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“First, the six most-competitive [Senate] contests are in states of varying shades of red” that Mr. Romney carried by mostly hefty margins. Alaska, by 14 points; Arkansas, 24 points; and Louisiana, 17 points — “making them tough states for Democrats these days.”

Mr. Romney also won in other key Senate-race states — in Georgia, for example, by 8 points, in Kentucky by a huge 23 points, but in North Carolina, by only 2 points.

Thus, Mr. Cook points out, while the GOP is being pounded for some “image problems nationally, it is far better off in these six states.”

Throw in another major factor in next year’s Senate sweepstakes: the special-interest voter groups that turned out for Mr. Obama in 2008 and 2012. Minorities, unmarried women and younger voters “are far less likely to turn out in a midterm election,” Mr. Cook says. “While Republicans have a narrow path to the majority, the seats they must win are in friendly states, and turnout will work in their favor because this is a midterm election.”

The bottom line is the U.S. economy is poised to turn the Senate over to the GOP.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.