Struggle in full swing
The battleground states of the US midterm elections
Republicans are expected to hold on to their majority in the US House of Representatives in November 4th’s congressional midterm elections and are favoured to gain six seats to regain control of the 100-seat US Senate from the Democrats. This would give them a stranglehold on congress and kill Barack Obama’s hope of fulfilling his legislative ambitions in his final two years in the White House.
West Virginia The Republican congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito has consistently led West Virginia secretary of state Natalie Tennant, a Democrat, in the polls to succeed the retiring Democratic senator Jay Rockefeller in a race that has attracted high-profile politicians, such as Mitt Romney and Elizabeth Warren, to campaign for the candidates. Prospect: Republican gain
South Dakota The Democratic senate leader, Harry Reid, all but conceded this race when he said last month that the party would “more than likely” lose the Rushmore state. The Republican Mike Rounds, a former governor of South Dakota, is set to beat the Democrat Rick Weiland. Prospect: Republican gain
Montana Democrats face a struggle to hold the seat of the former senator Max Baucus, now US ambassador to China, after the party’s nominee, John Walsh, dropped out when it emerged he plagiarised parts of a master’s degree paper. Prospect: leaning to Republican gain
Alaska The freshman Democratic senator Mark Begich is edging it over the Republican Dan Sullivan in the polls as he distances himself from Obama in a conservative state. Prospect: leaning to Democratic hold
Louisiana In one of the toughest re-election battles, the Democrat Mary Landrieu is facing a strong candidate in Republican congressman Bill Cassidy. Prospect: leaning to Republican gain
Arkansas The two-term senator Mark Pryor is trying to cast himself as a moderate in the face of attacks by the Republican congressman Tom Cotton that he is too closely aligned with Obama and national Democrats. Prospect: leaning to Republican gain
Iowa A row with a neighbour over her chickens threatened to damage Democratic congressman Bruce Braley’s bid to beat state senator Joni Ernst for the seat being vacated by retiring five-term Democrat Tom Harkin. Prospect: too close to call
Colorado The Republican congressman Cory Gardner is giving Mark Udall a run for his money by countering the Democratic senator’s attempt to cast him as anti-woman over his past support for restricting access to contraception. Prospect: leaning to Democratic hold
Michigan No Republican has won a US Senate seat here since 1994, but the party nominee, Terri Lynn Land, hopes to eat away further at the lead of the Democratic congressman Gary Peters with the help of plenty of outside party money. Prospect: leaning to Democratic hold
Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky Republicans are vulnerable in these three states.