Think the Nov. 4 election will determine which party controls the US Senate? Not necessarily: Louisiana and Georgia are facing possible run-offs, while Kansas and South Dakota have strong independent candidates who could become king-makers if either party needs one more to control the 100-member legislative body, Reuters reports. No candidates are polling high enough in Louisiana and Georgia to avoid a run-off, which could extend the battle for Senate control to Dec. 6 in Louisiana and Jan. 6 in Georgia. If independents win in Kansas or South Dakota, they may eventually turn Democrat or Republican. "The fact of the matter is we may not know who is going to control the Senate on November 4," says a former aide to Harry Reid. "It may take at least a month for it to all play out."
Democrat Michelle Nunn would apparently win a Georgia runoff (by 51% to 47%, per a CNN/ORC poll) while Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy might win in Louisiana (by 48% to 41%, per a USA Today/Suffolk poll), reports the Washington Post. Other runoff data abounds: In Georgia, for example, turnout usually drops from Election Day to runoff, especially for Democrats, while Election Day numbers tend to hold steady in Louisiana. In a Louisiana runoff, Sen. Mary Landrieu would need to sway independents and supporters of tea party candidate Rob Maness, who view her unfavorably by sizable majorities. What's more, a sudden influx of cash could influence either runoff if Senate control hangs in the balance. "It could be a fun few weeks," quips the Post. (Read more US Senate stories.)