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Friday, October 31, 2014

What America Thinks: Election Update – Week of 10/31/14

Thirty-six U.S. Senate seats are on the ballot this November. Twenty-one of them are held by Democrats and 15 by Republicans. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate.

South Dakota appears an almost certain GOP pickup, and Arkansas and Colorado are shifting that way. Louisiana still looks good for Republicans, but Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina all remain Toss-Ups.

Republican Mike Rounds now earns 45% of the vote in South Dakota to Democrat Rick Weiland’s 31% and independent Larry Pressler’s 21%. That seat is held by retiring Democratic Senator Tim Johnson.

Republican Congressman Tom Cotton has moved out to 51% to 44% lead over incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor in Arkansas.

Republican Cory Gardner now leads incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall 51% to 45% in Colorado.

In Louisiana, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu appears unlikely to cross the critical 50% mark which means she’s headed for a runoff. Right now, she earns 43% of the vote to Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy’s 36% and Tea Party Republican Rob Maness’ 13%. But in a hypothetical runoff contest between the two expected top vote getters, Cassidy leads Landrieu 50% to 46%.

Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley are now virtually tied in Iowa, 48% to 47%. This seat now belongs to a retiring Democrat.

Similarly, in North Carolina, it’s incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan with 47% support to Republican challenger Thom Tillis’ 46%.

In Georgia, Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn are tied with 48% support each. Like in Louisiana, this one could go to a runoff if no candidate clears the 50% mark next Tuesday. The seat is now held by a retiring Republican senator, so losing it would be a blow to GOP efforts to take control of the Senate.

At week’s end, the Rasmussen Senate Balance of Power Rankings show 15 races Safe Republican and nine Safe Democrat. Three lean Republican, four lean Democrat and one leans Independent. Four races are Toss-Ups.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.