On the eve of the election, most attention is focused on the battle for the presidency. It’s important to remember, though, that control of the Senate also hangs in the balance on Tuesday. Democrats currently hold a 53-47 edge in the upper house, including two independents who caucus with them. A loss of f0ur seats (or three, if Romney wins the presidency) would flip control to Republicans.
Democrats are considered favorites to retain 19 seats they currently control, and former Gov. Angus King of Maine, an independent, is expected to win and caucus with the Democrats, flipping a seat to their control. Republicans are also expected to win a Democratic-held seat in Nebraska, and to hold onto seven others they currently hold.
That would give Democrats a 49-45 lead on seats that lean toward them — meaning six seats up for election tomorrow will decide whether Mitch McConnell becomes majority leader, or whether Harry Reid retains his position. Here’s a look at these six races, from east to west.
Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren (D) vs. Sen. Scott Brown (R)
The senate seat in the Bay State has been one of the marquee match-ups in the 2012 election for some time. Elizabeth Warren helped design the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for President Barack Obama, and has been a leading advocate for a more egalitarian society. Brown, meanwhile, is a moderate Republican who surprised Washington by winning the seat held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, briefly threatening to derail health care reform.
Democrats targeted Brown’s seat in deep-blue Massachusetts as a likely pick-up opportunity, and the battle for the seat has been ferocious, with the Brown campaign attacking Warren over her claimed Native American ancestry, and Warren attacking Brown for being too beholden to the Republican leadership.
For Democrats, the polling in Massachusetts has been generally positive. Warren holds a 3.5 point edge in the RealClearPolitics average of polls, and Nate Silver gives Warren a prohibitive 94 percent chance of winning. Still, a University of Massachusetts/Boston Herald poll gave Brown a bare 49-48 edge, and given the importance of the race, this is one that Democrats can’t count on until the ballots are counted.
Read more: 2012 election, denny rehberg, elizabeth warren, george allen, Heidi Heitkamp, Jim Tester, joe donnelly, richard mourdock, Rick Berg, scott brown, senate, tammy baldwin, Tim Kaine, tommy thompson
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