Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Republicans close in on Senate majority

It's not a done deal yet, but Republicans are getting closer to the magic number of 51 seats that they'll need to win a majority in the Senate.

Going into this election with 45 seats, Republicans have so far already picked up three from the Democrats: Arkansas, South Dakota, and West Virginia. They are also expected to very easily pick up the open Democratic seat in Montana, which will bring them to a total of 49 seats.

So where can they find the extra two seats? In quite a few places, actually: In Colorado, Rep. Cory Gardner is running ahead of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall; the polls have not yet closed in Iowa or Alaska, which are both heavily targeted. Simply winning two out of these three seats, with no losses elsewhere, would get them to a majority.

In addition, the GOP is now running ahead in their two remaining vulnerable states, Georgia and Kansas, though many votes are still not yet reported for those races.

Also, Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia are running in very tight races in their respective states — a very surprising result in Warner's case, who was expected for much of this cycle to coast to an easy win.

And the state of Louisiana, meanwhile, will go to a December runoff election, between Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, with Landrieu very much the underdog in this red state.