The balance of power in the U.S. Senate could shift come November. Will Harry Reid and the Democrats maintain control of the upper chamber? Or will Republicans be able to capitalize on their 2010 gains and a poor economy to elevate Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader?
At this point, it’s safe to say it’s too close to call. Both parties had races that at one time or another looked like bankable wins. But a series of missteps and miscalculations has made this a stress-inducing, ulcer-producing, coronary-clogging competitive fight.
Here is a partial list of top races to watch:
1.) Warren v. Brown - Massachusetts:
Considered by some the nastiest race this cycle. Will Scott Brown beat Obama-backed challenger Elizabeth Warren to win his first full term?
2.) Akin v. McCaskill - Missouri:
Despite Akin’s critics on the right and left, he’s regaining ground on the vulnerable incumbent. But will the money follow the lead of prominent Republicans who are now supporting his race?
3.) Kaine v. Allen - Virginia:
In the battle of the commonwealth’s former governors, will it be a vote for the candidate or a referendum on Obama or Romney?
4.) Donnelly v. Mourdock - Indiana:
Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock has been taking a beating in the polls after Democrats used his own words to cast him as “too extreme.”
5.) Thompson v. Baldwin - Wisconsin:
After months of maintaining a comfortable lead, the former governor has seen his poll numbers slip. He blames Romney’s numbers for driving down his.
6.) Berkley v. Heller - Nevada:
“She’s the most corrupt and unethical person I have met.” That’s how Heller described his challenger Shelley Berkley to reporters after she highlighted his past ties to convicted Reno businessman. If you ask us, this ranks right up there in the “nastiest” column.
7.) Rehberg v. Tester - Montana:
The rancher versus the farmer. (Wait – isn’t that Oklahoma? Oh right. That’s the farmer and the cowboy!) Currently, Rehberg has a narrow lead with Tester in the political fight of his life to win re-election.
8.) Berg v. Heitkamp - North Dakota: Heitkamp, a former state attorney general, has higher favorability ratings than her Republican challenger. To win, she needs to maintain (or widen) that lead and hope that voters split the ticket between her and their choice for president. Romney has a double digit advantage over Obama in the polls.