Key Senate races in Iowa and Colorado appear closer down the stretch because Democrats are rounding up voters in a late push to save seats and preserve their endangered majority, a Quinnipiac University Poll official told Newsmax TV
In fact, these races have been "very close" for a while, Quinnipiac assistant director Peter Brown told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner, discussing Democrat Bruce Braley versus Republican Joni Ernst in Iowa, and incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall versus Republican Rep. Cory Gardner in Colorado.
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Brown agreed that the overall environment for Republicans nationwide appears favorable
just ahead of Tuesday's midterm election.
"They look at race after race and see that things are more likely than not to go their way in terms of Senate control," he said.
But he added that "there are many close ones, so it's not easy to look at them and say, 'Oh, this is a sure thing.'"
Brown said that if anything is close to certain, it is that Senate seats in South Dakota and Montana will turn Republican on Tuesday. He said the GOP, which needs to flip six seats to win back a majority, also has "a good shot" at welcoming new senators from Alaska, North Carolina and Arkansas.
Meanwhile, the Senate races in Iowa and Colorado — where conservatives Ernst and Gardner, respectively, have emerged as potential new GOP stars — have been tight even allowing for the natural ups and downs of polling, he said.
Braley, for example, was behind by five points to Ernst in a Quinnipiac poll last week, but closed the gap in the Quinnipiac survey released on Monday morning.
"To some degree he's doing a little bit better among independents than he was doing," said Brown. "But it's just a tight race. The thing about campaigns is, there's an ebb and flow to them, and what we don't know is what side of the margin of error things work out."
He said Monday's Quinnipiac poll for Iowa has a 3.5 percent margin of error, "which means that it could go anywhere from Braley being up 3.5 to Ernst being up 3.5. That's just the way these things work.
"But that's close," said Brown, "and we expect tomorrow night it'll be late into the night before we know for sure who wins the Iowa Senate race."
Gardner has led Udall consistently — but by the narrowest of margins — in nearly every voter survey taken in October by various polling organizations. Gardner also appears to have a sizable lead in Colorado's early balloting
Brown said what might keep Udall close is "some coming-home by Democrats" who have only just began paying attention to the race, "especially given the enormous amount of publicity that has occurred the last couple of weeks on the notion that the Republicans are going to win the Senate."
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