Democrats’ surprising 2-man team to hold the Senate

Democrats’ surprising 2-man team to hold the Senate

One is a low-key former astronaut who preaches moderation and collaboration. The other is a progressive pastor willing to kill the filibuster to pass a landmark voting rights bill.

Mark Kelly and Raphael Warnock don’t have much in common and approach their first jobs in politics from dramatically different perspectives. But together the two Democratic senators are the bellwethers for the durability of Chuck Schumer’s majority — and much of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

That’s because while most Republicans are buoyed by the thought of a national anti-Biden wave next fall, Democrats are pouring money into the economy and betting that vaccinations allow American life to recover a sense of normalcy this year. Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Warnock (D-Ga.) may be the most immediate beneficiaries, having already built strong political brands in their states. And if they win reelection next year, it’s hard to imagine Democratic incumbents falling in Nevada, Colorado or New Hampshire.

“You couldn’t have a better test” of GOP viability than Kelly and Warnock’s races, said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), who fretted that Georgia and Arizona soon could start resembling Democratic strongholds like New Mexico and Colorado as the states’ demographics change. “You scratch your head about how we’re going to overcome that in the long run.”

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