Internet Party
By Stuart Rothenberg

When this election cycle began, handicappers repeatedly pointed out that 10 Democratic Senate incumbents from states carried by Donald Trump would be on the ballot in 2018. That count was accurate, and the point behind it obvious — Republicans had a long list of opportunities.

But now even the most partisan Republicans are acknowledging that the list of serious targets is shrinking to five or six states. Indiana, Missouri, West Virginia, North Dakota and Florida are certainly in play, but how are the other competitive Senate races holding up?

Michigan was never going to be more than a footnote in the list of Republican Senate opportunities this cycle, and it still looks like a snoozer.

Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow isn’t very controversial, and Trump’s razor-thin 11,000-vote margin (two-tenths of a percentage point) looks like a fluke rather than a sign the state is realigning.

The state’s filing deadline passed a couple of weeks ago, and two GOP hopefuls who have never held office will fight it out for their party’s nomination in an August primary. Neither party is spending in this race, and nobody is taking the general election in Michigan seriously at this point.

Donald Trump carried Pennsylvania by seven-tenths of a point — about 44,000 votes out of more than 6 million cast. Unlike Michigan, where Republicans will pick between two political neophytes, the Keystone State GOP has two officeholders in the May 15 Senate primary: state Rep. Jim Christiana and Rep. Lou Barletta.

Barletta served as mayor of Hazleton before winning election to Congress in 2010. He has been re-elected three times and has earned a reputation as a leading critic of illegal immigration and a loyal Trump supporter.

Incumbent Democrat Bob Casey served as state auditor and state treasurer before being elected to the Senate in 2006. He has a reputation as someone who connects with working-class voters — just the kind of voters who defected to Trump and whom Democrats need to win back.

The recent special election in southwestern Pennsylvania was terrible news for Trump loyalists, and any midterm election drag is likely to put the Senate race beyond reach for Barletta, no matter how effusively Trump promotes the Republican congressman. As in Michigan, the parties are not spending money in Pennsylvania, and the Senate race doesn’t look very exciting.

Republicans have a lively Senate race underway in Wisconsin, pitting state Sen. Leah Vukmir against businessman Kevin Nicholson, and outside groups have already spent heavily to damage Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin. But there is growing pessimism among Republicans that they can defeat one of the Senate’s more liberal members.

As in the Keystone State, Trump won Wisconsin by seven-tenths of a point. But Democrats recently won a state Senate special election and an election to fill a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, suggesting that the Trump coalition is shrinking or that Democratic voters...

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