Senate Control: Watch the Battlegrounds

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It's finally here–and those of us who have had to cover this midterm election from start to finish couldn't be happier. It's been a long, nasty, exhausting, and interesting season. And tonight we'll see whether the House changes hands–from Republican to Democratic–for the first time in 12 years, and whether the Senate follows suit. At this point, the House turnover almost seems like a done deal–with some seats lost because of scandal, others because of the war and the economy. The Democrats need six seats to win the Senate, but that could prove to be more problematic–so keep your eyes on battleground states like Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, and Montana.

The questions we have tonight going into this election:

  • Will the Republicans be able to hold down their losses despite an unpopular president and an unpopular war?
  • Will the Democrats be able to capitalize on this environment by convincing the public they are better equipped to handle the nation's problems?
  • And, will the technology of voter turnout really help the GOP–particularly in those close races?
  • There could also be some surprises, which is always fun:

    Will incumbent Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee be able to eke out a win in Rhode Island? (Wouldn't it be ironic if the most liberal Republican in the Senate saved GOP control for President Bush?) And the Dems say they have a shot at Arizona. And watch out also for Maryland–a heavily Democratic state the Republicans hope they can win with an attractive African-American candidate, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.

    Hey, what would an election be without surprises, right? Stay tuned.