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Republicans Cruising Toward Senate Control in Tuesday's Midterm Elections

"The path to a majority for Republicans involves eight states..."

With one day left to campaign, various polls are predicting that Republicans are likely to win at least the six seats they need to take control of the Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, and might pick up eight or more.

A GOP victory would be seen as a repudiation of President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, and would give Republicans the power to set the agenda in the Senate, something they haven't had in eight years.

election Most polls are showing Republicans will pick up about eight Senate seats in the midterm election, which will give the GOP control of the Senate for the first time in eight years.
Image source: Shutterstock

The path to a majority for Republicans involves eight states that are expected to replace their current Democratic senators with GOP senators. In four of those states, established Democrats decided not to seek re-election — the retirement of Jay Rockefeller in West Virginia, Tom Harkin in Iowa, Tim Johnson in South Dakota and John Walsh in Montana appears to have given Republicans the opening the need to take these seats.

And in four other states, Republicans appear likely to seize on the growing frustration with Washington to make those seats flip. GOP candidates are the expected victors in Arkansas, Colorado and Alaska, and even if a runoff is needed in Louisiana, a Republican seems likely to topple Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) there.

Today, Republicans make up 45 of the Senate's 100 members. If the GOP can flip those eight seats held by Democrats, and defend their current seats in the 15 other states holding elections on Tuesday, they'll hold a 53 seat majority.

The GOP isn't guaranteed to defend those seats. Polls show a relatively close race in Georgia, where David Perdue (R) is hoping to hold the seat held by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). And some still say the race in Kansas, where Sen. Pat Roberts (R) is trying to fend off a challenge from Independent Greg Orman, is a tossup.

But Democrats are facing their own uncertainties as well, such as whether Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) can survive what appears to be a surge from candidate Scott Brown (R), the former senator from Massachusetts.

Thom Tillis (R) is also in a relatively close race with Sen. Kay Hagan (D) in North Carolina.

Despite these uncertainties, those running election result simulations say the GOP now has a far better-than-even chance of winning control of the Senate. Poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight on Monday morning said Republicans have a 74 percent chance of winning the Senate, and that Democrats have just a 26 percent chance of holding on.

The Washington Post on Monday was even more optimistic for Republicans, and said the GOP has a 96 percent chance of winning the Senate.

Still, some Democrats continued to predict publicly that Democrats would hold the Senate. In an interview with CNN, Vice President Joe Biden became the latest to say Democrats would keep their majority.

"I don't agree with the oddsmakers," he said. "I predict we’re going to … keep the Senate. I don't get the feeling that the oddsmakers are getting."

One last thing…
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