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Friday, October 17, 2014

What America Thinks: Election Update—Week of 10/17/14

Thirty-six U.S. Senate seats are on the ballot this November. Twenty-one of them are held by Democrats and 15 by Republicans. The GOP needs a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate, and while Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa and Louisiana are all Toss-Ups in the Rasmussen Reports 2014 Senate Balance of Power rankings, they appear to be moving the Republicans' way.

Republican Joni Ernst has edged slightly ahead of Democrat Bruce Braley in Iowa’s closely-watched Senate race this week. She now leads 48% to 45%.

Republican challenger Dan Sullivan has an identical 48% to 45% lead over Democratic incumbent Mark Begich in Alaska.

In Arkansas, Republican challenger Tom Cotton still holds a narrow three-point advantage over Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor, 47% to 44%.

In all three states, the Republicans have wider leads among those who say they are definitely going to vote.

In Louisiana, incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu remains well short of the critical 50% plus one mark she needs. If no candidate gets a simple majority on Election Day, the top two vote-getters proceed to a December 6 runoff. Right now, Landrieu leads Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy 41% to 38%, with several other candidates in the race. If it's a runoff between Landrieu and Cassidy, however, the Republican posts a 52% to 43% lead.

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

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