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To win the Senate, Democrats need to keep all 10 seats they're defending in states that President Trump won in 2016 — plus pick up two more seats.

Why it matters: That's not happening. A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll of key states shows Dems would lose three of those red-state seats while picking up two GOP seats — still short of the majority.

Expand chart
*Incumbent. Data: Survey Monkey poll of 12,677 registered voters from June 11 to July 2; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: It's looking nearly impossible for Democrats to take back the Senate. So the stakes are even higher for them to win the House if they're going to have any kind of congressional check on President Trump.

The state of play: The polls shows three Democratic senators are poised to lose their seats to Republicans — Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Bill Nelson in Florida and Joe Donnelly in Indiana.

  • Be smart... Democrats would pick up seats in Arizona and Nevada, while Republicans keep their seat in Tennessee.

Democratic bright spots: Sens. Joe Manchin in West Virginia and Jon Tester in Montana were losing by double digits to a generic GOP candidate last time we polled these states in February. They're now leading by double digits.

Our data includes an expected range under six different scenarios that measure potential turnout, giving a more complete picture of each race.

  • Even under the most optimistic scenarios for Democrats across all 13 states, they would still lose the same seats by a range of one percentage point to 14 percentage points.
  • Under Republicans' most bullish forecast, they would actually pick up six seats, the four mentioned above plus Ohio and Missouri.

The bottom line: Democrats face long odds to take back the Senate.

Go deeper: How the Senate races look with multiple voter assumptions.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Fauci's offensive against "craziness"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

After becoming a top punching bag for the right, Dr. Anthony Fauci is defending himself with a sharp new edge, arguing that an attack on him is an attack on science.

What he's saying: In comments to Kara Swisher on her New York Times "Sway" podcast, shared first with Axios, Fauci says: "It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves. ... And that's the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science."

Afghanistan's president coming to Washington on Friday

Ashraf Ghani, left, president of Afghanistan, and Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

As the U.S. troop withdrawal accelerates, President Biden will welcome Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, at the White House on Friday.

Our thought bubble: Axios politics editor Glen Johnson, who traveled to Afghanistan while working for Secretary of State John Kerry, said inviting both Ghani and Abdullah to Washington shows the administration’s respect for the delicate balance of power in the country.

Educators face fines, harassment over critical race theory

People talk before the start of a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Va. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Elementary school teachers, administrators and college professors are facing fines, physical threats, and fear of firing because of an organized push from the right to remove classroom discussions of systemic racism.

Why it matters: Moves to ban critical race theory are raising free speech concerns amid an absence of consistent parameters about what teachings are in or out of bounds.