Numbers Game Still Favors GOP Senate Majority

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 3:01 PM EDT

The GOP appears more likely than not to win the six seats in November (and December) that it needs for Senate control, but that is certainly not yet a done deal. Democratic incumbents continue to run energetic campaigns but the national dynamic favors GOP prospects.

Three states now look like certain Republican pick-ups: South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana. The embarrassing exit of appointed senator John Walsh from the race destroyed what little chances Democrats had to hold the seat against Republican Rep. Steve Daines.

With those three states in the bank, the GOP needs to net three more to control the Senate in 2016. Arkansas and Louisiana remain very challenging for Democrats, though Sen. Mary Landrieu’s political future may not be decided until a December runoff. But Razorback Senator Mark Pryor continues to be well under the 50 percent mark, which continues to make him at least a slight underdog in the fall.

If both of those seats fall, and Republicans hold all of their own, they would need only one other Senate takeover. Alaska and Iowa look like toss-ups now, with North Carolina and Colorado not far behind.

The lone Democratic takeover opportunity remains Kentucky. That race is extremely close, and voters continue to show their deep unhappiness with the…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) Alabama - Kansas

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 3:00 PM EDT

ALABAMA -- Jeff Sessions (R), elected 1996 (52%), 2002 (59%) and 2008 (63%). The last Democratic Senate nominee to receive even 40 percent of the vote in Alabama was Roger Bedford nearly 20 years ago. Safe Republican.

ALASKA -- Mark Begich (D), elected 2008 (48%). Daniel S. Sullivan, the…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) Kentucky - New Mexico

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 2:58 PM EDT

KENTUCKY -- Mitch McConnell (R), elected 1984 (50%), 1990 (52%), 1996 (55%), 2002 (65%), 2008 (53%). Senate Minority Leader McConnell beat primary challenger Matt Bevin surprisingly easily, but Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is a more challenging opponent. Early polling…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) North Carolina - Wyoming

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 2:57 PM EDT

NORTH CAROLINA -- Kay Hagan (D), elected 2008 (53%). Given the GOP’s recent victories in the state, Hagan certainly knew that she would have a serious challenge. State House Speaker Thom Tillis won the Republican nomination without a runoff, allowing him to avoid further attacks from the right…