10/05/2014 03:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Battle For The Senate Close And Competitive In Latest Polling

The battle to control the Senate remains deeply competitive, according to new data from CBS/New York Times/YouGov polling conducted nationwide and NBC/Marist surveys in three key swing states.

"The fight for control of the Senate is stable and tight, with Republicans maintaining the inside track to a majority. ... Nonetheless, the data suggests that the Democrats retain a clear, if difficult, path to victory," The New York Times' Nate Cohn wrote, summarizing the CBS/NYT/YouGov results.

While the two sets of surveys differ on some individual states, their results are largely in line with other recent polling. Other forecasters have similarly found little change in their predictions as a result of the latest polls.

The GOP's chance of retaking the Senate ticked down on HuffPost Pollster's Senate forecast, which incorporates all publicly available polling. One reason for the change: the newest surveys push Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) up to a 61 percent chance of winning, edging North Carolina out of the tossup camp. Hagan's advantage, though sometimes small, has been consistent over the past month. The 13 most recent polls in the state, including those by partisan pollsters, have all shown her ahead by at least 1 percentage point.

Another reason for the slight shift in GOP fortunes: Michigan has also turned more solidly Democratic, with the forecast now giving Rep. Gary Peters an 88 percent chance of victory.

The HuffPost Pollster forecast still finds five swing states where the leading Senate candidate has less than a 60 percent chance of winning: Kansas, where the independent has an edge; Alaska and Arkansas, where Republicans hold a slight advantage; and Iowa and Colorado, where the races are virtually tied.

In Colorado, the Pollster model gives Sen. Mark Udall (D) a 50 percent chance of holding his seat against Rep. Cory Gardner (R). Sunday's CBS/NYT/YouGov poll is the first since early September to show Udall ahead. Recent Rasmussen and Suffolk/USA Today surveys also found a deadlocked race.

While Alaska remains relatively sparsely polled, the last four surveys of the state -- including by CBS/NYT/YouGov -- all show Sen. Mark Begich (D) in trouble, with Republican challenger Dan Sullivan leading by 2 to 6 points.

The latest surveys in Iowa have been more varied, with several showing a clear edge for state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) and others finding her deadlocked against Rep. Bruce Braley (D). The NBC/Marist and CBS/NYT/YouGov polls lean toward the latter camp, finding a 2-point edge for Ernst and a 1-point edge for Braley, respectively. The Pollster model finds the two effectively tied.

Polls have also varied on the Senate race in Arkansas, with CBS/NYT/YouGov, Rasmussen and the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling giving Rep. Tom Cotton (R) an edge of several points, while Suffolk/USA Today shows Sen. Mark Pryor (D) up by 2 points. The Pollster model finds the race nearly tied, with Cotton ahead by less than 2 points.

Most surveys conducted in Kansas give independent Greg Orman the edge over Sen. Pat Roberts (R). NBC/Marist finds Orman up by 10 points, his biggest lead to date, while CBS/NYT/YouGov has the race tied (see here for more on the race).

The NBC/Marist poll surveyed 636 likely voters in Kansas, 665 likely voters in North Carolina and 778 likely voters in Iowa between Sept. 27 and Oct. 1, using live interviewers to reach both landlines and cell phones. The national CBS/NYT/YouGov poll surveyed likely voters between Sept. 20 and Oct. 1, using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel.



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