TheDC Election Outlook: In best of all GOP worlds, Senate control comes down to three states

Best-case scenario for the GOP: their hopes of taking the Senate come down to Washington, California and Pennsylvania.

And as The Daily Caller has written for a few weeks now, in the event that Republicans have a day on Nov. 2 that exceeds most expectations, Washington state will be ground zero to decide whether they retake the Senate.

But the steep hill that always stood between them and the upper chamber majority has gotten steeper in the last week or two, with races in Illinois, Colorado, West Virginia and Pennsylvania getting so tight they are essentially even.

Connecticut, meanwhile, appears to have fallen out of reach. Despite former WWE CEO Linda McMahon’s $41 million in personal funds toward the race, she has fallen 10 points behind Democrat Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

However, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, remains in a race to the bottom in Nevada with former state legislator Sharron Angle, the Republican has gained ground and holds a slight lead over all polling.

And in Wisconsin, Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold is still about six points behind Republican businessman Ron Johnson, according to the Real Clear Politics average, despite Democrat claims that the race is tightening.

Nate Silver of the New York Times gives the GOP a 19 percent chance of taking the Senate.

They are all but guaranteed three pickups in Arkansas, Indiana and North Dakota. They would have to run the table in the six tossup races that would get them to nine, one short of a majority. But polling in Illinois and Colorado over the last few days has begun to trend back in the direction of small leads for Republicans Mark Kirk and Ken Buck, respectively.

The one tossup race that has begun to look most perilous is Pennsylvania, where Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak has put Republican Pat Toomey on edge by erasing a large lead in the last few weeks.

Toomey’s edge was as high as nine points a month ago, but is now down to two.

In the event that Toomey held on, it would then come down to Washington, unless Republican Carly Fiorina in California somehow upended incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Democrat who has had plenty of support from President Obama in recent weeks.

Washington – where businessman and former state legislator Dino Rossi is challenging incumbent Sen. Patty Murray – continues to be the most likely place (where Republicans have not led and would not be expected to win) that the GOP could snatch their tenth seat.

Murray has led for much of the race, but her lead is down to 2.2 points in the RCP average, and Rossi has had as much cash to spend on TV ads as Murray for a few weeks. That level playing field will continue through Election Day.

However, that race, along with Illinois, may not be decided right away. Because Washington allows absentee ballots to be postmarked as late as Election Day, if the results are close, it may take several days to declare a winner. And even then, that result may end up being contested with lawyers.

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  • krjohnson

    I don’t think Carly has a chance. Unfortunately for her, Prop 19 is on the ballot and it’s going to bring out all the disaffected hippie types, many of whom don’t care enough to vote regularly, but who lean Democrat and would crawl to the polling place over broken glass to vote to legalize pot.

    I hate to say it, but California might be a lost cause from here on out. If pot becomes a major issue for years into the future then Republicans have a major dilemma: run a pro-pot candidate who will alienate the social conservatives that have pushed them over the edge in recent decades, or run an anti-pot candidate who is doomed to fail by a few points just because of turnout and demographics. The best California Republicans can hope for is that this issue is resolved conclusively one way or the other and ceases to be a major issue in the future. That scenario appears unlikely.

  • gringott

    The best thing is to have enough control of the Senate to say NO and save the takeover for 2012.

  • windrdr

    A Rossi win is a pipe dream (sorry KT) – absent any significant reforms in the King County Elections office, he’s going to get screwed again, as he was previously running against Gregoire for the Governor’s chair. When the elections folks are willing to say, with a straight face, that 32 people giving the same storage location as their address on their absentee ballots is not unusual, mostly because they voted “D”, well. . .when the courts, when presented with blatant and clear evidence of vote counting fraud refuse to even look at the evidence, well. . .that ain;t a hill to climb, it’s a brick wall.

  • patriot4evah

    I have a sister in CT that is positive Linda will win. She says she knows too many democrats personally that are voting for her and actively campaigning for her….. shhhh… but she even told me these same democrats are telling the pollsters they are voting for Mr. Blumenthal….

