“Nine Republican-held Senate seats continue to be at great risk, giving Democrats at least a theoretical possibility of getting to 60 seats after the November elections,” Stuart Rothenberg writes in Roll Call.
“Increasingly, it appears that three seats could well determine whether the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee can reach that magic number: North Carolina, Minnesota and Mississippi.
“Republican nominees in five GOP Senate seats are now running behind their Democratic opponents in at least some public polling: former Gov. Jim Gilmore in Virginia, Rep. Steve Pearce in New Mexico, former Rep. Bob Schaffer in Colorado, Sen. Ted Stevens in Alaska and Sen. John Sununu in New Hampshire.
“One other GOP incumbent, Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, appears to be in a difficult race with challenger Jeff Merkley , Democrat, based both on some limited polling and Smith’s cam- paign decisions.
“Two Republicans under attack, Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, appear to be comfortably ahead and likely to win.
“That leaves races involving Sens. Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina, Norm Coleman in Minnesota and Roger Wicker of Mississippi as the three most critical that will decide how close Senate Democrats get to 60 seats in the next Congress.”