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Two weeks out, a GOP Senate takeover looks likely — but South Dakota's a wild card

Forecast update 10/21/14

The polling in most key Senate races has been consistent for a couple weeks now. GOP candidates appear to have taken small leads in crucial purple states like Iowa and Colorado, while their advantages against red state Democratic incumbents in ArkansasLouisiana, and Alaska.

In Kansas, beleaguered GOP incumbent Pat Roberts seems to have regained some ground against independent Greg Orman, but the recent polls have split on who's ahead. And in Georgia, Democrat Michelle Nunn has been looking stronger lately, but hasn't cracked the 50 percent of the vote she'll need to avoid a January runoff in any poll yet. Overall, these results make a GOP takeover look likely, and our current election forecast average gives it a 70 percent chance of happening.

There's still one key mystery, though. The strange race in South Dakota has only been polled once since campaign finance reformers and national Democrats decided to spend heavily on the race. That poll, by a Republican firm, showed GOP candidate Mike Rounds ahead of Democrat Rick Weiland by just 4 points. It's been 10 days since that poll was finished and TV ads started airing, and we don't have any clear indication of what's happened in the interim.

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