ABC Offers In-Depth Look at Top Senate Races

VIDEO: The President wrapped-up his final multi-state campaign swing.

Republicans are riding a wave of anti-Washington furor nationwide, but while their prospects for taking control of the House look good, it will be a tougher road to the Senate, according to ABC's latest analysis. The last time one House changed hands without the other on Election Night was in 1910. That was before women could vote and before voters elected senators by direct ballot.

It has not been a smooth year for Republicans nationally. The Republican Pary's preferred candidates lost the primary in eight races, from Kentucky and Nevada to Utah and Alaska. Instead of supporting Republican Party-groomed candidates, the party has found itself supporting political neophytes.

Here is a look at ABC's coverage of some of this year's marquee Senate races.


In Nevada, the top Democrat in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, is in the fight of his political life. Reid has had close races throughout his political career – he won by a mere 524 votes in 1998. But his race against tea party favorite Sharron Angle is one of the most expensive and personal in the country. Angle has been assailed by Reid as a crack pot. She targeted him as Washington insider. She has avoided the press in recent months after interviews she gave on conservative radio stations. She referred to "second amendment remedies" as a way for people to deal with politicians. And she accused Reid of breaking the first commandment by trying to put government before God. TV ads in Nevada have been some of the meanest in the country. Reid's camp has accused her of trying to make Nevada a haven for domestic abusers. She has accused him of trying to give Viagra to sex offenders. Neither claim is true.

Meet the New the Sharron Angle

Senator Harry Reid on the Race for His Political Life


Eye doctor Rand Paul is one of the most notable Tea Party candidates. He is the son of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, whose 2008 Presidential run as a libertarian-minded Republican gave voice to the Tea Party movement before the Tea Party existed. Rand Paul won the Republican nomination without the backing of local or national Republicans. As we reported, this has been one of the nastiest and oddest races in the country. The Democrat, Attorney General Jack Conway questioned Paul's religion after GQ ran a story about Conway's college years. Things went downhill from there. Paul refused to shake Conway's hand at one point, and a liberal activist was stomped on by a Paul supporter after a debate.

Read more here: Nastiest Race in the Country? 'Aqua Buddha,' Personal Attacks Dominate Kentucky Senate Race


One of the most surprising primary losses for an incumbent Republican was Sen. Lisa Murkowski's in Alaska. Tea Party favorite and attorney Joe Miller came out of nowhere to win the Republican nomination. Murkowski went on to run as a write-in candidate and shows strength at the polls. If there are enough write-in votes for her to win, expect a drawn-out legal battle between her camp and Miller's over the ballots and how people spell her name. Her stock has risen among more moderate Alaskans as some of Miller's more hardline Tea Party opinions have become known. He opposes federal unemployment benefits and the minimum wage. The dark horse is Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, the Democrat. National Democrats didn't even know McAdams' name when he won the nomination, but with some clever advertising and by splitting the Republican vote, he could play spoiler.

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