Control of the U.S. Senate now depends on outcomes in five states, independent analyst Stuart Rothenberg said Tuesday.
Republicans need a net gain of six to win control. Rothenberg predicts the party is most likely to pick up four to eight seats, about the same range as other independent experts.
He figures Republicans have an edge to win Democratic-held seats in Louisiana and Arkansas, and are good bets to replace Democrats in West Virginia, Montana and South Dakota.
That would mean the party would need only one more seat to get control of the Senate.
That puts the focus, he said, on Alaska, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa and Kansas. All but Kansas are now held by Democrats. In Kansas, Sen. Pat Roberts faces a tough challenge from independent Greg Orman.
“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,” he said.