Sunday shows: Race to control Senate

The battle over the Senate majority has been in constant flux this campaign season and top lawmakers and public officials will give their view on how the upper chamber will take form on this Sunday’s talk shows.

Election handicappers and some GOP senators, such as John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Trump: 'I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be' Santorum: Trump should 'send emails to a therapist' instead of tweeting MORE (Ariz.), earlier this month declared that the Republicans had a solid chance of taking control of the Senate.


That outlook, in addition to predictions that the GOP could win back the House, gave a boost to Republicans looking to put the skids on President Obama’s agenda.

But the results of two key GOP primaries put Republican hopes of taking the Senate in doubt.

Once assumed to be a prime pick-up opportunity for the GOP, Democrats have taken the upper hand in the Delaware Senate race after Tea Party-backed candidate Christine O’Donnell won a stunning victory in her primary against centrist GOP Rep. Mike Castle.

O’Donnell is now polling behind Democratic nominee Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate Dem calls on Trump to apologize for attacks on McCain Sixteen years later, let's finally heed the call of the 9/11 Commission  Senate Dems introduce bill demanding report on Khashoggi killing MORE.

Joe Miller of Alaska, another Tea Party-backed candidate, defeated incumbent Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiJuan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget MORE in the Senate GOP primary. Though Alaska tilts right unlike Delaware, Murkowski decided to launch a write-in bid, making the race a three-way contest including Democratic nominee Scott McAdams.

Recent polls also show incumbent Democratic Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayWhite House proposes limits on student loan borrowing as part of higher education reforms Jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay M to woman who claimed baby powder gave her cancer Overnight Health Care - Presented by Kidney Care Partners - FDA chief Scott Gottlieb resigns | House Dems to take up drug pricing bills next week | Planned Parenthood, doctors group sue over Trump abortion rule MORE (Wash.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerHispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list Climate debate comes full circle MORE (Calif.) with growing leads, suggesting that those races could be slipping away from Republicans.

The Democratic and Republican Senate campaign chiefs, Sens. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange William Barr is right man for the times MORE (D-N.J.) and John CornynJohn CornynGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left Cornyn shrugs off Trump criticism of 'SNL' MORE (R-Texas), will appear on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday to discuss the overall campaign season.

Expect both members to be pressed to predict how their parties will perform on Nov. 2, and be asked to comment on the overall strength of their parties and political organizations.

Victories by Tea Party candidates over several candidates backed by Cornyn’s National Republican Senatorial Committee have sparked questions over internal divisions within the GOP. The Texas senator will likely face inquiries as to the internal state of affairs in his party.

Political observers have long said Republicans have a better chance of taking back the House than the Senate. In order to win back the Senate, the GOP would need to perform extraordinarily well on Election Day.

Democrats currently have 59 seats in the Senate, meaning that Republicans would need to win virtually every competitive race this year in order to take the 10 seats necessary to take control.

Even if Republicans do not win control of the Senate, they could make significant gains on the Democratic majority.

Several Democratic incumbents look to be in deep trouble heading into November. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) trails by a large margin to her Republican opponent Rep. John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanGOP senators read Pence riot act before shutdown votes On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (Ark.).

Veteran Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) also faces a double-digit deficit in some polls to his Republican challenger Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonScott Walker considering running for Wisconsin governor or Senate: report GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers The Hill's 12:30 Report: O'Rourke jumps into 2020 fray MORE.

Other races are highly competitive between Republicans and Democrats. Contests in Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois and West Virginia could come down to the wire. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBernie campaign 2.0 - he's in it to win it, this time around Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Senate confirms Trump court pick despite missing two 'blue slips' MORE (D-Nev.) is also running in a very close race with Tea Party-backed GOP nominee Sharron Angle.

“Fox News Sunday” will show a glimpse of another one of those races by hosting a debate between Kentucky Senate nominees Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrio of NFL players intern on Capitol Hill as part of league program Trump keeps tight grip on GOP GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers MORE (R) and Jack Conway (D).

Paul, the son of libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), has garnered the most headlines in the race. He defeated establishment pick Trey Grayson in the GOP primary but afterward found himself in trouble for making controversial comments about the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Over the course of the campaign, Paul has focused on national issues such as the debt and deficit, while Conway has chosen to focus on local issues.

Paul holds single-digit leads in most polls over Conway in the race for the retiring Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) seat.

CBS’s “Face the Nation” will give a glimpse inside the Democratic Party on Sunday. It hosts Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) and Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAlan Dershowitz: In defense of Chelsea Clinton O'Rourke: Decisions on late-term abortions 'best left to a woman and her doctor' CNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina MORE (I).

Rendell is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and has been an outspoken voice for the party during campaign season.

His state has a highly watched Senate race between former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) and Joe Sestak (D). The two are vying to replace Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter, who lost in the primary to Sestak in his bid for a sixth term.

Richardson ran in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, but bowed out after the early contests. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, is not up for reelection until 2012 but is a key voice of the party’s liberal wing.

ABC’s “This Week” will air a special edition on Islam and its role in America. NBC’s “Meet the Press” will not be broadcast due to the Ryder Cup golf tournament.