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NEWSFLASH: U.S. Senate Race Goes To Wire

NEWSFLASH: U.S. Senate Race Goes To Wire


By Alastair Thompson

The race to control the US Senate in the US midterm congressional elections is going down to the wire with the most likely results a one seat majority to either party, or a tie.

The same four seats remain in play as outlined in our earlier Newsflash, Montana, Missouri, Virginia and Tennessee.

The late vote seems to be falling in favour of the Democrats and with 99% of the vote counted the Democrats Jim Webb is now ahead by three thousand votes in Virginia.

Meanwhile Montana's results seem to be following the indications in the exit poll with a nice lead opening up for the Democratic Challenger Jon Tester, ahead by 13% with 23% of precincts reporting. The Exit Poll indicated a 9% victory for Tester.

On the face of it this gives the Democrats a five seat pickup on the night and 50 seats in the Senate indicating a 50/50 tie.

In these circumstances the Vice President Dick Cheney is able to exercise a casting vote effectively maintaining GOP control of the Senate by a short nose.

An additional factor is Independent Joe Lieberman who, after losing the Democratic primary, has won the Senate seat for Connecticut. While Lieberman has said he will support the Democrats this remains to be seen as he is a keen supporter of the Iraq war and received substantial republican support in his election.

The Democrats now need to win either Tennessee or Missouri to win the Senate.

Both states presently show a 50,000 vote lead to Republican incumbent. The best chance appears to by Missouri where 35% of the vote remains to be counted; the exit poll showed a Democrat victory; and where CNN's Jeff Greenfield says uncounted areas are likely to be Democratic voter heavy.

At present Republican Jim Talent has a 52,000 vote majority (falling) over Claire McCaskill.

See the results as they update at.

http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/results/senate/

Tennessee is less likely to reverse. With 94% of the vote counted Republican Bob Corker has a lead of 49,000 votes over Democratic challenger Harold Ford.

(continuing…)

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