One day before the 2022 midterms, many Senate races are too close to call, leaving many wondering which party will control the upper house for the next two years.
In the high-stakes game of politics, some political pundits believe that control of the Senate will come down to a handful of races.
The Cook Political Report notes that the Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania races are too close to call, and 12 races could easily go either way. A brief profile follows:
The state has been blue since 2020 but has a history of voting red. Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) finds himself in a tough race against challenger Herschel Walker (R).
Warnock is a fiery Baptist pastor but has lost ground in recent weeks as his challenger has painted him as adopting progressive positions, offering more rhetoric than action and being involved in questionable business dealings.
Walker, a famed sports star, has fought allegations of paying two women to have abortions some years ago while maintaining a pro-life position today. Walker has also been the target of negative social media posts from his adult son.
Most believe Walker won the last debate, which boosted his chances of an underdog win.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) was favored to win in the early months of his candidacy. Though his initiatives have not been largely successful, many viewed his experience as a mayor and lieutenant governor positioned him to win in the left-leaning state.
His challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz (R), was a television personality but has no political experience.
Fetterman led in early polling but lost ground following his stroke in May.
His late October debate with Oz was widely viewed as a disaster for Fetterman who struggled with the prompter (a post-stroke aid designed to help him process questions) and offered several confused responses.
Oz and others claim that Fetterman’s stroke has compromised his ability to effectively serve as a senator. RealClear Politics notes that since the debate, Oz has pulled ahead in polling.
Nevada has been blue since 2016, but pollsters note that a red tide is rising. The latest polls show that Republican candidate Adam Laxalt has pulled ahead of incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D).
The Examiner noted that Masto’s lead evaporated as Hispanic voters appear to be rejecting progressive positions on abortion, the economy and education.
Like Nevada, Republicans are benefiting from Hispanic voters pushing back on Democratic progressive policies after voting for Biden in 2020.
Incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D) significant lead has evaporated as Republican challenger Blake Masters hammers Kelly on his Biden-aligned immigration and economic policies.
Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R) narrowly won elections in 2010 and 2016; many view him as one of the more vulnerable Republican incumbents coming into the race.
Though he maintained a small lead for months, in recent weeks his challenger, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, is closing the gap, according to polling by RealClear Politics.
Barnes seems to have benefited from an eleventh-hour endorsement and stumping from former President Barack Obama.
On the Democratic side of the aisle, Maggie Hassan (D) has been viewed as one of the more vulnerable Democratic incumbents in this election cycle. She is facing Don Bolduc (R), a relatively unknown whose changing answers regarding whether or not the “2020 election was stolen” have hurt his campaign.
According to The Examiner, “Hassan opened up a sizable lead” over the summer, but that lead has “begun to wither dramatically.”
Political forecasters seem to be split in how they assess the race — some predict the Senate race is leaning Republican and others argue the race is leaning Democrat.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D) exudes confidence that he will upset J.D. Vance (R) in Tuesday’s election.
Ryan and Vance are competing to fill an open seat left by retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R).
Vance is strongly aligned with Trump in the blue-leaning state. Ryan has sought to distance himself from Biden by noting instances in which he has voted against DNC initiatives and insists “he would be an independent voice in the Senate.”
A significant eleventh-hour infusion of funding from DNC coffers has made the Senate race competitive. Cheri Beasley (D) is challenging Rep. Ted Budd (R) for the open seat.
Campaign support by former President Obama has boosted her prospects in the tight race. Budd has benefited from a Trump endorsement.
The Cook Political Report notes that Budd maintains a slight lead in the race.
Challenger Tiffany Smiley (R) has surprised many with her effective fundraising and campaigning against long-time incumbent Sen. Patty Murray (D) in the left-leaning state.
Murray leads Smiley in polling, but her once sizable lead in the state Biden won by 19 points in 2020 has reduced significantly in recent weeks.
Smiley has professional but no political experience, which some pundits say may benefit her as Democrats across the country seem to be experiencing strong headwinds coming into the election.
Once viewed as a key swing state, Florida has shifted red in recent years.
Joe O’Dea (R) has the endorsement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the distain of former President Donald Trump. O’Dea has noted he would “do everything he could do” to oppose Trump if he decided to run for president in 2024.
Pollsters have noted that Trump continues to wield formidable influence in the party, and those who oppose him often do so at their peril.
The left-leaning state has been surprised by O’Dea’s strong showing against incumbent senator and former presidential candidate Michael Bennet (D). Bennet’s small lead makes the outcome of the election uncertain.
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