Good news for Democrats: Their tough races in red states are not being nationalized. Their fundraising and candidates in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina are still running strong, particularly in North Carolina where Kay Hagan is building a small, lead over the very unpopular Tom Tillis. If these races remain candidate-based Democrats have a chance to maintain their majority.
Good news for Republicans: Iowa and Colorado have moved into toss-up territory. Republicans have capitalized on weak Democrats in those states and expanded the map. In Montana, their brief worries that the short-time Democratic incumbent might be back in the race abated when a plagiarism scandal all but ended the race (again).
Projection – Democrats 50, Republicans 50
Current Senate make-up- Democrat 55 (including 2 independents), Republican 45.
Seats not up for re-election – Democrat 34, Republican 30.
Safe Democrat (6)- Delaware, Hawaii*, Illinois*, Massachusetts*, New Jersey*, Rhode Island*
Lean Democrat (5)- Minnesota*, New Hampshire*, Oregon*New Mexico*, Virginia*,
Slight Lean Democrat (3)- Colorado*, Michigan, North Carolina*
Toss-up (4) – Alaska*, Arkansas*, Iowa, Louisiana*,
Lean Republican (5) - Georgia, Kentucky*, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia
Safe Republican (13)- Alabama*, Idaho*, Kansas*, Maine, Mississippi*, Nebraska, Oklahoma (2), South Carolina (2)*, Tennessee*, Texas*, Wyoming*
*Denotes incumbent is running
Races most likely to change parties
1. South Dakota (75%) Polls, candidate, environment, and terrain favor GOP.
2. West Virginia (75%) Polls, candidate, environment, and terrain favor GOP.
3. Montana (75%) Polls, environment, and terrain favor GOP.
4. Louisiana (50%) Terrain and environment favor GOP. Solid Democratic incumbent. Looks like a December run-off.
5. Arkansas (50%) Terrain and environment favor GOP. Solid Democratic incumbent.
6. Alaska (50%) Terrain and environment favor GOP. Strong Democratic incumbent.
7. Iowa (50%) Republicans got their candidate. Terrain slightly favors Democrats, while environment slightly favors Republicans.
8. Colorado (45%) Terrain slightly favors Democrats. Environment favors GOP.
9. North Carolina (45%) Terrain and environment slightly favor GOP. Mediocre Democratic incumbent, fractured GOP. Republican candidate has very high unfavorables.
10. Michigan (40%) Terrain favors Democrats. Environment slightly favors Republicans. Democrat is starting to build a small but consistent lead.
11. Kentucky (40%) Terrain and environment favor GOP. The later it gets with the race still tied, the more vulnerable McConnell looks.
12. Georgia (40%) Terrain and environment favor GOP. Solid Democratic candidate.
13. Minnesota (15%) Terrain and candidates favors Democrats. 14. New Hampshire (15%) Terrain and candidates favors Democrats.
15. Virginia (5%) Terrain and candidates favors Democrats.