The election two years from now had already looked difficult for Senate Democrats, who must defend 25 seats compared to just eight held by Republicans. The Democrats’ list includes two independents, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Maine’s Angus King, who align with them.Of those 25 senators, 13 are from states Trump captured or narrowly lost. Among those are Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which hadn’t backed a GOP presidential candidate since the 1980s, leaving both parties trying to discern how much Tuesday may have reordered the lineup of blue, red and swing states.Five Democrats are from states Trump easily carried, by 19 percentage points or more — Indiana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Missouri and Montana.“They should be terrified,” Ward Baker, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP’s political organization, said of the Democrats.Republicans are expected to control the Senate next year 52-48, including a Louisiana runoff in December the GOP is expected to win. With Democrats able to use filibusters to force the GOP to secure 60 votes on major issues, likely new Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., should often be able to block Republicans, especially on issues Democrats broadly support such as consumer protection and curbs on Wall Street.But it will probably be harder for Schumer to keep Democrats together on issues crucial to conservative voters including the Supreme Court, abortion, guns and weakening the Environmental Protection Agency. Some Democratic senators could also be drawn to Trump’s efforts to revamp portions of President Barack Obama’s health care law and tighten curbs on immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
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