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The survey, which gauged voter sentiment in 13 of the states with the country’s most competitive Senate races, showed Republican Senate candidates averaging a high single-digit lead over their Democratic opponents, offering the same snapshot of an angry, uneasy electorate shown in poll after poll this year.
The Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies conducted the poll, testing 1,300 likely voters across the 13 states, for a small state-by-state sample of 100 respondents. That means that for the individual races, the survey’s margin of error is so wide as to render the results effectively meaningless.
But taken together, the results suggest Republicans have an opening to make substantial gains this fall, even to the point of putting the Democrats’ 59-seat majority in peril. In eight seats currently held by Democrats – Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington – Republican candidates average an edge of seven points over their Democratic opponents, leading 47 percent to 40 percent.