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 McCainMeghan McCain says Ben Carson should be developing brain cancer treatment, not working at HUD Graham urges Trump not to abandon infrastructure talks with Democrats Pelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award 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 CoonsOil companies join blitz for carbon tax Mnuchin says carbon capture tax credit guidance will be out soon Mnuchin signals administration won't comply with subpoena for Trump tax returns MORE.

Joe Miller of Alaska, another Tea Party-backed candidate, defeated incumbent Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Park Service plans to pay full-time staff through entrance fees | Oil companies join blitz for carbon tax | Interior chief takes heat for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change Democrats grill Trump Interior chief for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change Congress must press Interior secretary to act on climate change 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 MurraySenate chairman says bipartisan health care package coming Thursday Overnight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — House passes drug pricing bills amid ObamaCare row | Senate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law | Ocasio-Cortez confronts CEO over K drug price tag Bipartisan senators unveil measure to end surprise medical bills MORE (Wash.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list 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) MenendezEnding the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean We can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison MORE (D-N.J.) and John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' 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 BoozmanTrump's pursuit of infrastructure deal hits GOP roadblock Democrats, making a difference is better than making a point GOP senators read Pence riot act before shutdown votes MORE (Ark.).

Veteran Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) also faces a double-digit deficit in some polls to his Republican challenger Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonBarr throws curveball into Senate GOP 'spying' probe Bipartisan group of senators introduce legislation designed to strengthen cybersecurity of voting systems Trump Jr. subpoena spotlights GOP split over Russia probes 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 ReidLobbying World Mitch McConnell is not invincible Seven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary 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 PaulRand Paul splits with Amash on Trump impeachment The Go-Go's rock the stage at annual 'We Write the Songs' DC concert GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending 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 SandersBernie SandersHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues Lee, Sanders introduce bill to tax Wall Street transactions 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.