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Note:  The post below assumes that the GOP will not be doing anything fatally stupid between now and next November, that includes nominating any “witches” or “rape, rapes” type candidates.

While the conventional wisdom is that 2014 will not be a “wave” election like 2010, 2ith less than eleven months before the mid-term elections, it is beginning to look like the Senate has a better than 50/50 chance of changing hands.

With 45 Republicans in the Senate today there needs to be a +6 seat gain for a GOP takeover (a tie would be a Democratic win as Vice President Biden will get to cast the deciding vote).

Early polls indicate double-digit GOP leads in three states where the Democratic Senator is retiring,  West Virginia, South Dakota, and Montana.

Republican candidates are slightly ahead or within the margin of error in five other contests.

  • Michigan: Even the liberal PPP survey shows Republican Terri Lynn Land leading Gary Peters by 2 points.  Michigan is definitely in play and at the very least, as long as it is a race, the Democrats will be spending their limited campaign funds in a state they thought wouldn’t need their help.
  • Arkansas: Democrat Mark Prior is in big trouble, partially because he is not well liked in the state and partially because his opponent Rep. Tom Cotton is such a strong contender. According to Politico’s James Hohmann  “Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor trails his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton, by seven points among likely voters in Arkansas, 48-41%…. Cotton is ahead among independents by 21 points and among women by 4 points.” 
  • Louisiana: Mary Landrieu is being dragged down because of her continued support of Obamacare despite the fact her constituents hate it.  Two weeks ago, a Southern Media poll showed that support for Mary Landrieu in Louisiana dropped more than 10 points amid the ObamaCare disaster.  Now, the Louisiana blogger “The Hayride” reports that “Many people thought the 41 percent she polled in last month’s SMOR survey was her floor; turns out it isn’t… …There’s another poll out there on Landrieu’s re-election which isn’t public, but it has Landrieu sitting well below 40 percent and without a lead on Bill Cassidy.”
  • North Carolina:  In November, a Civitas poll showed that half of North Carolina voters would not vote for Kay Hagan but would instead give someone else a chance at the office. Now, even a new PPP survey  shows Hagan’s approval rating underwater: 43/49% (and PPP is a Hagan donor). The slide began with the October 1st Obamacare roll out, so in the unlikely case that Obamacare starts to allow people to keep their insurance, doctors, and or deductibles, Hagan may rebound.
  • Iowa: The DSCC has been working hard to define all each of the possible Republican challengers in the contest, a possible indication of panic. According to the newspaper the Iowa Republican (not affiliated with either party), A poll of 985 likely Iowa voters conducted on November 23 and 24 show Braley leading by as little as three points, within the margin of error. His biggest lead is only six points. Even more troubling for Congressman Braley is his inability to climb above 42 percent in the polling. The survey was conducted by Harris Polling and commissioned by Conservative Intel. While Braley is well known his possible opponents are virtual unknowns.

The bottom line is with less than a year to go before Election Day, Republicans are strongly ahead in three states, and need to win three more to take control of the upper body of Congress. The above five states are definitely in play, and in the end Alaska and Minnesota may be closer than expected.  The mid-terms elections may end up very good for the Republican Party.

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