GOP feeling optimistic about retaking the Senate

Republicans are even trying to turn concerns about their uncertain prospects in the presidential race into an opportunity in the battle for Senate supremacy, arguing that a Senate takeover could fundamentally alter the balance of power in Washington even if Mr. Obama won a second term. They are making the case to donors and voters that winning a Senate majority would give the party control of Congress and a united front against the president from Capitol Hill if Republicans hold the House.

It is not lost on Republicans that the last time a Democratic president won a second term, when Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996, Senate Republicans still expanded their numbers…

Republicans say they see strong chances of victory in Montana over Mr. Tester and in Nebraska, where Senator Ben Nelson, a Democrat and a former governor, has trailed potential Republican rivals in polls.

“That leaves us 20 more seats to pick up one to get into the majority,” Mr. Cornyn said.