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Republicans still favored in midterm elections, but their chances for taking back Senate are dropping – News Opener

Republicans are widely expected to score wins in this November’s midterm elections, thanks in large part to Americans’ frustrations with raging inflation.

High prices for gasoline
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+1.13%

and other essentials are helping to keep President Joe Biden’s approval ratings low — and giving a talking point for Republicans to use against Biden and his fellow Democrats.

But the GOP’s odds for taking back control of the Senate have fallen significantly this month, as shown in the chart below that’s based on data from betting market PredictIt. They’re down to around 63%, off from nearly 80% in mid-June.

Republicans’ odds for regaining the House haven’t seen that type of drop and remain strong — at about 86%.

The decline in the GOP’s Senate odds has come as June polls in some key races favor Democrats.

In Pennsylvania’s Senate race, for example, Democratic candidate John Fetterman had a 9-point advantage over GOP nominee Mehmet Oz, and in Georgia’s contest, incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock had a 10-point edge over Republican candidate Herschel Walker.

From MarketWatch’s archives (May 2022): Dr. Oz, an ex-Bridgewater CEO and the ‘gentle giant’: How the Pennsylvania Senate race could shake up national politics

And see: Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade could boost Democratic turnout for midterm elections

To be sure, the GOP still looks likely to take back the 50-50 Senate, which Democrats currently control only because Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tiebreaking votes.

It’s tough for Democrats to keep their grip on the chamber “in a situation where Senate outcomes correlate heavily with presidential job approval,” said Sean Trende, senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics, in a column published Wednesday.

“While Republican candidate quality is an issue, good analysis should not lose sight of the fact that environment matters as well, and probably more so these days,” Trende wrote.

“While we should give more than a cursory nod to the possibility that Democrats will hold the Senate (unlike the possibility that Democrats will hold the House, which is barely worth that nod), we should also say with some confidence that Republicans are the favorites to win,” he also said.

The additional charts below shows key Senate races to watch, as well as the performance of each party in a generic congressional ballot.

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