Trump could help Republicans pick up two more Senate seats

There is a reasonable chance that two more Democrat Senate seats could be lost to the GOP when the next Congress convenes. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has got to be watching the deftness of the Trump transition and the chaos in his party, which looks about to throw its lot in with Representative Keith Ellison as head of the DNC. He is well enough known to West Virginians that he might survive his next election as a Democrat, but where is the fun in being in a minority? And he is a minority within the Democrats anyway.

The other Senate seat that could go Republic is that of North Dakota Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who met with President-elect Trump last Friday.  CNN reported:

News of the meeting set off a panic among top Democrats, some of whom began to privately make the case that Heitkamp should stay in the Senate rather than give up a seat that would likely be a GOP pickup. The incoming chairman of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee told CNN he had spoken with Heitkamp about the issue Thursday.

A transition source said Heitkamp could be a possibility for energy secretary.

"I think it's absolutely critical to have a conversation," Heitkamp said when asked if she would be open to being in the Trump administration. "It's good for my state. It's good for the work that I do here, to understand and share some priorities for the country and for the state of North Dakota and I look forward to having that discussion."

In a statement about the meeting, Heitkamp said she would work with both sides of the aisle -- whatever her role.

"Whatever job I do, I hope to work with the President-elect and all of my colleagues in Congress on both sides of the aisle to best support my state," she said.

I suspect that Heirkamp would have a hard time turning down Secretary of Energy, as her state is one of the primary beneficiaries of the policies Trump will implement. She barely won office in 2012, and sicne then North Dakota’s oil boom seems to have added GOP voters.  Trump won North Dakota with 62.96% of the vote, and Republican Senator John Hoeven – who defeated Heitkamp when both ran for governor -- got 78.48% of the vote.

Presiding over a boom in her home state has got to be attractive to her.

A special election would be required in thirty days, and there is no Democrat on the scene who could win. 

Just more downward spiraling for the Democratic Party.

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