As I said in an earlier post, I am a contrarian compared to pundits and others who seem to believe the odds are very high that the Republicans will take over the Senate.  In part, as I have written about before, I think Obamacare is much less unpopular than people think (and there is increasing evidence now of that) and I think it will become more popular over time. Also, I think the candidates who are vulnerable will do better than people think (e.g. Landrieu, Hagan).

As I have pointed out before, if you start with safe seats (and uncontested seats) the Republicans start with a big advantage of 47-45 (because after all this is 2014, and six years ago Obama got elected).  Two seats lean Dem (MN Franken and CO Udall) and one leans Repub (GA Chambliss), so that puts it at 48-47 before we get down to the really competitive final five: IA, LA, NC, AK, AR.

As for those key five seats here is how the five states shake out now in recent polls.  The Democrat leads in NC, LA, and AK, while the Republican leads in AR though frankly all these states are close.  So if those states go that way, it would be R 49, D 50.  

That brings us to Iowa.  The polls have been essentially tied forever.  The election, and who controls the Senate comes down to Iowa, perhaps.

However, if the Republican wins Iowa, then the Senate is 50-50 and the Dems control the Senate because the Vice President becomes the tie-breaking vote.  But if the Dems win Iowa, then the Dems control the Senate outright.