GOP well-positioned to win Senate, say independent analysts

Voters get a sticker to encourage others to vote, November 6, 2012.
Voters get a sticker to encourage others to vote, November 6, 2012. MCT

Republicans are looking strong, and are well-positioned to pick up the six Senate seats they need to control the chamber, two independent analysts said Monday.

“Though our range for the Senate is GOP gains of five to eight seats, I believe it is most likely Republicans will win six to eight seats,” said Stuart Rothenberg. His count does not include Kansas, which he said “I treat as a Democratic takeover if Greg Orman wins, even though he has suggested that he will caucus with the GOP if they are in the majority.”

At the University of Virginia Center for Politics, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball predicted a pickup of eight seats.

It also had some warnings.

“The Kansas race between embattled, weak Sen. Pat Roberts and independent Greg Orman is perhaps the closest, most difficult-to-predict Senate race in the country,” it said. “However, at the end of the day, a Republican has not lost a Senate race in this state since 1932. It may happen, but we just can’t pull the trigger and predict it.”

They also saw Georgia and Louisiana as trending Republican. If no one gets a majority in those states, runoff elections will be held. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is fighting to hold her seat, while in Georgia, Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn are in a tight contest to succeed retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

“Louisiana will, and Georgia might,” go to runoff, the analysis said, “but we now believe Republicans are favored to eventually win both. So we’re just going to call both leans Republican going into Election Day.”