Both The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times included front page stories today on the status of the U.S. Senate elections.
The Journal article (“GOP Fight for Control of Senate Hits Snags“) noted that, “Handicappers from both parties had predicted Indiana would be an easy win for Republicans, but the race is now a tossup. The surprisingly close contest adds to the challenges for a party once considered likely to regain a Senate majority, but now facing a number of setbacks.”
The article explained that, “Republicans entered this election season expecting to pick up enough Senate seats to overcome the Democrats’ 53-47 majority. Six years ago, a big Democratic surge had given the party victories in Republican-leaning states such as Montana, Virginia and Missouri. This year, Republicans figured that they could take those seats back.
“But a string of surprising developments—including Republican Olympia Snowe giving up her Maine seat and Indiana’s Dick Lugar losing in a GOP primary—have made many races unexpectedly competitive. Some Democratic candidates are rising in tandem with President Barack Obama’s standing in polls, while Democrats in more conservative states are successfully distancing themselves from the president.”
Similarly, the LA Times article (“Democrats gain favor in battle for Senate“), which included the graphic below, stated that, “The battle for control of the Senate, which had favored Republicans for much of this election year, has abruptly shifted, with Democrats sharply improving their odds of keeping the majority.”
Some policy observers and lawmakers have suggested that if the Senate were to change to GOP control, perhaps the legislative branch would start over on the Farm Bill process in the next Congress.