GALLUP SHOWS DEMS FALLING JUST SHORT OF +6. A series of new polls released this morning by USA Today/Gallup show Democrats ahead in several key Senate contests, but not quite enough to give them the majority.

  • Missouri: Claire McCaskill (D) leads Sen. Jim Talent (R), 49 percent to 45 percent
  • Montana: Jon Tester (D) leads Sen. Conrad Burns (R), 50 percent to 41 percent.
  • New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) leads Tom Kean Jr. (R), 50 percent to 40 percent.
  • Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse (D) leads Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R), 48 percent to 45 percent.
  • Tennessee: Bob Corker (R) leads Harold Ford (D), 49 percent to 46 percent.
  • Virginia: Sen. George Allen (R) leads Jim Webb (D), 49 percent to 46 percent.

In other words, a whole bunch of races that are too close to call, and which will ultimately dictate the majority party in the Senate next year. As Salon's Joan Walsh asked in a slightly different context, "You didn't want Tuesday to be a landslide, did you? I mean, how boring."

--Steve Benen