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Three Senate seats move in Republicans' direction

A trio of Senate seats in West Virginia, New Hampshire and Wisconsin have all moved in Republicans' favor in recent weeks and we are adjusting our rankings to reflect that reality.

Stay tuned for a handful of ratings changes in governors races later this afternoon. And, in the meantime, make sure to peruse our 2010 campaign map -- the best map out there to give you what you need in advance of the midterm election.

Here's a look at our latest Senate moves:

* In West Virginia, popular Gov. Joe Manchin (D) is now in a toss-up race (at best) with businessman John Raese (R). Despite being a very well-liked politician in the state, Manchin is running into a stiff headwind thanks to the unpopularity of President Barack Obama and the national Democratic party.

Both national parties are now spending on ads in the state -- a testament to the closeness of the contest. The race moves from "Lean Democratic" to "Toss Up".

* In New Hampshire, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) appears to have quickly put her narrow primary win behind her and united the GOP. Polling suggests that she has a comfortable lead over Rep. Paul Hodes (D). The contest moves from "Toss Up" to "Lean Republican".

* In Wisconsin, businessman Ron Johnson (R) has moved into a steady lead over Sen. Russ Feingold (D) -- an edge built on swiping the incumbent's long cultivated "outsider" image from him. Feingold is trying to embrace his newfound underdog status with an ad that insists he's still got some fight left in him. He might but today the race moves from "Toss Up" to "Lean Republican".

By Chris Cillizza  | October 6, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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