Could Elizabeth Warren Lose in 2018?

February 13, 2017

by Jon Schweppe


I know it’s way too early to talk about 2018, but — come on  have you looked at the Senate map yet?

2018 favors the GOP in a way that few cycles ever have historically. Of the 33 Senate seats up for election in 2018, just eight are currently held by Republicans, while 23 are held by Democrats and two are held by independents who caucus with the Democrats. Furthermore, just two of those Republican seats are truly in danger, while more than a dozen Democrats are at risk.

Needless to say, this presents an incredible opportunity for Republicans to make major gains in the Senate — they hold 52 seats right now — and perhaps even break the 60-seat filibuster-proof majority threshold.

Republicans at Risk in 2018
Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
Democrats at Risk in 2018
Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.)
Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
Angus King (I-Maine)
Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

Notice anything about the first ten names on the Democrat list? All ten of those Democrats represent states Donald Trump won in 2016. Winning in each of those states again in 2018 is likely a difficult task, but it’s certainly not impossible.

But let’s think even bigger for a second. What if we take out one or two of the bottom five Democrats? That could ultimately prove to be the difference between 59 and 60 GOP Senators. What if — I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out — what if the GOP defeats Elizabeth Warren?

Warren has been anointed the de facto leader of the progressive resistance movement by both the mainstream media and by left-wing online slacktivists. Many are already calling for her to run for president in 2020. But what about her Senate race in 2018? Could Warren’s seat be in play?

She’s Not Exactly Safe

As reported by Politico, a poll conducted by the MASSInc Polling Group in January showed that just 44 percent of Massachusetts voters thought Elizabeth Warren deserved re-election, while 46 percent felt that it is “time to give someone else a chance.” While these numbers don’t represent a death knell for Warren by any means, they pale in comparison with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s numbers, who is also up for re-election in 2018. Fifty one percent of voters said Baker deserved re-election, while just 29 percent said it is “time to give someone else a chance.”

And as The Boston Globe reports, a few high-profile GOP would-be candidates are considering a run against her. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has already declared he is running, and Rick Green, a millionaire businessman who has been considering a run for public office for quite some time, is “quietly mulling” a bid.

Schilling, in particular, seems like an exciting possibility, as he would break from the typical “career politician” mold and might be able to attract thousands of non-traditional voters. We’ve already seen an outside-the-box GOP candidacy win in the past in Massachusetts when Scott Brown shocked the world and was elected to the U.S. Senate in early 2010.

The odds are certainly in Elizabeth Warren’s favor, as the Democrats will no doubt do everything they can to protect her, but if 2018 turns into a GOP wave year, as the last two midterm elections in 2010 and 2014 did, is it really that bizarre to imagine a Senator Curt Schilling and his bloody sock representing the 60th vote of a filibuster-proof GOP majority? Stranger things have happened.

Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe.

Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0


Jon Schweppe is the Director of Government Affairs for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe

Archive: Jon Schweppe