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Races to watch as Democrats aim to flip the Senate

Yahoo Finance’s Kristin Myers and Rick Newman, Yahoo News White House Correspondent Hunter Walker, and Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Kavita Patel discuss the key races taking shape as Democrats try to flip the Senate.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Want to switch now to some of the Senate races-- some key Senate races. And Hunter, I want to start with you here with the state of Georgia. Of course, as I mentioned at the top, essentially right now, this is not just a race for the president-- for the White House for the presidential race. It is also a race for seats inside the Senate.

The Democrats hoping to pick up several state-- several seats-- excuse me. Over in the state of Georgia, right, we have a special election right now. And it was almost a three-way tie, a three-legged race between Kelly Loeffler, Rafael Warnock, and Doug Collins. And then, of course, we had the incumbent Senator David Perdue being faced off with a Democratic challenger John Ossoff.

How important would it be, not just for Democrats in the Senate, but also in that state and for politics in that state if Georgia did flip blue, if we did see Rafael Warnock manage to take that seat and if we saw John Ossoff manage to unseat Senator Perdue for his seat?

HUNTER WALKER: Well, there are a couple of these Senate races. Yep, there are a couple of--


HUNTER WALKER: --Senate races that-- I am talking. Can you guys hear me?

KRISTIN MYERS: Yep, we can hear you.

HUNTER WALKER: OK, there are a couple of these Senate races that are really interesting to me. Georgia is there. South Carolina also where you're seeing Lindsey Graham face off against Jaime Harrison, the Democrat. And, you know, these are places in the South, which was at one point a Republican stronghold, where the Democrats do seem to be making gains on both levels.

And I think this is extremely important for them because, as we saw in the Obama years, you know, the Democrats have not necessarily been able to get undone as long as Mitch McConnell is leading the Senate. So these are-- these are super interesting. But I think this also goes back to what Rick was saying about the presidential race.

The Florida and Ohio are important in that they might get decided early. But they are not necessarily crucial to the path of Joe Biden. And the fact that we're talking about Georgia in some of these Southern places, North Carolina, as swing states, really reflects a big change. And, you know, when I talk to Biden campaign folks and allies of the Biden campaign, they refer to some of those other gains as icing, you know, extra goodies that would be nice but not necessarily part of the bread and butter he'd need.

He's been doing well for a long time in the upper Midwest. His poll leads there are much more solid than Florida where you saw things go back and forth. He's also been pretty solid in the Southwest. Arizona is a key state that I'm watching. And if he does well in the upper Midwest and he does well in the Southwest, you know, these questions, like Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania are really going to become moot.

KRISTIN MYERS: Now, Rick, Hunter actually mentioned a Senate race that I want to chat with you about, which is South Carolina. Jaime Harrison actually did have a slight lead over the incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham there right now according to the Yahoo Election Center. Lindsey Graham right now has 54.3% of the votes to 44.3% for Jaime Harrison right now.

About 30% of the votes have been counted but would love some of your quick thoughts on Jaime Harrison. If he is able to unseat Lindsey Graham tonight, how important that would be going forward?

RICK NEWMAN: I mean, it would be a big embarrassment for somebody who's become a prominent Republican and Trump supporter. Obviously we know Jaime or Lindsey Graham, he flipped. He said that Donald Trump was unfit for office and some worse things in 2016. And now he's one of Trump's golfing buddies and biggest supporters in the Senate. So that would be an embarrassment for Trump and obviously for Lindsey Graham.

Let's keep in mind, only 30% of the vote in that those early results are almost meaningless. And Lindsey Graham can survive. And there are still many other ways Democrats could take even a slim majority in the Senate. I mean, the Senate races that I'm looking at that are possibly flipped from Republican to Democrat, there's two in Georgia we mentioned. There's one in North Carolina, one in Maine, one in Arizona, one in Colorado, possibly a seat in Iowa, Kansas, Texas, and Montana.

So Republicans are defending a lot of real estate. The one thing that might be in their favor at this point-- you know, some of these polls that, for example, showed Biden with a shot to win Georgia-- that was startling because Georgia has been solidly red for a long time. And based on what looks like to be the results there at the presidential level, those polls look like maybe they were wrong. And the polls even showed Biden with a, perhaps, a two or three percentage point lead in Florida, which looked like they were also wrong.

I don't think that indicates weakness with the Biden campaign. I think it means we're going to be looking at the reliability of some of these polls, yet, again. But, again, these are not final results yet. We'll see what happens.