The GOP’s original plan to regain Senate control hinged on picking up seats in Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri, states Mitt Romney is expected to win and where the Democratic Senate candidates are trailing in the polls. Without Missouri, party strategists say, there will be an enhanced focus on, and heavier investments in, open-seat races in Wisconsin and New Mexico, as well as Democrat Bill Nelson’s seat in Florida.Recent polling shows Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson with a lead over Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, while Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich is leading former Republican Rep. Heather Wilson in New Mexico, and Sen. Bill Nelson is leading Republican Rep. Connie Mack in Florida. So if Missouri doesn't pan out, Wisconsin becomes Republicans' best bet.
The truth is, Republicans have a friendly Senate map this year, and they have the money advantage. Fortunately for Democrats, Republicans also have candidates like Todd Akin, who occasionally let voters in on policy positions that the Republican party tries to keep secret even as it writes them into its platform.