While we have been discussing how tight the Presidential race is — along with some of the deficiencies of the polling agencies — we appear to have overlooked the Senate. According to a recent WSJ article, the battle for control of the Senate has tightened. Democrats are running surprisingly well in the South, and are in competitive races in Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida.
While it is unlikely that the Republicans will lose control of the House, the Senate is a definite wild card. The length of each candidate’s coat tails could determine the net result.
This WSJ chart reveals that for the most part, the hotly contested races are not in the so-called swing states, with Florida and Colorado being the exceptions.
click for larger chart
chart courtesy of WSJ
The graphic above is from the Cook Political Report. From what I have read, Cook gets high marks for accuracy.
“With five Southern Democrats retiring and the rest of the 2004 Senate electoral map tilting in Republicans’ favor, odds are Republicans will hold or even increase their slim Senate majority. But Democrats are running surprisingly well in the South, including for the North Carolina Senate seat being vacated by Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards. They also think they have a shot at seats in such Republican strongholds as Oklahoma, Alaska and Colorado.
Given their long odds, Democrats tried to go all out this year, fielding strong candidates, avoiding contentious primary battles and raising enough money to diminish the Republicans’ traditional fund-raising advantage. Sen. Jon Corzine of New Jersey, who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, believes President Bush and his party have been hurt by economic uncertainty and the war in Iraq. “It levels the playing field,” Sen. Corzine says.
Fascinating stuff . . .
Fight for Senate Has Tightened
In Some Races, Democrats Run More Strongly Than Expected
The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2004; Page A4