Constitution Daily

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Battle for control of Senate getting little notice

July 16, 2012 by NCC Staff


With a huge amount of media attention devoted to presidential politics and the Supreme Court, few people have noticed a potential historic shift in the U.S. Senate.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The website Real Clear Politics tracks polls on the various congressional races, as well as the fight between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

And based on recent polling data, a Republican takeover of the U.S. senate is entirely possible in 2013.

The Real Clear Politics Battle for the Senate tally board shows a 47-45 lead for the Democrats with eight toss-up elections.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, they only have two clear leads in the eight toss-up states, which would leave the GOP with 51 senate seats – and a majority in both houses in the next Congress.

In the toss-up races, Democrat Bill Nelson has the best chance in Florida in his race against Rep. Connie Mack. Nelson is up by about 3 percent in Real Clear Politics’ consensus poll.

Also, in Virginia, Tim Kaine leads GOP rival George Allen by a small margin.

The consensus poll for the Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren race in Massachusetts shows a virtual tie, in what could be a very expensive race.

In Missouri, Clare McCaskill is in a dogfight with any of three potential GOP opponents.

The remaining four toss-up races show the Democrats trailing in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

The biggest gap is in Wisconsin, where Tommy Thompson would have a clear lead over Democrat Tammy Baldwin, if Thompson survives an August primary contest.

Another crucial Senate race is in Montana between Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, and Rep. Denny Rehberg.

In Nevada, incumbent Republican Dean Heller is up over Democratic challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley.

And in North Dakota, Republican Rep. Rick Berg leads Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.

To be sure, polling numbers don’t indicate final election results, and in many of the states, a huge influx of spending is expected this fall.

For example, Florida, Virginia, Nevada and Wisconsin will be treated as presidential swing states as well as key Senate contests.

Record media spending is highly likely in those four states.

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