Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., has decided not to give up his nomination for U.S. Senate, effectively ending any hopes Republicans have of defeating Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., this fall, but that does not mean Republicans have lost the fight for control of the Senate, especially if Mitt Romney defeats President Obama this November.
Democrats currently have just a three seat 53-47 majority in the Senate. If Romney wins, thus making Paul Ryan the 51st vote in the event of a 50-50 tie for Senate control, then Republicans only need to win a net of three seats. That’s doable. Here are there best pick up targets:
Nebraska – State Senator Deb Fischer is beating former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey by double-digits.
North Dakota – Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., leads former state attorney general Heidi Heitkamp by 5.
Montana – Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., leads Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., by 4.
Wisconsin – Former Gov. Tommy Thompson, R, leads Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., by 4.
Virginia – Former-Gov. Tim Kaine, D, narrowly leads former-Gov. George Allen by half a point.
Florida – Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Fla., is narrowly beating Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., by two-and-a-half points.
And here are the Republicans most vulnerable holds:
Maine – Former Gov. Angus King is crushing Secretary of State Charles Summers by 27.
Massachusetts – Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., is narrowly beating Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren by under one point.
So if Republicans lose Maine and Massachusetts, but pick up Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, and Virginia or Florida, they will still control the Senate. And if Brown holds on in Massachusetts, then Republicans can lose in Virginia and Florida and still win control of the Senate.
Akin may have done Obama and Harry Reid a big favor on Tuesday, but even without Missouri Republicans have a better than even shot of winning the Senate.