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6 Races That Will Decide Who Controls the Senate

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Montana: Sen. John Tester (D) vs. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R)

Montana has developed into an extremely close race between incumbent Sen. John Tester and the state’s at-large congressman, Denny Rehberg. This is likely to be the race that goes deepest into the night; in polls since June, neither candidate has led by more than 4 points, and the current RealClearPolitics average gives Rehberg an insignificant 0.2 percent advantage. Notably, however, the conservative-skewing Rasmussen poll has shown Tester leading, 49-48.

The race comes down to Montana’s natural red skew versus Rehberg’s unpopularity. In a Public Policy Polling poll, Rehberg had only a 37 percent approval rating, versus 54 percent of Montanans who disapproved of him. Nevertheless, in a Republican state like Montana, Rehberg has enough residual support to have a good chance.

Republicans certainly have to hope so. It’s very hard to see them taking control of the Senate without picking up Tester’s seat.

Other Races

Of course, while these seats are the closest, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other competitive races. In Missouri, Sen. Claire McCaskill has held a steady lead over Republican challenger Todd Akin, but it’s still barely possible that Akin could pull an upset. In Connecticut, Linda McMahon at one point was close to Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy in the polls, though she’s faded somewhat in recent weeks. Arizona, meanwhile, represents a chance for a surprise pick-up by the Democrats; Rep. Jeff Flake has generally held a lead over former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, but a few polls have shown Carmona ahead.

Regardless, Republicans face an uphill battle. Unless they can surprise in Missouri or Connecticut, they need to run the table in the rest of the races if they hope to win control of the Senate. If Democrats win even one or two of these six races to watch, they maintain control of the body, and the ability to support Barack Obama’s agenda — or oppose Mitt Romney’s, depending.

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68 comments

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4:01AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

thanks

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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