    I still have hopes for Christine as well. The people of DE while they may be very liberal, are not stupid. There is a difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kendra-Westinghouse/100001282097732 Kendra Westinghouse

    Carly was CEO of Hewlett Packard not Acorn. That is a private not government corporation. Only in you socialist world is a corporation “sucking on the government teat.” Don’t you have lefty sites to troll with?

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  • rainmaker1145

    Then it is lost because there is no reason for conservatives in California to turn out and support Fiorina. She’s just another liberal seeking office and just another RINO pseudo-conservative member of the ruling-class that provides nothing we value as a people. She has sucked on the government teat her entire professional life as a government contractor. This woman is a faker, a fraud and a disservice to anything the Tea Parties and true conservatives stand for and I cannot believe the Republican Party is – once again – so stupid as to put this POS up as something worthy of our support.

    Fiorina is the poster child for the Tea Parties casus belli of leaving the Republican Party and going our own way.

    • rogueone

      In respectful response,
      In the Constitution The whole idea of the balance of power paints the landscape of compromise. But compromise is why and how we are where we are today. In American government those unified in the compromise of their convictions are the ones that gain and retain power. In other words when unified those willing to compromise some of their convictions and vote for the person that more closely represents their view WINthe.
      The Obama agenda can only be repealed if conservatives centrists and independents, can unifiy. Conservatives are more likely to get their agenda (or at least some of it) forward with Carly than Barbara.
      The Tea Party agenda or Rush calls it “The Tea Force’ will only gain ground if their representatives are in power.
      I think this article is pointing out that there is a real chance for Republicans to take back Congress and the Senate but certain Republican candidates have to win.
      I believe that primaries are for voting your conviction but elections are about winning.
      So look the bigger picture and if necessary, plug your nose and vote Republican and do your part to help stop this march to socialism>>fascism>>??

    • LibertarianRepublican

      Your ignorance of Carly’s life story and professional journey is clear in your comments. A self made woman who went from secretary to CEO and would be in favor of spending and tax cuts that, incomarison to BBoxer, would resemble scorced earth libertarianisim is liberal?????

      Your analysis is as un-serious as can be.

    • killtruck

      You know this is reality and not some Hollywood underdog movie right? Vote with your convictions in the primaries, but if the country is in the state of emergency the hardcore teapartiers claim it is then they’ll pull heads out of their posteriors in time for the general.

      Unless true conservatives think Boxer is to the right of Fiorina there’s no reason to not vote for Fiorina.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kendra-Westinghouse/100001282097732 Kendra Westinghouse

      Carly was CEO of Hewlett Packard not Acorn. That is a private not government corporation. Only in you socialist world is a corporation “sucking on the government teat.” Don’t you have lefty sites to troll with?

    • windrdr

      You’re probably not too keen on John Dennis, the first opponent with an ‘R’ by their name to have a chance of getting more than 10% of the vote against Madame Empress Pelosi in the midst of Deep Blue San Fran, either – because he’s employed a strategy of running to the LEFT of Dear Leader Nancy on several key issues that she merely gives lip service to, and her constituents have noticed. Here’s a freakin clue – SoCon Candidates are not going to win everywhere. So fry your tears and buck up, and take these buffoons down with candidates that can GET THEM OUT OF POSITIONS OF POWER. What part of that do you freaking NOT GET? Burp, get over it, hold your nose, and freakin flush with the handle you can grab, folks.

    • The_anniebanannie

      You’re such a tool for the democrats it’s shameful and totally discredits anything else you ever have to say on here.

  • wodiej

    Larry Sabato said people need to see who is actually doing the poll. Many are funded by one or the other political side and so are overpolling their support to create a false illusion that they are winning. I believe the real results will be on the Republican side.

  • robb32

    Not sure who these so called pollsters you quote are polling, but the word on the street here in Corrupticut is that Blumenthal stands absolutely no chance. No one talks about the guy except to say negative things. EVERYONE talks abt Mcmahon.So if you want to believe the hacksters, go ahead..but don’t be shocked when McMahon wins here…and I don’t even care for her! But my five household votes will go for her instead of “the vietnam dick”.