Elections

Pryor the nation’s most vulnerable senator, Roll Call says

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor heads Roll Call’s pre-election list of the nation’s most vulnerable senators.

Polls show the Arkansas Democrat running well behind Republican Rep. Tom Cotton. “Cotton is closing strong and a favorite to win,” Roll Call reported.

Second on the list is Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., who’s probably going to have her fate decided in a December 6 runoff. Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy and conservative Rob Maness challenge her Tuesday. If no one gets a majority, the top two would vie next month.

Here’s the rest of the list as reported by Roll Call’s Kyle Trygstad and Alexis Levinson:

“3. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska

“To save his seat, Begich is counting on his ground game in rural and remote parts of the state, a turnout boost from a trio of ballot initiatives and criticism of Republican Dan Sullivan’s lack of Alaska roots. It may be enough, but this is still a solidly Republican state.

“4. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.

Both Udall and Republican Rep. Cory Gardner are leaning hard on their get-out-the-vote operations in the home stretch in this swing state. Gardner has the momentum, leading almost every poll in the past month. Democrats contend their turnout operation can help them close the gap, but with the entire state voting by mail, it’s hard to predict turnout.

“5. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas

Roberts is in better shape than he was a month ago. He has pulled even with independent Greg Orman in the polls, and outside groups have helped the senator dominate the airwaves. But Roberts’ fate may still come down to whether Kansas voters can get over his lack of a permanent residence in the state he represents. If they can’t, no amount of money or star-studded stumping will keep him in the Senate.

“6. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

Republican Thom Tillis may have fought it to a tie, after narrowly trailing Hagan in polls for the past two months. This has been the most expensive Senate race this cycle, and both sides continue to pump money onto the already oversaturated airwaves.

“7. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

Shaheen retains the edge against former Sen. Scott P. Brown. But Brown has gradually closed the gap, and with the winds blowing in Republicans’ favor, this race could be a nail-biter — and an early harbinger of an ominous night for Democrats.

“8. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Despite Democrats’ extended investment of resources in support of Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has kept the race competitive, the Senate minority leader is favored to hold on by a small, single-digit margin and — should the GOP net six seats — become majority leader.

“9. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

At one point, there seemed to be an opening for Republican businessman Mike McFadden to mount a real challenge to Franken. But in polls from the past two months, Franken’s lead has never shrunk below seven points, and this race has fallen off the map for Republicans.

“10. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon

Merkley leads Republican Monica Wehby by an average of 13.5 points, according to RealClearPolitics. Expect to see him in the Senate next year.”

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