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How Republicans Will Win the Senate

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
It gets tiresome hearing the conventional wisdom say that the Democrats will likely keep control of the Senate. Far from it.

To gain control, Republicans must win 10 new seats. An analysis of the latest polling data suggests that Republicans currently hold the lead in eight pick-up states: Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin, Washington state, Arkansas, Delaware, North Dakota and Indiana. In a ninth, Illinois, the candidates are tied, and in the 10th -- Nevada -- Harry Reid is ahead by only one point. And, for insurance, Barbara Boxer in California and Kirsten Gillibrand in New York are both below 50 percent of the vote. In Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal is only at 50 percent. That's a potential pickup of 13 seats and a likely gain of at least 10 (enough for a majority).

Any incumbent who is running at less than 50 percent of the vote is in serious trouble. It means that a majority of the voters have decided not to vote for him or her. (Asked if you are likely to be married to the same person next year, a vote of "undecided" does not bode well for your marriage.)

So here are the numbers:

Aug. 27 polls

Nevada: Reid (D) 45, Sharon Angle (R) 44 (Mason Dixon)

With Reid this far under 50 percent, Angle is likely to win

Aug. 26 polls

Florida (currently Republican): Marco Rubio (R) 40, Charlie Crist (I) 30, Kendrick Meek (D) 21 (Rasmussen)

So much for Crist!

Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey 40 (R), Joe Sestak (D) 31 (Franklin-Marshall)

Aug. 25 polls

Colorado: Ken Buck (R) 49, Michael Bennet (D): 40 (Reuters)

California: Boxer (D) 49, Carly Fiorina (R) 44 (Rasmussen) Boxer has gained a bit, but still in trouble

Louisiana (currently Republican): David Vitter (R) 51m Charlie Melancon (D) 41 (PPP)

Wisconsin: Ron Johnson (R) 47, Russ Feingold (D) 46 (Rasmussen)

Illinois: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 45, Mark Kirk (R) 45 (Rasmussen)

Aug. 24 polls

Missouri (currently Republican): Roy Blunt 54, Robin Carnahan 41 (Rasmussen)

Aug. 21 polls

Washington state: Dino Rossi (R) 52, Patty Murray (D) 45 (SurveyUSA)

Aug. 20 polls

Arkansas: John Boozeman (R) 65, Blanche Lincoln (D) 27 (Rasmussen) This is not a typo!

The most likely results are that Republicans win the eight seats in which they now lead and also take Illinois and Nevada for a gain of 10 seats and control. They also have a good shot in California and possible upsets in New York and Connecticut.

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