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6 Races That Will Decide Who Controls the Senate

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Wisconsin: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) vs. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) (Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., retiring)

Republicans have a chance to pick up a seat in Wisconsin, where popular Sen. Herb Kohl is retiring after four terms. Republicans in the state actually steered clear of hard-right candidates, instead turning to a reasonably popular former governor, Tommy Thompson. Democrats nominated Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who has represented a deep blue district since 1999.

Given the convulsive political landscape in Wisconsin, it was hard to know just how the race would play out, but Democrats, stung by recent victories by Republicans in the state, had to be nervous.

Well, the race is still close — within 2.2 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average. But Baldwin has opened up a steady-if-narrow lead over Thompson, who has been hamstrung by statements made during the primary.

If Baldwin manages to win, it will represent not just an important hold for Democrats, but an important civil rights milestone: Baldwin would become the first openly gay senator elected to the body.

North Dakota: Former State A.G. Heidi Heitkamp (D) vs. Rep. Rick Berg (R) (Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., retiring)

When Kent Conrad announced his retirement from the Senate, most prognosticators simply moved the race into the “likely Republican” column without much thought. The Dakotas have been moving steadily right, and few thought that the race would be very competitive.

Well, the seat may still go to the Republicans, but it won’t be for lack of trying. Former State Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp has run a surprisingly tough race, forcing Republicans to contest a seat they expected to win easily. While most polls still give Rick Berg the edge, Heitkamp has been as close as two points in recent polling. Given the relative paucity of polling in the state, it’s possible that Heitkamp could be a surprise on Tuesday. Even if she isn’t, she’s managed to help Democrats across the country, simply by drawing resources from the GOP.

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Image Credit: Donkey Hotey

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4:01AM PST on Nov 16, 2012


5:57PM PST on Nov 8, 2012

Just happy that all the women won; maybe now, some of those horrible attacks on women will stop.

5:52PM PST on Nov 7, 2012

Sharon H stated succinctly; "It's over, you lost", now move on. You have been wrong ever since you started posting here, and now it's time to lick your wounds and go back to the swamp. We'll get back the majority in Congress in 2014.

1:55AM PST on Nov 7, 2012

GRATULATION USA! It can now ONLY go forward! :-) I have a feeling that this time "both side" in a while will work together. IT IS the only option. By working together NOTHING will be inpossible. "Both side" can THEN take the credit and both can be a part of the new world. It will then be NO "THEY and US". And that goes for democrats and republic, USA and World, You and I. The future is bright....................

8:51PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

go Elizabeth!

8:44PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Hats off to my grrl, Elizabeth!!! Go get 'em!

8:40PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Now please pack your stuff and GTFO!

8:30PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Elaine and all the rest of you T-baggers....IT'S OVER!!! YOU LOST!!!!!

7:17PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

More like political affiliation rather than races that are going to determine who wins.

4:26PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

If a voter is so stupid to check the person they do not want then press “NEXT” without alerting the authority, then they deserve what they get.

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