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Senate races to watch as polls begin to close

Yahoo Finance’s Jen Rogers, Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, HuffPost Politics Reporter Tara Golshan, and Yahoo News Senior Political Correspondent Jon Ward discuss the most anticipated Senate races as polls begin to close.

Video Transcript

JEN ROGERS: Andy, look, it is not just about who wins the presidency. There are a lot of major races down ballot, including the balance of power in the Senate. I mean, Democrats are seeking to pick up enough seats to take control of the Senate for the first time since 2015. We've got 35 seats up for grabs tonight. Which states here do we need to be looking at and also to give us, you know, an early look at who will ultimately have the majority?

ANDY SERWER: Yeah, I mean, this is-- you're right. It's the other big battle. President Trump has said the House is in play, and most people aren't buying that, but the Senate very much so. And, you know, the Democrats, frankly, do have some advantages here. They really only have one very vulnerable seat, and that's Doug Jones in Alabama running against Tommy Tubberville, the former Auburn football coach.

But if you look at Maine, Susan Collins, of course, that's a very high-profile race. She is in for the fight of her life against Sarah Gideon. A place like Colorado with John Hickenlooper, he could pick up a seat as well as in Arizona looks good for the Democrats as well with Mr. Kelly over there. So there's definitely some bright spots potentially.

But, you know, it's going to get tough. I mean, people a number of weeks ago said Susan Collins is done in Maine. Now that's tightened up, and it may not be the case, although there's ranked-choice voting there, so that's another whole thing to get into in that state.

But it also depends on how things sort of pan out, you know? I mean, in other words, you've got Georgia. A lot of people said, oh, that's going to flip blue. We have two Senate races there that are probably going to be too close to call. There may be a runoff in January. You know, if there's a blue wave, not only does the president win Georgia and they pick up two Senate seats. I think that's probably going to be pretty unlikely.

But, you know, all this stuff is still outstanding. Right now, we really don't know anything yet because as we've both been saying, Jen, things have sort of played out according to plan and consensus, and nothing unusual or indicative, indeed, has happened yet.

JEN ROGERS: And we just have to note again the absolute historic voter turnout that we've had with a hundred million ballots cast before polls even open today.

Tara, Andy brought up the Alabama race with Doug Jones' Senate seat which has been, you know, expected to possibly be a loss for Democrats. You've also been writing about the Michigan Senate race and the GOP pouring money in there, the possible another pickoff for Democrats. Is that still one to be watching tonight?

TARA GOLSHAN: I think it's one that Republicans definitely want us to be watching. When it comes to the two seats that Republicans had a chance at this cycle, obviously Doug Jones in Alabama is a much easier win for Republicans. I wouldn't feel comfortable calling Michigan's Senate race a toss up at the moment. I think Trump would have to be doing a little bit better in the polls for that to be the case. He and his campaign have really seen his decline in Michigan, and we saw a real rebuke of Republican leadership in the state over the past four years. So those are kind of positive signs for Democrats.

But the Michigan case is interesting. You have this incumbent Democratic Senator who was a relative unknown to just about 36% of the electorate going into this election cycle, and you have this really strong-- what Republicans see as a strong candidate, a strong recruit in John James who is a veteran, young, Black entrepreneur in Michigan and who has been pour-- and Republicans have just been pouring so much money into this race. And even in the final weekend, the super PAC aligned with Mitch McConnell poured millions more into this race. They really see it as their only opportunity to kind of stave off a Democratic takeover.