Decision 2020: Doug Jones vs. Tommy Tuberville (AL Senate)

Samantha Martin ’24

It was fun while it lasted. Alabama will likely vote out their first Democratic Senator elected in 25 years, Sen. Doug Jones, in favor of Republican Tommy Tuberville.

Doug Jones. Doug Jones for Senate, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Doug Jones’ initial victory, with 50 points to Roy Moore’s 48, was a major upset, and came as a shock to many. The Associated Press reported December 13, 2017, that Jones’ victory was the first Democratic Senate victory in the state of Alabama in a quarter century (13 December 2017, Associated Press). Jones’ victory narrowed the Senate’s Republican majority to 51-49 at the time, and was encouraging to members of the Democratic Party who planned to reclaim the House and Senate majorities in the following year’s midterm elections. Continue reading “Decision 2020: Doug Jones vs. Tommy Tuberville (AL Senate)”

Decision 2020: Cory Gardner vs. John Hickenlooper (CO Senate)

Alyssa Gruneberg ’24

John Hickenlooper. Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

In an election year unlike any other, the future of the country and the power of the next president could be decided by a few key Senate races. One of the most competitive races is between John Hickenlooper (D) and Cory Gardner (R) in Colorado. Gardner, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in the 2014 Republican midterm wave, is now one of the most vulnerable incumbent GOP senators due to the state’s Democratic shift and his own strong alliance with President Donald Trump. Hickenlooper is a former two-term mayor of Denver from 2004 to 2010 and a two-term governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. He was highly regarded by the public, but failed to gain traction in the Democratic presidential primary—he announced his Senate campaign soon after dropping out of the race. This race is critical because if Hickenlooper wins, it would be a huge step towards Democrats regaining control of the Senate for the first time since 2015. A Democratic majority Senate would help Biden achieve his policy goals or help thwart Trump’s second-term agenda.

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Decision 2020: Thom Tillis vs. Cal Cunningham (NC Senate)

Alex Shultz ’21

Not only will North Carolina play a significant role as a swing state in the presidential election, it will also determine what the next Senate will look like. With the Republicans holding a slight 53-47 majority, both the Republican and Democratic parties are closely watching the Senate race unfold in this swing state. The incumbent, Senator Thom Tillis, is finishing up his first term in office, having been elected in 2015. His challenger, Cal Cunningham, is considered a strong pick for Democrats to run in a Republican leaning state to cut into the Republican Senate majority (Slodysko, Robertson).

Cal Cunningham. Graysonbarnette, (CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

Cal Cunningham was seen as one of the best candidates the Democratic Party put forward this election cycle, especially in a swing state like North Carolina. Cunningham was a born and raised North Carolinian and decided to join the U.S. Army Reserve after the September 11th attacks. Cunningham has served three tours overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star during his time. Furthermore, Cunningham is running on issues including reforming education, immigration, and the criminal justice system.

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Decision 2020: Susan Collins vs. Sara Gideon (ME Senate)

Sarah MacDonald ’24

Susan Collins. Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

In Maine, Republican incumbent Senator Susan Collins’ bid for reelection is being challenged by Democrat Sara Gideon. Polls show a close race between Collins, who’s seeking her fifth term, and state House Speaker Gideon. This is one of the closest and highest-profile Senate races of 2020 and is part of a much wider national picture.

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Decision 2020: Martha McSally vs. Mark Kelly (AZ Senate)

John Reynolds ’24

In Arizona, the race for a seat in the U.S. Senate comes at a significant time. President Donald Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, which would most likely swing the court to the right. This could, in return, revoke Roe vs. Wade and the Affordable Care Act. The Democrats believe they have one trick up their sleeve with a special election in Arizona, between the incumbent Martha McSally and Mark Kelly. If Kelly wins and takes office before the vote on Amy Barrett, he could cast a decisive vote at Amy Barrett’s confirmation hearing if three Republicans defect.

Martha McSally. Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Martha McSally was sworn into the U.S. Senate in January of 2019 and previously represented Arizona’s Second Congressional District for four years in the House of Representatives. McSally was a fighter pilot in the Air Force for 26 years before entering politics and retiring as a full colonel.

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