Democrats in five key battleground states are trailing their Republican opponents, according to a new Fox News poll released Wednesday. And the Fox News poll plus a separate CNN poll showed the winds in one of the key races, the Kansas Senate race, shifting toward Republican incumbent Pat Roberts.
The Fox News poll puts Republicans ahead in five key states:
- Alaska: Republican Dan Sullivan leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, 44-40.
- Arkansas: Republican US Rep. Tom Cotton leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, 46-39.
- Colorado: Republican US Rep. Cory Gardner leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, 43-37.
- Kentucky: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell leads Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, 45-41.
- Kansas: Incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts leads Independent challenger Greg Orman, 44-39. In the CNN poll, Roberts led 49-48. This is a swing from most other recent polls that have shown Orman with an advantage.
Republicans need to hold onto all of their contested seats — most prominently, challenges in Kansas, Kentucky, and Georgia — and swing six current Democratic-held seats to regain control of the US Senate. Democrats had gotten good news recently with Orman’s improved standing in Kansas, along with new developments in South Dakota — where Democratic and Independent candidates are closing the gap with former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds.
But holds in Kansas and Kentucky, along with wins in Alaska, Arkansas, and Colorado, would provide Republicans with a clear path toward retaking the Senate — if Republicans can also hold on to expected wins in South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana.
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