Sabato: Polls Look Good For GOP to Gain Seats, Control Senate

Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 11:25 PM

By Greg Richter

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If the polls hold up through Labor Day, Republicans are poised to gain seats in both houses of Congress and even take control of the Senate, says political scientist Larry Sabato.

A New York Times/CBS News poll on Thursday showed Republicans with a three percent lead in a generic race that asked whether people would vote for a Republican or Democrat.

Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Hannity," Sabato, head of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, said if the GOP still leads in September, they can expect to pick up the six Senate seats needed for a majority.

Republicans already control the House of Representatives, but will pick up seats there as well, he said, likely in the single digits.

Sabato sees two autoautomatic Senate seat pickups in West Virginia and South Dakota. Republicans also have good chances in Montana and Alaska. The other close races are in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.

But the battleground expanded on Wednesday when Rep. Corey Gardner in Colorado decided to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

"Suddenly, Colorado's on the map of closely contested Senate races," Sabato said.

Democrats see the writing on the wall, Sabato said, and are pushing minimum wage and income inequality in hopes of rallying their base, which is currently far less enthusiastic about showing up at the polls than Republicans, who have Obamacare and other issues firing them up.

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