The tightening of Senate races around the nation appear to put chances one side will finish the election with a 60-member super-majority out of reach, according to University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
Instead, analyst Kyle Kondik told us, a 50-50 split is more likely, putting control in the hands of the vice president. Reevaluating Senate races for the Center’s “Crystal Ball,” he said that there are now only eight toss-up states, Missouri, Virginia, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, Wisconsin, Florida and New Mexico. Four lean Democrat, four lean Republican.
The biggest impact in the fall elections, he added, will be the presidential race and the potential for coattails. “One effect of party polarization is a reduction in ticket-splitting in years like 2012. A Senate candidate in a competitive race will have difficulty swimming against a strong presidential tide in most of these states.”
In a preview of the Thursday Crystal Ball, chief analyst Larry Sabato, Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley pointed out the highlights:
- Montana is tops on the Republican side. Democratic Sen. Jon Tester looks like a slight underdog against Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg.
- Missouri also looks to turn Republican, they find, while Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown looks like he will hang on to win.