Monday, October 02, 2006
Countdown to November: Democrats Maintain Leads in Key Battleground States in Bid to Recapture Senate
The clock keeps ticking, with the November midterm elections just 35 days away. Democrats seek to regain control of the Senate, and are fighting fiercely in several critical states. Here's how the key battleground states are shaping up according to the latest polls:
-Virginia: Sen. George Allen's campaign continues to implode. Allen and Democratic challenger Jim Webb are now tied at 43.
-Tennessee: In the battle for the retiring Bill Frist's seat, Harold Ford Jr.'s been running an admirable campaign, and has pulled ahead of Bob Corker by 6 points.
-Missouri: Claire McCaskill and Sen. Jim Talent are in a dead heat at 43, with each candidate overtaking the other every few days.
-Ohio: Sherrod Brown maintains a 45-43 lead over Sen. Mike DeWine. In our opinion, Brown pummeled DeWine on Sunday's Meet the Press debate.
-Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse has a slight lead over Sen. Lincoln Chafee.
-Montana: Sen. Conrad Burns has been continuously slipping in the polls, and now trails Democratic challenger Jon Tester by 7 points.
-Pennsylvania: Sen. Rick Santorum still trails Bob Casey Jr. by a wide 9 point margin.
-New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez leads Tom Kean Jr. 44-41.
Democrats need six seats to regain a majority and therefore control the most important chamber of the most important branch of government. Several factors will continue to play a major role in this race: the Iraq war, terrorism, gas and oil prices, and Republican scandal. And just this week, two new wrenches have been thrown into the fray: Bob Woodward's explosive new book, "State of Denial," which chronicles the Bush administration's infighting and ineptitude over the war; and the allegations of sexual misconduct involving former Florida Rep. Mark Foley and several underage male Congressional pages. How will all this play out? Stay tuned.