Republicans now have a clear path toward gaining a Senate majority in next week’s midterm elections, new polls show. But their leads in six crucial states are extremely small.
A round of new NBC/Marist polls gives the GOP momentum in six toss-up states:
- Colorado: Republican Cory Gardner leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, 46-45. That’s a 7-point swing from last month and more in line with other polls showing Gardner with a slight ead.
- North Carolina: Republican Thom Tillis and incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan are tied. That’s a 4-point swing from earlier this month in favour of Tillis.
- Kansas: Incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts has closed the gap with independent challenger Greg Orman over the past month, trailing 45-44. Earlier this month, Orman’s lead was 10 points.
- Iowa: Republican Joni Ernst leads Democrat Bruce Braley 49-46, up from a 46-44 lead earlier in October.
- Arkansas: Republican Tom Cotton leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, 45-43, down from a 5-point lead las month.
- South Dakota: In a race that has seemingly tightened over the past few weeks, Republican Mike Rounds still has a comfortable advantage. In a three-way race, he grabs 43% of the vote to Democrat Rick Weiland’s 29%.
If Rounds wins in South Dakota and Republicans capture wins in West Virginia and Montana, as expected, they will need to swing three more seats to take Senate control.
Those swings could come from Arkansas, Colorado, and Iowa, where Republicans have clear momentum the past few weeks. An average of recent polls, according to Real Clear Politics, gives Cotton a 5-point lead, Gardner a a 3.4-point lead, and Ernst a 2.6-point lead.
The North Carolina race has also tightened over the past two weeks. But Republicans need to hold their own seats in Kansas — where Orman could decide to caucus with Democrats — and Georgia, where Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn is surging. Recent poll averages show her up 1 point on Republican challenger David Perdue.
A new set of CBS/New York Times/YouGov polls released Sunday also gave Republicans the edge. Those polls showed Roberts with a 4-point lead in Kansas. And Republicans have enough 4-point leads to put them in control of 50 states, one shy of the number they’d need to retake a majority.
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