Five of the 10 states where President Barack Obama has the worst job approval ratings are up for grabs in the Senate midterm elections - and could end up in GOP hands.
Republicans only need to pick up six seats to win a majority in the Senate, and according to new Gallup
tracking numbers, Democrats may face a tough time hanging on to these five states where Obama is generally unpopular.
The president' s approval rating
is below 35 percent in West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana, Alaska and Arkansas, all of which Democrats are hoping to defend in November.
The poor performance ratings may be the reason that the incumbent Democratic senators in the first three of those states are retiring or stepping down rather than seeking another term in office, says Politico.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller is retiring in West Virginia, where only 25 percent approve of Obama. Sen. Tim Johnson is retiring in South Dakota, which has 32 percent of residents giving Obama the thumbs up. Sen. Max Baucus is leaving Montana, where the president has a 33 percent rating, to become U.S. ambassador to China.
Sen. Mark Begich is seeking a second term in Alaska, where only 33.5 percent approve of the president, which may spur former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
to enter the race.
And in Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor
is not being helped by a 34.9 percent approval numbers for Obama while facing a tough challenge from Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, who has been leading him in the polls.
There's more bad news for Democrats in the Gallup tracking figures, with the president's performance ratings falling below 50 percent in both Minnesota and Michigan, which could result in the competitive seats going to the GOP in the upcoming elections.
Democratic Sen. Al Franken won a narrow victory in the 2008 election for Minnesota, and in Michigan, former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is comfortably ahead of Democratic Rep. Gary Peters in the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin.
Obama was most unpopular in Wyoming with just 22.5 percent believing he was doing a good job while he had his best numbers in Washington D.C. with an 81 percent approval rating.
The Gallup results are based on 178,000 daily tracking interviews conducted nationwide throughout the year with a minimum of 500 respondents.
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