Former CNN Analyst Says GOP ‘99.999% Likely’ To Gain Seats And ‘Control’ Senate ‘If Trump Wins’

Screenshot/YouTube/ Chris Cillizza

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Former CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza on Thursday said a Republican-controlled Senate is virtually a guarantee if former President Donald Trump is victorious in the upcoming presidential election.

Currently, the Senate is composed of 47 Democratic senators, 49 Republicans, and four independents; however, since some independents align themselves with the Democratic caucus and Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the president of the Senate, Democrats maintain control of the chamber. Cillizza on his YouTube channel broke down that a victory by the former president, given the current dynamics, would likely deliver Trump a Republican-controlled Senate. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Chuck Grassley Officially Endorses Trump For President)


“One seat pickup [is] necessary if Donald Trump wins for Republicans,” Cillizza said. “If Donald Trump loses, they need to pick up two seats to be in the majority because then the tiebreaker would be a Democratic Vice President. Okay, so one seat if Trump wins, two seats if Trump loses. Well, the map looks pretty good for Republicans … There are 23 Democratic seats up in 2024 in November. There are 11 … Republican seats. And it’s actually even worse than that because of those 23 Democratic seats, three, West Virginia, Ohio, and Montana … went for Donald Trump by pretty considerable margins in 2020. And my guess is he’ll win in 2024 as well. Those are all held by Democrats currently but in states Trump won.”

“Out of the 11 Republican seats, there are zero that Joe Biden won. So not only do Democrats have more seats that they have to defend, those seats are in not great places for them to defend,” he added.

Cillizza began by discussing independent Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who got elected as a Democrat but left the party and also announced he is not seeking reelection in November.

“Now, I know there’s some talk he filed as an independent, but if he runs for anything in this year, I think it’s going to be governor, not for Senate again,” Cillizza said. “So that seat is basically gone.”

West Virginia’s Republican Gov. Jim Justice is running for Manchin’s seat, with Cillizza saying he will be victorious.

“That seat is going to go Republican,” the former CNN analyst said. “So, if Trump wins, Republicans probably have control of the Senate under that scenario. And that is 99.999% likely to happen.”

Cillizza said Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown may struggle to defeat Republican Senate candidate Bernie Moreno, especially if Trump wins the presidential election.

“[Moreno] had Trump’s endorsement in the primary,” he said. “He’s an auto dealer. He’s got some personal money. Again, I think if we have a totally neutral political environment, then Sherrod Brown might win. But my guess is Trump’s going to win Ohio by 7, 8, 9 points. And that could make it hard for Sherrod Brown. And Moreno would benefit from that.”

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester “has his hardest race ever for two reasons,” Cillizza said. “One, he’s on the ballot at the same time Donald Trump is. So in 2020, Trump won Montana by double digits … And he’s probably going to repeat that performance in this November. Which means that Tester has to over-perform Joe Biden by double digits to beat a guy named Tim Sheehy, who is a wealthy business guy, never run for anything before. National Republicans recruited him. He looks to be a pretty solid candidate, definitely Tester’s toughest race.”

Democratic Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen’s seat is now a “Toss Up” for 2024, according to the Cook Political Report.

“She is fine,” Cillizza said. “She’s in her first term, totally fine. Was a House member. The problem is, it’s hard to get known in Nevada. The population changes a lot, and the Nevada economy is not great and Biden is not running well there. So, this race is almost certainly going to be close. Republicans like their nominee. He’s a military veteran, great personal story. But I think this depends on the top of the ticket, right? If Trump wins Nevada by four points, my guess is that Jackie Rosen loses. If it’s really, really close, Jackie Rosen might win. If Biden wins by two or three, Jackie Rosen will win.”

“Democrats have a lot of vulnerability,” the former CNN analyst said. “I’ve already gone through four seats. Alright, so let me list up the next four that I think they need to at least worry some about: Arizona, which is an open seat. Kirsten Sinema is not running again. Michigan, open seat. Debbie Stabenow is not running again. Pennsylvania, where Bob Casey is running. And Wisconsin, where Tammy Baldwin is running.”

Cillizza said the Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin races could depend on who wins the presidential election and that he was uncertain about Pennsylvania.

“Okay, so I just went through eight … Democratic seats that are in some level of peril,” Cillizza said. “West Virginia is gone. Ohio, Montana, and Nevada are probably toss ups. And I would say the next four, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, I would call slightly lean Democrat. Out of those, I’d be most worried if I were Democrats about Michigan, then Arizona, then Pennsylvania, then Wisconsin.”

“Here’s the problem for Democrats: there are 11 Republican seats up, as I mentioned,” he added. “None of them are even close to the jeopardy that any of those eight Democratic seats that I just mentioned are. None.”

Trump is leading President Joe Biden in the five key swing states of Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a May New York Times/Siena College survey.

“If I had to guess, I think there’s a 70% chance Republicans control the Senate in 2025 and a 30% chance Democrats do,” Cillizza said. “If Democrats do, it is remarkable and it probably means Joe Biden has won because West Virginia is gone, right? Right. So Republicans already have that one seat they need if Trump wins. If they need two, you know, maybe Sherrod Brown pulls it out, maybe Tester pulls it out, maybe Jackie Rosen pulls it out, maybe those other four races never really develop for Republicans and they wind up holding on by a seat. But man, it is going to be the skin of their teeth.”

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