We are now in the final stretch of the midterm elections. We have looked at every Senate race in the country. Between now and Election Day we are going to make some revisions as needed.
Connecticut – Democrat Richard Blumenthal has opened a double-digit lead over Republican Linda McMahon. The multi-millionaire McMahon, who has put her own fortune into the race, is seeing firsthand how difficult it is for conservative Republicans to win in the Northeast. Even more striking is that it is a strong year for Republicans in other parts of the country. Perhaps the one exception in this region is New Hampshire, where Republicans may pick up as many as two House seats and retain control of retiring Republican Judd Gregg’s Senate seat. At any rate, Connecticut is moving from Leans Democrat to Likely Democrat.
Illinois – This is a race that should not have happened. Had it not been for the Rod Blagojevich deciding to try to sell a Senate seat (which resulted in a conviction of lying to the FBI), President Obama’s former seat would likely be held by a respected Congressperson like Jan Schakowsky or Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Instead, Democrats went through a messy ordeal where Blagojevich appointed sitting Senator Roland Burris, who decided not to run for the seat in his own right when he saw that he could neither raise the funds to mount a campaign nor win even if he had the fortune of Meg Whitman.
Democrats nominated the state’s Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a young Obama protégé. Unfortunately for the party, he carried baggage from a family bank that went into federal receivership after it suffered from the same mortgage crisis that had gripped other banks nationwide. His Republican opponent, Congressman Mark Kirk, has a habit of lying about his military record and teaching experience, as well as flip-flopping positions. Needless to say, Giannoulias should be far ahead in the polls, but the fact that it is a Republican year and his family bank problems are dragging him down. It will be one of the closest in the country and could be decided by the support of third party candidates. The Green Party candidate could hand this seat to Mark Kirk and the Republicans. This race is moving from Leans Democrat to Toss-up.
Kentucky – Democrats had hoped that Kentucky would be one of the few potential Republican seats that they could carry. Their candidate, Attorney General Jack Conway, is the Southern Democrat that can win statewide elections. Republican opponent Rand Paul is a quirky conservative that is too far right for even many Kentuckians. The race was close and some polls even had Conway ahead. Then the Conway campaign released an ad questioning Paul’s religion, saying that in college he worshiped “Aqua Buddha”, a reference to a CQ article alleging Paul forcibly told a woman in college to bow down and worship a bong that they smoked from. The Paul campaign immediately attacked the ad and the candidate himself refused to shake the hand of Conway at a debate. If the latest polls are any indication, the ad seems to have backfired, even if it is true. This race is moving from Toss-up to Leans Republican.
Below is a map of the Senate races that we have covered with the above mentioned revisions: