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Three charts show how Republicans are losing their chance to keep Senate

July 31, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Leading election forecasters have been steadily downgrading their ratings for Republican Senate candidates throughout the year, increasing the chances of a Democratic takeover viewed as unlikely only a few months ago.

(CNN)Leading election forecasters have been steadily downgrading their ratings for Republican Senate candidates throughout the year, increasing the chances of a Democratic takeover viewed as unlikely only a few months ago.

And in their latest ratings update, The Cook Political Report says Democrats are now a slight favorite to win the Senate majority.

There are 35 Senate seats at stake this November, 12 of which are held by Democrats and 23 by Republicans.

But since November of last year, that strong Republican defense has slowly been eroding, opening up the possibility for Democrats to net enough seats for a majority takeover.

To win the Senate majority, they would need to defend those 12 seats and pick up an additional four this November -- or three, if former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, were to win the White House and could send his vice president to serve as a tie-breaking vote.

Unlike in 2018, when Democrats were mostly defending seats, many of the Senate elections this year are in states that voted for President Donald Trump and are seats defended by Republican senators.

Democrats will still have to defend a US Senate seat in Alabama, which voted for Democrat Doug Jones in the 2017 special election over Republican Roy Moore, an exceptionally flawed candidate.

Democratic Sen. Gary Peters will also have to defend his seat in Michigan, a Trump-voting swing state targeted by Republicans as a pickup.

Since November, Michigan's "Leans Democratic" rating is unchanged but Jones' race in Alabama was bumped up from "tossup" to "Leans Republican. "

Montana, which Cook rated Solidly Republican as recently as March, became a Tossup after its popular governor, Steve Bullock, won the Democratic primary.

Representing a state with shifting demographics and particularly hard-hit by coronavirus, the senators' Cook ratings have sunk from Likely Republican to Leans Republican (Sen. Kelly Loeffler) and Tossup (Sen. David Perdue) since the pandemic began.

Inside Elections and the Center for Politics Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball have each reduced the number of Republican seats rated "Solid" or "Safe" over the past nine months.

While several red state ratings have weakened, a Democratic takeover of the Senate still relies on Tossup and Leans Republican states tilting in their favor.

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