Here is how The Hill, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, sees the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.
The Republicans need to pick up seven seats to take back the Senate, with the fundamentals favoring the Republicans. The Democrats are defending 21 seats, seven in states won by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney last year while Republicans only need to defend 14 -- and only two of those are currently in play.
The Hill's inaugural ratings give Republicans a likelihood of picking up three Democratic-held states -- Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia -- while two other top targets, Arkansas and Alaska, are pure toss-ups at this point. But two others, Louisiana and North Carolina, where Democrat Kay Hagan is seeking re-election, favor Democrats.