Republicans Could Secure Up to 55 Senate Seats: Sen. Rick Scott

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said on Oct. 20 that Republicans could secure as many as 55 seats in the Senate after November’s midterm elections.

Scott made the comment during a get-out-the-vote rally with Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) at the Republican National Committee’s Black Community Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tedd is facing Democrat candidate and former judge Cheri Beasley in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race.

“It starts right here, we’re going to get 52 Republican senators, we have to win here,” Scott said about Budd’s Senate bid, The Hill reported. “I think we can get, 53, 54, 55.”

“The energy is on our side,” Scott continued. “People are fed up with the Biden agenda.”

Polling aggregation site RealClearPolitics currently ranks the North Carolina senate race as a “toss-up,” with Budd leading Beasley by 2.8 percentage points, an average of recent polls.

According to a four-day poll (pdf) ending on Oct. 19 by the Trafalgar Group, Budd has support from 48.4 percent of likely voters, with Beasley trailing at 44.2 percent.

North Carolina voters across party lines see the economy as the most important issue when determining their votes. According to a recent poll conducted by SurveyUSA for WRAL-TV, 54 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of Independents, and 35 percent of Democrats ranked the economy as their most important concern.

The SurveyUSA poll also found that Budd had a one percentage edge over Beasley, with 13 percent of likely voters remaining undecided.

Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) speaks at a Make America Great Again rally in Greensboro International Airport, in Greensboro, N.C., on Oct. 27, 2020. (Grant Baldwin/AFP via Getty Images)

Senate Races

Speaking to The Hill after the rally, Scott explained his optimism on Republican chances to retake the Senate, noting how several Republican candidates are either leading or closely trailing their Democrat opponents.

“If you look at the weekly polls and do we lot of polls, every week is getting better,” Scott said.

The Florida senator pointed to the most recent poll by Marquette University Law School, showing incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) leading Democrat candidate and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes by 6 percentage points in Wisconsin’s Senate race. In September, Marquette (pdf) found Johnson leading only by one percentage point.

In Nevada, Scott said Republican candidates and former Nevada state Attorney General Adam Laxalt “has been up consistently,” referring to recent polls.

Currently, RealClearPolitics ranks the Nevada Senate race as a “toss-up,” but the site shows that Laxalt has been leading incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) since Sept. 14 and now holds a 1.2 percentage edge.

“Then you look at here, Ted’s been consistently up,” Scott said of Budd. “That keeps us at 50–50.”

“Then you look at Herschel Walker, you look at all the polls, Herschel’s up three,” Scott said, without naming which poll showed the result. “Georgia, we’ll pick that one up.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) addresses the crowd while campaigning for Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker during an event in Macon, Georgia, on Oct. 20, 2022. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

In the Georgia Senate race, incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) holds a 2.4-point lead over GOP candidate and former NFL running back Herschel Walker, according to RealClearPolitics. However, the latest poll from Landmark Communications, which polled 500 likely voters from Oct. 15 to 17, showed Warnock and Walker at a tie, local media reported.

In Arizona, Scott said Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters “is barely behind.”

A two-day poll ending on Oct. 17 conducted by The Daily Wire and The Trafalgar Group showed incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) with 47.4 percent of support, with Masters at 46.4 percent.

“[T]here’s a poll out showing [Don] Bolduc down two,” Scott said, referring to the GOP Senate candidate in New Hampshire, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). “Hassan’s numbers have been horrible as far as her approval.”

“Joe O’Dea’s barely behind, Tiffany Smiley is down two,” Scott added.

Joe O’Dea is the GOP candidate in the Colorado Senate race, challenging incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). In Washington, Republican Senate candidate Tiffany Smily is facing incumbent Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Cook Political Report currently rates the Washington Senate race as “likely Democrat” and both senate races in New Hampshire and Colorado as “lean Democrat.”

“I’m optimistic it’s going to be a good night and we have good candidates, they’re running good races. There’s a lot of energy,” Scott said. 

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Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers US, China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

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