American Crossroads, the Republican super PAC founded by Karl Rove, released a set of eight polls on Friday showing that control of the Senate is “up for grabs” ahead of November’s midterm elections.
According to the polls, which were conducted by the right-leaning Harper Polling, Republicans hold leads in five of seven key U.S. Senate races. The other races are either tied or show room for growth from GOP candidates.
The automated surveys from Harper show Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) trailing their Republican opponents. Republicans also lead open races with Democratic retirements in Montana and Michigan.
Republicans need to swing six seats — while holding onto their own seats — to take back control of the Senate. Doing so would give the GOP full control over both chambers of Congress.
Here’s a breakdown of the key races polled by Harper:
- Alaska: Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich trails both possible GOP candidates, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former Commissioner for the Department of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan, by six points each(47-41). Begich is also upside-down in his job-approval rating, at 41-47.
- Arkansas: Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton leads incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor 42-36. Pryor’s job approval sits at an upside-down 37-40.
- Louisiana: Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is in a virtual tie (down 45-44) to U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy. Moreover, only 40% approve of how she’s handling her job, while 51% disapprove.
- Michigan: Republican and former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land leads Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters 42-37 in the race to fill Sen. Carl Levin’s (D) seat. President Barack Obama’s approval rating in Michigan is only 38%, but he carried the state 54-45 in 2012.
- Montana: Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines leads Democrat Lt. Gov. John Walsh (who was just appointed to fill Sen. Max Baucus’ seat on Friday) by 14 points (43-29). Another possible Democratic candidate, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, trails 43-32. Walsh and Bohlinger are tied in a Democratic primary matchup.
- North Carolina: Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan is locked in a tie with likely GOP candidate and North Carolina Rep. Thom Tillis. Only 36% approve of her job performance, while 49% disapprove. Obama’s approval rating is also underwater (43-51), as is support for the Affordable Care Act (39-52).
- New Hampshire: Democratic incumbent Sen. Jean Shaheen leads former Sen. Scott Brown 40-35 in a hypothetical matchup. She’s viewed favourably among New Hampshire voters, but Obama’s horrible approval-to-disapproval split (35-57) and Obamacare’s split (32-60) bring her down.
These polls don’t tell the complete story.A Crossroads spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether the group had commissioned polls in Georgia or Kentucky, two states currently held by Republicans where Democrats have a chance for pickup opportunities.
It also didn’t poll in Iowa, where a recent Quinnipiac University poll showed Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley leading all potential GOP challengers.
But if Republicans hold onto all their seats, they would only likely need to win four of the seven key races polled above. Republicans are already very likely to win open Senate seats in South Dakota and West Virginia, deep red states where long-time Democratic incumbents are retiring.
“A path to victory is clearly there. Incumbent democrats are weak across the board, and the crop of Republicans is stronger than it has been in a decade,” Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio said in a memo.
“Obamacare, designed to help float all boats, has instead become a millstone around the neck of every Democrat incumbent. And the national atmosphere is weakening for Democrats each day.”
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