Politics & Policy

Friday Senate Roundup

The New York Times’ Nate Silver adjusted his odds that the GOP will take over the Senate in November. After a wave of favorable poll results for Republican candidates, Silver says the GOP’s chance are now 22 percent to win a majority in the Senate, up from 18 percent last week and 15 percent two weeks ago.

The Hill reports that the DSCC has not reserved any airtime in Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina or Florida, an indication that the Democrats are all but conceding those races:

Democratic leaders are deciding where to spend precious resources as they debate which Senate candidates can survive the Republican onslaught.

Eight states are emerging as the battlegrounds that will decide the margin of Senate control, according to interviews with Republican and Democratic strategists.

They are Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Of those eight, the GOP candidate is either leading or tied.

• DSCC Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) and his NRSC counterpart John Cornyn (Texas) made competing predictions Thursday about the outcome of the mid-terms elections:

“The one prediction that I will make is that, (after) Nov. 2, Democrats will be in the majority in the United States Senate,” Menendez said at a luncheon hosted by the National Press Club.

Cornyn countered with metaphor-laden (and somewhat vague) prediction of his own:

“I predict that the stormy weather we’ve seen in the primary season will lead to a tsunami on Election Day,” Cornyn said, adding later: “As much as Bob enjoyed the turbulence of the primaries, I think they’ve underestimated what’s coming at them.”

Kentucky: Following an initial report that the DSCC had canceled more than $300,000 worth of reserved time on Kentucky television next week, it appears the ad buys will go forward after all, Hotline on Call reports.

New Hampshire: Republican Kelly Ayotte’s campaign lashed out at Rep. Paul Hodes (D) for missing three votes on Capitol Hill while attending a series of fundraisers in Washington. Hodes needs all the help he can get, as the latest polling has Ayotte leading by 15 points.

West Virginia: AP reports what many people already knew, that “In W. Va., Senate race is really about Obama.” Gov. Joe Manchin (D) remains personally popular, but Republican efforts to link him to President Obama — who is deeply unpopular in the state — are having an impact. In 2008, Manchin won a second gubernatorial term with 70 percent of the vote, while Obama lost WV with just 43 percent. Meanwhile, Cook Political Report has move the race into the “Toss Up” column, with recent polls showing Republican John Raese leading by 2-3 points:

Judging by the polls, voters already seem to be making the distinction between Gov. Manchin and the Senator he might be. And, like voters nationally, they might be disgusted enough with the Democratic-controlled Congress not to want to add another Democrat to their ranks… The race that wasn’t supposed to be competitive is now the contest that is too close to call today. It moves to the Toss Up column.

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

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