Four key races: The most important races to watch are in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. For Republicans to have a Senate majority, they need to win two of these races. If they only win one, or none, the Democrats will maintain their majority.
Blake Masters (R) is a venture capitalist and protégé of right-wing billionaire Peter Thiel.
Mark Kelly (D) is the incumbent as well as a retired astronaut, U.S. Navy captain, and businessman.
Just days ago, the third-party Libertarian candidate dropped out of the race and endorsed Masters, whose campaign focuses on the economy and poor border policies. A large percentage of Arizona is independent, meaning the endorsement should be a boost for Masters. Still, Kelly is a long-respected figure in Arizona.
Kelly currently holds a two-point lead over Masters.
Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) is a celebrity TV host and a retired cardiothoracic surgeon.
John Fetterman (D) is Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor.
Five months ago, Fetterman experienced a stroke and has since had difficulty communicating and processing information. His campaign kept quiet about the health issue, but it was displayed during last week's debate between the two candidates. This shocked the general public and pushed the center-leaning Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to endorse Oz publicly, citing Fetterman’s lack of transparency.
Fetterman still holds a 1.2-point lead.
Herschel Walker (R) is a famous former football player.
Raphael Warnock (D) is the incumbent and an American pastor.
Both have their share of controversies, but inflation, crime, and other vital economic issues have pushed voters to Walker, in spite of recent scandals accusing the candidate of paying for abortions despite presenting himself as a pro-life politician.
Walker holds a 1.6-point lead.
Adam Laxalt (R) is an attorney and politician who served as Nevada’s Attorney General.
Catherine Cortez Masto (D) is an incumbent senator and lawyer.
Many political analysts view Masto as the Democrat most at risk of losing her Senate seat, which prompted former President Barack Obama to hold a Nevada rally for her just yesterday. Though Masto is Hispanic, the trend of Hispanics moving toward Republican candidates is one of the reasons behind the Democrat’s poor performance. Voters were also displeased with Masto’s endorsement of pandemic lockdowns and the current state of the economy.
Laxalt holds a 1.9-point lead.
The state of America: In many ways, these polls serve more as an indication of the public’s disdain toward the Democratic party rather than its endorsement of the Republican candidates themselves. The Democrats in these states face an uphill battle campaigning under the party most Americans feel is not adequately addressing the economic troubles they face.
Underestimating polls: Pollsters have underestimated the performance of Republicans in the last three election cycles. The same phenomenon may be at play.