Tuesday November 4th will be here before you know it, unless you have a calender, then you know exactly when it will be here. Our Producer Rob suggested in our show prep meeting today that we re-post a blog I wrote a while back about the pathway for Republicans to win the Senate and hang onto the House to finally give them control of Congress. "Great idea" I said! Then we tried to find it. We're not too organized around here. So it's forced me to re write it, but using the latest data available. CNN has a grid that is pretty much the consensus of most of the polls.
The Democrats will definitely hold on to 34 seats because they're not up for election.
The Republicans have 30 seats not up for election.
Of the 36 in play there are ones that aren't in play. Like Lindsey Graham may lose, but he's not going to lose to a Democrat. So in that category Democrats pick up 9, and Republican's pick up 14. Giving Dems 43 and GOPers 44 seats. Meaning the power of Congress lies with 13 Senate elections. Here is a quick look.
Alaska Mark Begich (D) running for reelection in a state that went for Romney by 14 points. Begich has done a good job of seperating himself from Obama, but Dan Sullivan and Mead Tredwell, the Republicans should make it interesting. Toss up
Arkansas Mark Pryor (D) running for reelection. His Republican opponent is Tom Cotton who just became a Congressman last year. This is a race Republicans need but it's currently a toss up
Colorado Mark Udall (D) is running for reelection. With Colorado's turn to the left lately, this was initially thought to be a safe seat for Democrats. However the latest Quinnipiac poll shows the Republican Cory Gardener in a statistical tie. Toss up
Georgia is where Saxby Chambliss (R) is retiring. Jack Kingston and David Perdue are heading towards a runoff in the Republican primary according to the latest polls. Although Karen Handel and Paul Broun may squeak their way in to instead of one or both of the front runners as they aren't far behind. Michelle Nunn is expected to win the Democrat primary big time. So Nunn trails all 4 of the Republicans in the latest head to head polls, so Georgia should go Republican.
Iowa is where Tom Harkin (D) has held the seat for 3 decades. The Democrat who is hoping to replace Harkin is a guy named Bruce Braley. It's his to lose. He seems to be trying to do that, telling a group of Attorney's at a convention in TX that he is one of them, which makes him better suited for the Senate than an Iowa farmer. He has since apologized to his state, and is still holding a lead over his opponent.
Kentucky is Mitch McConnell's seat. He is getting hammered on the right, but that hammering just got a lil softer since Matt Bevin made an appearance at a cockfighting event. He has since apologized but is now down 17 points. The problem is in a state that votes for centrists, McConnell has been running hard to the right to win the primary, leaving the Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes to fill that hole. She is now in a virtual tie with McConnell. Toss Up
Louisiana has Mary Landrieu (D) running from Obama for her political life. She has been the Senator of 18 years, but was expected to be in big trouble for supporting Obamacare. However the most recent polls have her in a dead heat with any Republican challenger. Toss up
Michigan has been a Democrat strong hold for decades. In 2010 that changed with the election of Rick Snyder for Governor. Democrat Carl Levin is retiring this year so we have a battle. The GOP candidate is Terri Lynn Land and she's running against Democrat Congressman Gary Peters. I have seen polls with Land in the lead and others with Peters winning. She does have a million dollar lead in fund raising, which could be the difference in this tight race. Toss Up
Montana Democrat Max Baucus has become the Ambassador to China. So now we have Steve Daines (R) vs Joe Walsh (D) Daines has a double digit lead. Leaning Republican
New Hampshire The Washington Post has predicted this will be the nastiest Senate fight of the year. Incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D) is facing a challenge from Republican carpetbagger Scott Brown. Brown is best known for winning Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts seat, before losing it to Elizabeth Warren. Now he has moved to his neighbor state to the north to try his luck there and it's ugly! Both parties and candidates are calling for investigations into their opponents on a number of alleged violations. The polls have Shaheen at a 6-10 point lead. Leaning Democrat
Virginia Incumbent Democrat Mark Warner has a slight lead over GOP candidate Ed Gillespie. Toss up
West Virginia Republicans haven't held a Senate seat from this state in over 50 years! This is their best chance. Jay Rockefeller is retiring after holding his seat since 1985. Natalie Tennant is the Secretary of State and the Democrat candidate. Shelly Moore Capito is a Congresswoman since 2008 and the Republican candidate. I haven't seen a recent poll but 2 months ago Capito held a 14 point lead! Leaning Republican