There are 35 Senate seats up for election in 2020 and Democrats must win three or four Republican-held seats to take control of the Senate. The US Senate is currently made up of 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with Democrats). In order to flip the Senate, Democrats need three GOP-held seats if the next vice president is a Democrat or four seats if not.
The public are split on whether the Democrats will be able to pull this feat off. According to the latest Economist/YouGov poll, 40% think the Senate will change hands, while an identical 40% think the Republicans will retain control.
Democrats and Republicans fall along party lines in this assessment and each say their respective party will win the Senate (72% and 85%, respectively). Independents are nearly evenly divided on which party will win majority control.
See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 registered voters interviewed online between October 18 - 20, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.9% for the overall sample.