the Taliban, and she was injured by enemy gunfire. MJ received the Purple Heart for her injuries, and she is one of only a few women to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for her actions saving the lives of her crew and patients.

- She has worked across the aisle and successfully led the charge to overturn outdated policies and open up hundreds of thousands of jobs for women in the military. During her advocacy, MJ got a firsthand look at how broken Washington is — and it left her with deep concerns about the ever-increasing dysfunction we were leaving for the next generation.

Incumbent: John Cornyn (R)

- Cornyn has been a skeptic of climate science modeling and has voted against measures recognizing climate change as manmade. He was one of 22 senators to sign a letter to Trump urging him to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.

- Cornyn opposes the Affordable Care Act. He voted against it in 2009 and played a leading role in the attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017.

- Cornyn serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and is slated to approve Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court Bench. In 2016, Cornyn stated “At this critical juncture in our nation's history, Texans and the American people deserve to have a say in the selection of the next lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”

  #10 Iowa   Poll Avg: +4.7  Odds: 59% 

Theresa Greenfield (D)

- Theresa was raised on her family’s farm, and she’s learned the importance of hard work and self-reliance. She knows we have to invest in our rural communities to keep them healthy and make sure they have the tools they need to thrive in the future. Right now, Washington is failing our farmers. We’ve seen increased farm bankruptcies and reckless trade policies that have kept markets closed to farmers, and net farm income in Iowa has drastically fallen. We’ve got to commit to ending these irresponsible tariffs, unfair ethanol policies, and ensure we stand with our agricultural communities to pick up the pieces left in its wake.

- Theresa’s first husband was killed in an accident at his job as a union electrical worker. As a young widow, times were tough, but Theresa set out on a path to provide for her two boys as a single mom. One of the things that helped Theresa’s family stay out of poverty and get back on their feet was Social Security survivor benefits, and she’s committed to protecting Social Security against partisan attacks in Washington.

Incumbent: Joni Ernst (R)

- In 2014, when asked about President Barack Obama's recess appointments, Ernst referred to Obama as a dictator who should be "removed from office" or face "impeachment." She said, "He is running amok. He is not following our Constitution”. In 2020, she voted to acquit Donald Trump in his impeachment trial on both articles of impeachment (abuse of power and obstruction of Congress). Ernst argued that Trump had learned his lesson, and that he would not ask a foreign leader to investigate his rivals again without going through the proper channels.

- Ernst rejects the scientific consensus on climate change and said in 2014, "I don't know the science behind climate change, I can't say one way or another what is the direct impact from whether it's manmade or not." Ernst has proposed eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency. She supported President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords in 2017.

  #11 North Carolina   Poll Avg: +6.8  Odds: 72% 

Cal Cunningham (D)

- As a State Senator, Cal fought for smaller class sizes, higher teacher pay, and investments in early childhood education and our university and community college system.

- After the attacks on September 11, 2001, Cal volunteered to join the U.S. Army Reserve and has since served three active duty tours, including overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.

- Governor Roy Cooper named Cal as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission, where he led efforts to address school gun violence, curb the opioid addiction crisis, and fund services for women and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.

Incumbent: Thom Tillis (R)

- In 2017, Tillis was one of 22 senators to sign a letter to President Donald Trump urging the President to have the US withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

- Tillis is the fourth most funded recipient by the NRA, totaling $4,418,012 in donations.

- Tillis opposes public health regulations such as requiring restaurant employees to wash their hands.

  #12 Maine   Poll Avg: +7.5  Odds: 64% 

Sara Gideon (D)

- Sara has made expanding access to affordable healthcare a priority by helping pass a law that ensures insurance companies will never be able to discriminate against Mainers with pre-existing conditions.

- Sara has led the fight to make sure women in Maine remain in control of their health care decisions.

- She’s been a leading voice in the legislature to draw attention to and deliver resources to combat Maine’s opioid epidemic. And when former Governor LePage vetoed Sara’s opioid legislation and mocked those suffering from the crisis, Sara did not back down. Instead, she brought Democrats and Republicans together to override that veto, and again put Maine first.

Incumbent: Susan Collins (R)

- Despite claiming to be a Pro-Choice Republican, she voted in favor of the confirmation of Trump's second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, stating that she did not believe he would overturn Roe v. Wade. Since this appointment, there has been widespread dismantling of Roe across various states.

- Collins voted for the 2017 Republican Tax Plan which reduced corporate taxes, increased the deficit, and repealed the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, leaving 13 million Americans uninsured.

- During the impeachment trial of President Trump, she voted to acquit him. She said that Trump had "learned from this case" and that "he will be much more cautious in the future."

  #13 South Carolina  Poll Avg: -2.0  Odds: 22% 

Jaime Harrison (D)

- Jaime is a graduate of Yale University and Georgetown Law. He has served as the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party from 2013 to 2017, and is an associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

- Jaime rose up from poverty thanks to teachers and mentors who helped guide him to, and through, college. Starting out as a teacher at his high school, he has dedicated his life to creating opportunity for others.

- He’ll work with anyone, regardless of party, to champion solutions that can make the American Dream a reality for more South Carolinians, from growing the middle class to protecting health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Jaime believes that we are all in this together, and he’s running to bring that spirit back to Washington.

Incumbent: Lindsey Graham (R)

- Sen. Lindsey Graham sparked an uproar by suggesting Donald Trump Jr. should ignore a subpoena issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee. "This is not the Lindsey I know," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said when on CNN Monday night about Graham's FBI conspiracy concerns. "Lindsey Graham has been a dear friend since I've been in the Senate. I can't explain what's going on right now in his thought process."

- In advance of the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump, Graham doubled down on the president’s inflammatory characterization of the House inquiry and called it a “lynching in every sense”. Furthermore, he preemptively announced he wouldn’t be reading any of the transcripts of deposed House witnesses, even though he would be a juror in the trial.

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