WaPo reports that Dems are ahead in three key Senate races (via HuffPo Hill):
The latest Marquette Law School poll of the Wisconsin Senate race shows Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) leading former governor Tommy Thompson (R) , 50 percent to 41 percent, a sharp turnabout from a mid-August survey that showed the Republican ahead by the same margin…
A Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll released Wednesday showed Baldwin tied with Thompson, after trailing by 6 points last month…
A race that does not appear to be tightening is the one in Virginia, where former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine has built a lead in two new polls, one from the Washington Post and another from Quinnipiac/NYT/CBS. Kaine leads former senator George Allen (R) by 8 percentage points in the former survey and 7 in the latter.
In Massachusetts, where Sen. Scott Brown (R) seemed to do everything right this summer, four polls released this week showed Democrat Elizabeth Warren holding a slight lead. One pollster characterized the boost in support for Warren as a post-convention bounce.
Democrats are now favored to retain control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast, breaking a summer stalemate during which control of the chamber appeared about equally likely to go either way.
An unusually large number of Senate races remain competitive, meaning that a wide range of outcomes are still possible. Republicans have about a 10 percent chance of winning a net of at least six seats from Democrats, according to the forecast, which would give them control of at least 53 seats next year. However, there is also about a 20 percent chance that Democrats could actually gain Senate seats on balance, giving them at least 54. The only thing that seems completely assured is that neither party will control enough seats next year to hold a filibuster-proof majority.
But the odds of a favorable overall outcome for Democrats have increased in recent weeks. The forecast model now gives them a 70 percent chance of controlling the chamber, either by having at least 50 seats and the presidency, or 51 without it.
And HuffPost reports that the Rs are losing it over Romney’s disaster of a campaign (and I wonder whether the Dems’ success at the state level isn’t in part due to Romney as well):
REPUBLICANS STARTING TO FREAK OUT – Over the last few weeks, McLean doctors have been hit up for Xanax refills earlier than expected, Lexuses have been driven a bit more aggressively down 66 and children have been paid even less attention. GOP strategists are LOSING IT.
Jon Ward: “Now it’s Republicans who are frightened. Mitt Romney’s recent troubles have created a sense of gloom, and a good dose of doom, in the Grand Old Party…
‘There’s a feeling of almost that this thing’s in free fall,’ said a Republican consultant with deep experience on Capitol Hill and extensive contacts in the Romney campaign. ‘When campaigns spend an enormous amount of time trying to figure out why they’re broken, I don’t know if they ever come back,’ said this Republican, who like others who spoke about their frustration, did not want to be identified.
Another operative who has worked for the Republican Party on many national congressional campaigns was blunt about his feelings. ‘I’m pretty discouraged. The thing is, [Democrats] ran Jimmy Carter, and we answered with Thomas Dewey,’ he said, referring to the Republican politician who lost presidential elections in 1944 and 1948. ‘And it didn’t have to be that way.’”