- The Washington Times - Monday, October 27, 2014

A flurry of new polls show Republicans in many of the most closely watched U.S. Senate races have slight leads as the party tries to net the six seats it needs to retake control of the Senate, but it appears things are still up for grabs about a week out from Election Day. Here are the latest numbers in some of the key races across the country.


GOP state Sen. Joni Ernst leads Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley by 3 points, 49 percent to 46 percent, in a new NBC/Marist poll, and a new CBS/NYT/YouGov poll has the race senate-races-battleground-tracker/” target=”_blank”>even at 44 percent apiece.

The two candidates are running to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin in a race in which Ms. Ernst has been holding a lead in much of the recent public polling.

Mr. Braley got a boost over the weekend with an endorsement from the editorial board of influential Des Moines Register.


Once thought by many in both parties to be on the outer tier of competitive Senate races this cycle, GOP Rep. Cory Gardner has run a spirited campaign against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and now leads by 1 point, 46 percent to 45 percent, in the NBC poll, while Mr. Udall has a 1-point lead, 47 percent to 46 percent, in the CBS poll.

In this race, Mr. Udall has tried to place much of the focus on Mr. Gardner’s stances on women’s health care and abortion.


GOP Rep. Tom Cotton is one of many candidates across the country who has relentlessly tied his Democratic opponent, incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, to President Obama, and he leads Mr. Pryor by 2 points, 45 percent to 43 percent, in the new NBC poll and by 5 points, 47 percent to 42 percent, in the new CBS poll.


After fending off a primary challenger in a closer-than-expected contest, incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts has been struggling to stay afloat in his race against independent candidate Greg Orman, but new numbers show Mr. Roberts has battled back from a deficit earlier this month.

Mr. Orman leads by 1 point, 45 percent to 44 percent, in the NBC poll and Mr. Roberts leads by 4 points in the new CBS poll, 42 percent to 38 percent.

Mr. Orman has not indicated which party he will caucus with if he wins, but national Republicans don’t want to take that chance, recently deploying more staff to the state in an effort to push down Mr. Orman’s numbers.


Comparatively scant polling in The Last Frontier makes Alaska a bit difficult to handicap, but Republican Dan Sullivan leads Democratic Sen. Mark Begich by 4 points in the new CBS poll, 48 percent to 44 percent, and by about 4 points in RealClearPolitics’ average of recent public polling on the race.

New Hampshire:

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who recently got a boost from Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on the trail, leads Republican Scott Brown by 5 points in the latest CBS poll, 46 percent to 41 percent, though other surveys have shown Ms. Shaheen with smaller leads.

Mr. Brown, who won a special election to fill the seat of the late Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts in 2010, lost his re-election bid to Ms. Warren in 2012 before deciding to take on Ms. Shaheen in New Hampshire.


Democrat Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, has given Democrats one of their only pick-up opportunities of the cycle with her campaign against businessman David Perdue, who has been forced to answer a number of questions about his business record over the past few weeks.

Mr. Perdue has a 3-point lead over Ms. Nunn, 47 percent to 44 percent, in the new CBS poll. If neither candidate can eclipse 50 percent on election day, the contest will head to a January run-off.


Along with Georgia, there is a distinct possibility of a run-off in Louisiana, with incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu trying to fend off a challenge from two Republicans. She leads GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy by five points, 37 percent to 32 percent, in the new CBS poll, with Republican Rob Maness taking 6 percent. But Mr. Cassidy leads Ms. Landrieu by 4 points, 46 percent to 42 percent, in a would-be runoff if nobody can crack 50 percent on Nov. 4.


Another seat Democrats eyed as a major pick-up opportunity this cycle was that of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but Mr. McConnell holds a 6-point lead, 45 percent to 39 percent, over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the new CBS poll and has a 4.4-point lead in RealClearPolitics’ latest average of public polling on the race.

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