Republicans have Senate takeover in their sights, races remain close

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from FoxNews,

After eight years in the proverbial wilderness, Republicans are feeling confident about their chances of reclaiming the Senate majority in next week’s elections – as the two-year, bare-knuckle battle boils down to about 10 key races in the final days.

“The reality is, we have 10 great candidates,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told Fox News.

He added: “There’s genuine concern about the direction the country has gone with President Obama and his policies.”

From Alaska to Iowa to Louisiana, candidates are locked in tight and tough battles, with Republicans needing a net total of six seats to take control of the Senate – and, presuming they hold their House majority, Congress. The Obama factor has loomed large over the races, as Republicans methodically have tried to tie their rivals to the unpopular president.

Five days before the big day, the map looks like this:

Republicans need six seats and see three pickups as a virtual lock — Montana, South Dakota (despite a recent scare in that state), and West Virginia.

From there, Republicans would need to win three of the following Democrat-held seats: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina. Then there’s the bonus state of New Hampshire, where Republican Scott Brown has been closing the gap against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Republicans, though, might need to make additional gains in those states, with three of their own seats being challenged, in Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky.

The outcome continues to be anybody’s guess, and the possibility of runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia means the balance of power could be undetermined for weeks after Election Day.

The latest Fox News poll points to a tight contest. Though Republican voters were more enthusiastic than Democrats – indicating potentially higher turnout – on the question of which party voters would prefer in control, the numbers tightened.

Likely voters said they want Republicans to win control of the Senate by 47-45 percent. Two weeks ago, it was 47-43 percent.

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