Exactly two weeks from today, control of the Senate will be decided… maybe. With Louisiana still well inside the toss-up margin and though Republican Bill Cassidy has consistently led Democrat Mary Landrieu for weeks, that neither candidate commands a majority in the so-called ‘jungle general’ looks like a near guarantee that the race will go to a December run-off.
That reality makes the results in North Carolina and Kansas all the more critical for the Republican Party as it presses to the all-important net six seats necessary for control of the Senate.
Currently, the GOP continues to boast hot prospects in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia along with a likelihood of picking up seats in Arkansas and Alaska. At five confident seats, the party still needs another.
A loss in Kansas could complicate things, and the polls showing a dead-heat aren’t giving the GOP any new hopes that the threat is over. That may explain why cash and volunteer efforts from nearby states are pouring into Kansas to shore the election for incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.
Ironically though, Republican Thom Tillis has regained some late momentum in North Carolina against embattled Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan. Hagan’s recent admission of missing critical armed services votes, along with her endorsement of Obama’s policies, has hurt her among voters.
If the latest polls and stats are to be trusted, it is entirely conceivable that the GOP win in North Carolina. This would offset a loss in Kansas, which would otherwise be a severe setback.
If that scenario plays out, the GOP will look to hot prospects for a pick-up in Colorado, Iowa or even in New Hampshire where Republican Scott Brown trails by only a few points according to the RCP average.