Republicans’ chances of winning a Senate majority are improving, according to a new analysis Thursday from Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
“So many undecided contests are winnable for the GOP that the party would have to have a string of bad luck -- combined with a truly exceptional Democratic get-out-the-vote program -- to snatch defeat from the wide-open jaws of victory,” said Larry Sabato and Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win control. The party is expected to pick up three now held by Democrats, in Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota.
“About the best Democrats can hope for is a 50-50 split with Vice President Biden breaking the tie,” the analysts wrote. “A small one-to-three seat GOP Senate majority (51-49, 52-48, or 53-47) appears to be the likeliest outcome as of this writing and as the final month of the 2014 midterm campaign begins.”
What complicates the outlook, they say, is Kansas, which hasn’t elected a Democratic senator since 1932.But recent polling says incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, is behind independent Greg Orman.
And, warn the analysts, politics is unpredictable.
“There are just too many close races left and more than a month to go, when big gaffes, unexpected legal actions, and national events can potentially flip a Senate seat or two,” they said.