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The Journal Gazette

September 20, 2016 1:58 PM

Indiana Senate race a toss-up, analysts say

BRIAN FRANCISCO | Washington editor

The U.S. Senate race in Indiana between Democrat Evan Bayh and Republican Todd Young appears to be among the closest Senate contests in the country, according to campaign analysts.

In ratings released this week, The Fix blog at the Washington Post and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia named the same four Senate races as toss-ups seven weeks ahead of the November election -- Indiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

The Cook Political Report identified those states plus Florida and North Carolina as toss-ups in its Sept. 9 rating of Senate races.

"The fight for the Senate looks to be narrowing to Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada, and North Carolina," Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, wrote Friday.

Republicans have a 54-46 advantage in the Senate, with 34 seats up for election this year. In the event of a 50-50 split, the vice president becomes the tie-breaker on Senate votes – although advancing legislation to a final vote requires 60 votes.

The website FiveThirtyEight, which is run by statistician Nate Silver, said Tuesday that Democrats have a 57.2 percent chance of winning control of the Senate on Nov. 8.

The site projects that Bayh will defeat Young by 5.6 percentage points for the seat held by GOP Sen. Dan Coats. It predicted that Democratic candidates will win in Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and Republican incumbent senators will win in Florida and North Carolina.

bfrancisco@jg.net