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Friday, August 22, 2014

What America Thinks: Election Update – Week of 8/22/14

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 West Virginia and Montana are shaping up as two of its best bets.

Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito has jumped to a 17-point lead over Democrat Natalie Tennant - 50% to 33% - in West Virginia's U.S. Senate race. At stake is the seat held by retiring Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller. West Virginia now moves from Leans Republican to Safe Republican in the Rasmussen Reports 2014 Senate Balance of Power rankings.

In Montana, Democrats were forced to pick a new candidate just last weekend when their first candidate resigned in a plagiarism scandal. This one's a longtime Democratic Senate seat, too, but Republican Congressman Steve Daines leads newcomer Amanda Curtis by 20 points – 55% to 35%. This keeps Montana Safe Republican in our Balance of Power rankings.

No upsets seems likely at this point in Minnesota. Incumbent Democratic Senator Al Franken has an eight-point lead over Republican challenger Mike McFadden, 50% to 42%. This race Leans Democrat in the Balance of Power rankings. Democratic Governor Mark Dayton also has an eight-point lead in his bid for reelection in Minnesota. This race, too, is rated Leans Democrat.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker runs neck-and-neck with Democratic challenger Mary Burke – 48% to 47% - in what may be the nation’s most closely-watched governor’s race. Wisconsin remains a Toss-Up on the Rasmussen Reports 2014 Gubernatorial Scorecard.

At week’s end, the Rasmussen Senate Balance of Power Rankings show 13 races Safe Republican and six Safe Democrat. Three lean Republican, while two lean Democrat. Six races are Toss-Ups.

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