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.

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*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

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
36 mins ago - Science

The murder hornets are here

A braver man than me holds a speciment of the Asian giant hornet. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Entomologists in Washington state on Thursday discovered the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S.

Why it matters: You may know this insect species by its nom de guerre: "the murder hornet." While the threat they pose to humans has been overstated, the invading hornets could decimate local honeybee populations if they establish themselves.

Biden is highest-spending political candidate on TV ads

Joe Biden. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

After spending an additional $45.2 million on political ads this week, former Vice President Joe Biden has become the highest-spending political candidate on TV ads ever, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

By the numbers: In total, the Biden campaign has spent $582.7 million on TV ads between 2019 and 2020, officially surpassing Michael Bloomberg's record spend of roughly $582 million. Biden's spend includes his primary and general election advertising.