Speed Reads

2014 midterms

Senate poll finds dismal news for Democratic candidates

With a little over a week left to election day, a new NBC News/Marist poll suggests Republican candidates have the momentum in a few key races that could decide control of the Senate.

In Colorado, Sen. Mark Udall (D) trails Republican challenger Cory Gardner 46 percent to 45 percent among likely voters. That's a huge swing from one month ago when Udall led 48 percent to 42 percent. Similarly, in North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan's (D) four-point lead from earlier this month is gone, and she's now tied with GOP challenger Thom Tillis.

Meanwhile, Democrats Bruce Braley and Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.) trail their Republican opponents in Iowa and Arkansas, respectively. And in Kansas, independent Greg Orman, whom Democrats are hoping will pick off Sen. Pat Roberts (R) and then caucus with them, has just a one-point lead despite posting a double-digit edge earlier this month.

To be sure, the races are still quite close; each fell within the survey's margin of error. But Democrats can't afford to lose them all and still maintain control of the Senate.