As America Heads To The Polls, Momentum Is In Republicans’ Favor

Election night is always exciting. Even when polling has predicted the overall outcome well before November 4th arrives, there are always upsets and victories across the nation that make staying up until the bitter end worth it.

I’m sure that this year will be the same. There are key races I’ve been following – in the Senate and certainly on the gubernatorial level – that have been essentially deadlocked for months.

That said, there is no disputing the fact that momentum has been shifting the Republicans’ way lately. Just in the last few days, two toss-up Senate seats that the Democrats had a chance at securing have shifted into the Real Clear Politics “leans GOP” column.

Republican challenger Tom Cotton is now leading Democrat incumbent Mark Pryor in Arkansas. The latest polls have Cotton up seven points or more, a steep margin for Pryor to overcome.


And in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to be on firm footing. He is up eight points or more on Alison Grimes and his campaigning over the last few days shows it. His ads and speeches aren’t focused on what he’ll do if reelected anymore – he’s talking about what he’s going to do as Majority Leader. I would always warn candidates against taking anything for granted, but things are clearly going McConnell’s way.

These two shifts put Republicans up 47-45 in the Senate. And although races in Colorado, Iowa and Alaska have Republicans leading within the margin of error, momentum is working in their direction.

As I argued on Political Insiders this weekend on Fox News, the Democrats that are still in their races and could very well pull them out have been able to hang on because they’re good candidates: likeable, tough, principled and savvy.

Jeanne Shaheen has navigated her way back from a few points down to a slight edge over Scott Brown in New Hampshire by emphasizing her strong record in the senate and creating distance between herself and President Obama. And in North Carolina, Kay Hagan’s reelection race has become the most expensive in the country with a reported $100 million spent. Hagan is maintaining her edge over Thom Tillis by casting herself as a moderate candidate with experience in the working world and as a stay-at-home mom before she got into politics.

The “real world” candidate angle has appealed to North Carolinian voters and others across the country. This is true most notably in Kansas, where Independent challenger Greg Orman holds a slight lead over longtime Republican Senator Pat Roberts going into tomorrow’s election.

I have worked for much of my career in support of Independent candidates, including former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Maine Senator Angus King. To this end, I helped facilitate the organization of a Super PAC in support of Orman because I strongly believe that his message that he will “go to Washington as a problem solver, not a partisan” will – and should – resonate with voters.