10 Senate Races to Watch

Dems could pick up 8 seats; GOP could oust Landrieu in La.
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 3:11 PM CDT

With 35 Senate seats up for grabs Tuesday, Chris Cillizza, in the Washington Post, predicts Democrats will flip eight. Two more are close calls for the Dems, while the GOP has one hope for a pickup. Starting with the most likely:

  1. Virginia is in the bag for Mark Warner; he might even get 60% of the vote.
  2. New Mexico will fall easily to Tom Udall...
  3. ...while his cousin, Mark Udall, has pulled away in Colorado.

  1. Ted Stevens, now a convicted felon, will probably lose in Alaska to Mark Begich—but by a narrow margin.
  2. The ugly New Hampshire race has settled in favor of Jeanne Shaheen, who should unseat John Sununu.
  3. Kay Hagan looks poised for the upset of the night over North Carolina's Elizabeth Dole, whose attack ads have backfired.
  4. In Oregon, GOP incumbent Gordon Smith has run several ads featuring Barack Obama—but privately his campaign thinks he'll lose to Jeff Merkley.
  5. Norm Coleman and Al Franken are neck-and-neck in Minnesota; this should be the closest race of the night.
  6. The shocker of the campaign is Georgia, where Saxby Chambliss and and Dem challenger Jim Martin may face a run-off thanks to a third-party nominee.
  7. In Kentucky, GOP minority leader Mitch McConnell will probably survive, but the race has tightened.
Only Louisiana offers a possible GOP pickup: one poll says Mary Landrieu is tied with challenger John Kennedy. (Read more Senate stories.)

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