Races To Know: The Map With One Week To Go
THE SENATE: With just six days to go before the votes are cast, the Races to Know become the Races to Watch; the truly close ones that will make the difference for Senate Republicans between a good election night and a great one. Today, there are four races that are within the margin of error. In Nevada, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican nominee Sharron Angle watch the lead between them see-saw almost daily, and neither is ever up more than a point or two.
Illinois is next as Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and GOP Rep. Mark Kirk battle it out for Pres. Obama's seat. Party strategists differ over which candidate holds a tenuous lead of one to three points, but Republicans feel that Giannoulias hurt his chances last week when he accused Kirk of committing "economic treason."
Then there is Colorado where the political environment favors GOP Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck over appointed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. Buck has made his share of rookie mistakes that could cost him the race, while Bennet has run a textbook campaign. Finally, there is California where a late infusion of cash may help former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina close the gap with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is only ahead by three or four points.
THE GOVERNORS: There are six gubernatorial contests that remain within the margin of error; three held by each party. Democrats are trying to hang on to Ohio where Gov. Ted Strickland and GOP former Rep. John Kasich are within a point or two of each other. In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is fighting back a challenge from former Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charlie Baker (R) as Democratic-turned-independent state Treasurer Tim Cahill plays the role of spoiler. In Oregon, former Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber wants his old job back, but is running even with former Portland Trailblazer Chris Dudley (R).