With three weeks to go before Election Day, the fight for control of the Senate is coming down to six states hosting very close contests.
New Hampshire, Nevada, and Pennsylvania have been tossup races for months and are now joined by Missouri and Indiana. Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr’s re-election race in North Carolina is rated as Tilts Republican for now, but may end up in the same category.
In Missouri, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt has been on a steep slide in his race against Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander. A couple of weeks ago, we changed The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating from Lean Republican to Tilts Republican. Now it moves one more category to Tossup.
It’s a remarkable change in the electoral map as Blunt is more vulnerable than GOP Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Marco Rubio of Florida, but Democrats have done a good job pinning negatives on the senator that don’t have anything to do with Donald Trump. Missouri is one state where Republicans need to nationalize the election to help Blunt survive.
3 Weeks To Go: Two States Move to Tossup in Senate Races
Indiana has been a roller coaster this cycle. Republicans were poised to hold the open seat left by retiring GOP Sen. Dan Coats until Democratic former Sen. Evan Bayh came out of retirement to run. He started with a massive lead over GOP Rep. Todd Young. But Republicans pounded Bayh for the lack of time he has spent in Indiana and for his work for lobbying firms, and the contest subsequently closed.
Democrats believe Bayh still has the advantage (something close to his 6-point lead in a recent survey by Monmouth University), while Republicans believe Young has edged ahead. The Republican’s campaign released a poll which showed him with a 40-39 advantage.
Winning is more difficult than getting close for Republicans, but we’re changing our rating of the Indiana race from Tilts Democratic to Tossup.
With a White House victory, Democrats will need to gain four seats to take control of the Senate. Democrats are favored to gain Illinois and Wisconsin, even though recent surveys show the latter getting closer. The party is likely to gain between 3-6 seats.