Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have a good handle on what’s going on in the Senate races this year. After previously predicting that Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona would lose in the fall (Flake isn’t up for re-election this year), Trump went after Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire this week, saying, “I’m beating her in the polls by a lot.” But Ayotte is running ahead of Trump in New Hampshire, earning a higher share of support in her race than Trump is against Hillary Clinton in the Granite State.
In fact, Republicans in most Senate battlegrounds are running ahead of Trump in their states. That may last, increasing the chances that the GOP hangs on to their Senate majority. But it’s also possible that Trump begins to drag down his party’s down-ballot candidates.
Right now, Republicans hold 54 Senate seats to the Democrats’ 46. In order to take control of the Senate, Democrats need to pick up four seats if Clinton wins the presidency and five if she doesn’t1. Of the 34 Senate seats up for grabs in 2016, here are the 10 that are closest to changing parties, according to the current polling averages: Arizona,2 Florida,3 Illinois,4 Missouri, Nevada,5 New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. All these seats, with the exception of Nevada’s, are currently held by Republicans, so Democrats need to win five of them to pick up a net gain of four and win six to …