The 5 States That Could Decide Control of the Senate

The 5 States That Could Decide Control of the Senate

It’s fair to say Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg hedges his bets, but he also sees control of the U.S. Senate coming down to just five states, four of which are held by Democrats.

The GOP has to win just two of the five to snag a Senate majority, according to Rothenberg. He predicts South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana will also turn red.

While things could still change — and national polls continue to show an environment that may produce a substantial GOP wave in the House and Senate — the Senate battle has boiled down to two reliably red states and three swing states.

Here’s how he breaks it down:

Two Southern Democrats, Arkansas’ Mark Pryor and Louisiana’s Mary L. Landrieu, have run aggressive races as they try to survive the Republican wave that has swept over their states during the past four years. But Arkansas Republican Rep. Tom Cotton has finally opened up a small but decisive lead in his race, a lead likely to grow in the coming weeks.

The Louisiana contest will probably go to a December runoff, and while runoffs are unpredictable, the almost certain GOP alternative to Landrieu in that race, Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, has the advantage.

If they win both races, Republicans need to net only one more seat to win Senate control, with the focus, at least right now, on Alaska, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa and Kansas.


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