Did Harry Reid curse Kirsten Gillibrand?

On September 20, the majority leader called New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand the "hottest" member of the Senate. But now, it seems that voters are starting to give her the cold shoulder. Gillibrand is only leading her Republican opponent, former congressman Joe DioGuardi, 48 percent to 42 percent in a new Quinnipiac poll. And as Jay Cost notes below, she only leads by 1 point in a new SurveyUSA poll:

In the Special Election to fill the final 2 years of Hillary Rodham Clinton's term, incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand and former Congressman Republican Joe DioGuardi today finish effectively even, with Gillibrand's nominal 1-point lead being within the survey's theoretical margin of sampling error.

Okay, maybe it's not fair to blame Harry Reid. There were warning signs weeks ago that this race would become competitive after the September 14 primary.

Based on recent polling (see RealClearPolitics' Senate race map), it seems to me there are 13 Democratic Senate seats in play:

Three likely pick-ups for Republicans: Arkansas, North Dakota, and Indiana.

Three seats lean Republican: Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Wisconsin.

Five seats are toss-ups: Nevada, Illinois, California, Washington, and West Virginia.

Two seats lean Democratic: Connecticut and New York.

Two seats are likely Democratic holds: Oregon and Delaware.

For the moment, Republicans seem to be holding on in their competitive races for open seats: Alaska, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, and New Hampshire.

Republicans need a net gain of 10 seats to take control of the Senate--still a real possibility.

Next Page