Sunday, November 05, 2006

Senate may stay Republican

By Michael J.W. Stickings

According to MSNBC, new polls show "a tightening race to the finish in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate". Assuming that Kyl (R-Arizona), Stabenow (D-Michigan), Menendez (D-New Jersey), Brown (D-Ohio), Casey (D-Pennsylvania), Corker (R-Tennessee), and Cantwell (D-Washington) are safely ahead, here are the key races:


  • Maryland: Cardin (D) 47, Steele (R) 44
  • Missouri: McCaskill (D) 46, Talent (R) 45
  • Montana: Tester (D) 47, Burns (R) 47
  • Rhode Island: Chafee (R) 46, Whitehouse (D) 45
  • Virginia: Webb (D) 46, Allen (R) 45
If Ford (D) loses in Tennessee, which now seems likely, the Democrats would have to win all of these key races to secure a majority of 51 seats in the Senate. That's still a possibility, but the recent tightening makes it seem unlikely, particularly with Chafee now leading in Rhode Island.

But many likely voters remain undecided. And, of course, there's the all-important turnout factor. These are the five races to watch come Tuesday.

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UPDATE: The Pew Research Center "finds voting intentions shifting in the direction of Republican congressional candidates in the final days of the 2006 midterm campaign. The new survey finds a growing percentage of likely voters saying they will vote for GOP candidates. However, the Democrats still hold a 48% to 40% lead among registered voters, and a modest lead of 47%-43% among likely voters."

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UPDATE 2: USA Today has Allen up over Webb 49-46 in Virginia. But it also has Corker up by only three points over Ford in Tennessee, also 49-46, an apparent narrowing of the race there.

A Richmond Times-Dispatch poll has Webb up over Allen by one point, 46-45.

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