Sabato: GOP Senate Picks Ups Probably 'Plus Six' in Midterms

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 08:55 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Apart from some unforeseen event, Republicans are positioned to pick up four to eight Senate seats in the November midterm elections, says Larry Sabato, head of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

"We've got Republicans picking up between four and eight seats; they need six to take control," Sabato told J.D. Hayworth and David Patten on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "We have called 'plus six,' which is the absolute minimum needed to take control as slightly probable at present."

However, Sabato explained that it can be difficult to predict the outcome of an election that is six months away.

"It is certainly possible that somebody could get indicted, that's happened or that somebody could make some giant gaffe on one side or another and throw a Senate race, it's so easy to do and it's impossible to know in May," he added.

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One of the two most likely pickups will be Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, won the Mountain State's Republican primary Tuesday, Sabato said, with South Dakota being the other.

Montana is also likely to go the Republicans, the head University of Virginia professor added.

"Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina . . . are at best toss-ups for the Democrats," he said.

Sabato said that the challenge for Rep. Tom Cotton, who is running against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, will be whether or not he's able "to make Mark Pryor's name synonymous with Barack Obama."

"If that happens, he's in, I mean it's that simple," he added.

Sabato wrote in an opinion piece for Politico Tuesday that the GOP is "rooting for an impressive tidal wave, if not a full fledged historic tsunami."

However, he added that "Republicans could hurt their chances . . . by running bad candidates."

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