As promised the post below is the last of four analyses of the Senate races which could end up passing control of Congresses upper body from the Democrats to Republicans. Sitting here today some of the races have solidified into the GOP corner others have tightened. It is clear that (barring any last minute surprises) the Republicans will take control of the Senate but we may not know for sure on election night.
The chart of races above includes 13 total senate races, the top ten are currently held by Democrats, the bottom three are close races for current GOP held seats. The columns include the Real Clear politics average followed by the current evaluations for each race from the three big prognosticators Charlie Cook, Stuart Rothenberg, and Larry Sabato. Finally on the Right are the current evaluations by race from yours truly.
In the Senate today Democrats (including independents who caucus with Democrats) have 55 seats. The GOP needs to pick up a net of six seats to take over the Senate. Should they pick up only five, resulting in a 50-50 tie the Senate would remain in Democratic hands because per the Constitution the Vice President casts the deciding vote.
As the chart above demonstrates, this pundit believes the GOP will win at least six seats on election night, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia.
The races to keep an eye on are Georgia, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.
Georgia and Kansas are both currently in the GOP camp, however both races are very tight. Georgia could flip to the Democrats and the Kansas could flip to an independent who will caucus with the Democrats. If the Republicans lose either of these races it means they will have to turn another seat currently held by the Democrats.
It looks as if Georgia Republican David Perdue will get the most votes but less than 50% which will delay the final result until a January runoff. The margin between Incumbent Pat Roberts and Democrat/Independent Greg Orman is less than a percentage point and it is all going to depend on GOTV (get out the vote).
Republicans may very well win over 50% of the vote in Louisiana. Unfortunately that will be divided between Bill Cassidy and Rob Manes. Even though he remains far behind both Cassidy and incumbent Democrat Landrieu, Manes stays in the race which will force a December run-off between Cassidy and Landrieu. In the head to head runoff, polls show Cassidy with a big lead.
While a Des Moines Register poll for the Iowa Senate Race released Sunday showed Joni Earnst with a 7% lead, every other poll shows Earnst with a much smaller 1-2% lead an indication the Register poll may be an outlier. While Earnst has been hanging on to a tiny lead since the end of July in the end this race will come down to GOTV—in other words it’s up for grabs.
North Carolina is another nail-biter but the other way Democratic incumbent Kay Hagen has held a small lead over Republican Thom Tillis since the middle of the summer. The difference here may be the incumbent’s GOTV effort may make her tiny lead even bigger on election day. One thing that may work in Tillis’ favor (as well as that of Perdue in Georgia) is the recent hubbub about calling Bibi Netanyhu a chickenshit. Both states have large populations of Evangelical Christians who may be motivated against to come out and vote for the Democrat because of Obama’s stance on Israel. In an election this close it wouldn’t take that many.
Most pundits including this one never though New Hampshire would be close, but Scott Brown has done an incredible job of making the race close. If it was any other candidate I would probably call the race for the Democrat Jeanne Shaheen but Scott Brown has closed so much so fast I can’t bring myself to call this race over.
Ohio-sometime on election night look for Karl Rove to finally admit Ohio went to Obama in 2012.
In the end the GOP has too many ways to win so I am calling the race for the Republicans.
Note: To learn whether these picks are correct or not make sure to listen to Tami Jackson and Me along with a long list of special guests, in our special election night program on the from 10p-12m Eastern on the 405 Network.