With a month to go before the midterms, Republicans stand a decent and ever-improving chance of taking control of the Senate, according to respected political prognosticator Larry Sabato. In his Crystal Ball blog, Sabato writes that a one- to three-seat GOP majority is now the mostly likely outcome, a sharp reversal from the the current 55-45 Democratic majority. "About the best Democrats can hope for is a 50-50 split with Vice President Biden breaking the tie," he writes with Kyle Kondik. They caution that big gaffes by the GOP in the home stretch could change the outcome, adding that Republicans should be plenty worried about Kansas. Some highlights:
- Blue trouble: Five seats currently held by Democrats are "at least leaning" to the GOP now: Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
- Kansas: Incumbent Republican Pat Roberts might be in trouble thanks to legal rulings that will require him to run one-on-one against a popular independent who would likely caucus with Democrats. The race has gone from favoring Roberts to being a toss-up.
- Other toss-ups: Colorado, Louisiana, and Alaska join Kansas. Colorado had been leaning Democratic previously.
- Late surge? Republican gains could be even bigger "if everything falls just right for them in the final month." But the "small surge" necessary for that to happen hasn't emerged yet.
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