The momentum has swung toward the Republicans in the final days of the midterm elections, with the GOP poised to take control of the Senate, but there are still a number of uncertain factors that will determine the final outcome, according to Politico
A number of key races that have been neck-and-neck for months have shifted toward the Republicans, including the open seats in Iowa and Georgia. Kentucky, meanwhile, has moved decisively in favor of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Specifically, new NBC News/Marist polls released Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" show Republicans leading in key races
In Iowa, a Des Moines Register poll
shows Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst with a 7-point lead over Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley.
The NBC News/Marist poll result for Georgia gives Republican David Perdue a 4-point lead against Democrat Michelle Nunn at 48 percent to 44 percent, still within the margin of error, according to Politico.
In Kentucky, the NBC News/Marist poll showed McConnell with 50 percent support compared to 41 percent for Democrat challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Republicans were already expected to win Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia, giving the GOP three out of the six seats needed to regain control of the Senate.
Other races also appear to favor the GOP.
Louisiana's race may not be decided on election night if any of the three candidates fails to win 50 percent, but in a likely run-off in December, the poll predicted Republicans would win. Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu has the lead against the two GOP candidates, Rep. Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness, but when each are polled in head-to-head match-ups with Landrieu for a run-off, both of the Republicans are predicted to win 50 percent.
Kansas continues to remain uncertain for Republicans, however. Incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts brought in a star-studded line-up of Republicans to campaign for him this weekend, including Sen. Majority Leader Bob Dole and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, according to Politico.
Independent Greg Orman, however, is one-point ahead of Roberts in the most recent poll
by Fox News, though Roberts leads by one-point in a YouGov poll covering the same time frame.
"The national atmosphere, namely President Barack Obama's unpopularity, may be more than Democrats' historic investment in turnout can overcome," Politico said.
At the same time, there is a list of factors dependent on Republican performance which will ultimately determine the result, Politico said.
In Kansas, more Republicans will need to support Roberts than the current polls are showing. At the moment, just 76 percent of Republicans say they are behind him, according to the Fox News poll.
In North Carolina, while 48 percent of early ballots have been for Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan, she is just 1-point ahead
of Republican challenger Thom Tillis in a recent Fox News poll and 2-points ahead in the CNN poll.
The race could come down to whether Tillis is able to increase his share of the white vote given that black voters strongly favor Hagan, Politico said.
Polls show that Colorado GOP Rep. Cory Gardner is leading Democrat Sen. Mark Udall, but a new vote-by-mail system introduced in the state could boost turnout, potentially giving the Democrats a surprise victory.
Also, Colorado Democrats have been more successful in winning independent voters in past cycles than Republicans, and the two are currently tied among independents according to a recent poll, Politico reported.
Republicans may also be affected by last-minute voting dynamics in Alaska and Arkansas.
In Alaska, Republican Dan Sullivan is leading in most polls but Libertarian Party candidate Mark Fish could draw support from the GOP, possibly making the difference in a close race, Politico said.
And in Arkansas, GOP Rep. Tom Cotton is currently the favorite to prevail over Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor, but support for a ballot measure to increase the state's minimum wage could drive more voters to the polls who favor Pryor, Politico reported.
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