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Republicans appear headed for Senate majority this November

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sweats out his campaign
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sweats out his campaign
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The latest voting trends show the Republicans easily taking back the U.S. Senate this November. U.S. News and World Report indicate three easy GOP victories in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, as reported in their Friday edition. That means the GOP needs to win three of the remaining six battleground states to declare majority victory.

The Republicans are looking at Arkansas, Louisiana and Iowa as the easiest campaigns while Alaska, North Carolina and Colorado are too close to call presently. The engaging truth is all six of those states could go Republican in the next 60 day news cycle and events in the world.

The seven most contested states and the latest polling are listed below:

Louisiana pits a stumbling incumbent, Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu against a rising GOP star, Republican Bill Cassidy. With Landrieu enduring scandal after scandal, with the latest questioning her Louisiana residency, it appears more than likely her three-terms as the state’s senior senator are over.

Favored to win in November: Republican going away

North Carolina Democrat incumbent Kay Hagan is in a tough battle with Republican State Speaker-of-the-House Thom Tillis. While both candidates are witnessing more negative polls than positive, the race remains dead even. Sen. Hagen has broken ranks with the president in a desperate attempt to gain votes in a state where being a White House proponent is not helpful.

Favored to win in November: Democrat, but still too close to call

Arkansas Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor has a lot to handle with the likes of Republican congressman Tom Cotton. The state has moved toward Republican leadership in recent years and Pryor is viewed by many as a talking head for President Obama. Cotton successfully used the new political environment skillfully during the Romney campaign of 2012 by publicly linking himself to the Republican presidential candidate as best he could. It appears to be paying dividends as the election grows closer. But being an incumbent in a small state has its dividends and Pryor continues to hold his lead despite millions in national GOP money covering the state.

Favored to win in November: Democrat, but lead shrinking by the week

Alaska Democratic Senator Mark Begich is in a feisty race with businessman, Republican Dan Sullivan, who has run a gaffe-free race. He also has a close political ally in Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Begich has political ghosts to contend with from his tenure as mayor of Anchorage. Begich has forced him into a corner during their first state debate on his vote for Obamacare. Begich considered it a “tough call,” which continues to haunt his campaign.

Favored to win in November: Republican going away.

Iowa’s Republican State Sen. Joni Ernst continues to be the darling of the Senate open seat over Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley. Braley can't stop making foot-in-mouth statements that are handled quickly by the effervescent and tenacious Ernst. She continues to gain most of the positive media attention in a state split almost down the line between the two parties. She raised female voter eyebrows with her statement she was sexually harassed during her time in the military, giving her credibility on Pentagon issues. Ernst has continued to define the campaign since the start and Braley looks to be over his head.

Favored to win in November: Republican by an Iowa-defined landslide

Colorado is a very diverse state of urban vs. rural politics. Much like that diversity, the U.S. Senate campaign between Republican Rep. Cory Gardner and Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall is neck and neck. Udall controls the Denver area while Gardner is far ahead in other parts of the state. Udall’s attempt to portray the “war on women” as a campaign issue hasn’t taken flight while Gardner’s “tax and spend” ranting hasn’t found a huge audience. Unfortunately for Udall, his snubbing of the president on a recent visit to Colorado cost him millions in DNC funds while Gardner has yet to tap his millions provided by the RNC. The political chess game seems to favor Gardner by a hair in November.

Favored in November: Republican by his chinny chin chin

Kentucky finds Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the political race of his life with Democratic Secretary-of-State Alison Lundergan Grimes. McConnell is being portrayed as an out-of-touch 72-year-old career politician. Lundergan Grimes is presented by McConnell as another liberal failure to be added to Obama’s rubber stamp votes. But recent polling shows the Lundergan Grimes team inching forward in the polling with McConnell holding a narrow lead for the second most powerful man in the U.S. Senate. But McConnell, hardly the most polished campaigner, has presented an image of a new Republican majority in the Senate led by his state’s own Republican. That message has slowed his opponent’s rapid advances as Kentuckians think about it.

Favored in November: Republican – it’s theirs to lose

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