Republican candidates are surfing a red wave. But...

Here’s the asterisk. Republicans need only a single pickup to win control of the Senate. But Republican Senate candidates are struggling.

The first general-election poll in Pennsylvania has Democrat John Fetterman leading Republican Mehmet Oz by 9 points. And Fetterman hasn’t campaigned since he was hospitalized for a stroke last month. The most recent poll in North Carolina has Democrat Cheri Beasley leading Republican Ted Budd by 4 points.

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The Republican candidates who are ahead aren’t ahead by much. The most recent poll in Ohio has Republican J.D. Vance leading Democrat Tim Ryan by 3 points. The latest poll in Georgia has Republican Herschel Walker tied with Democrat senator Raphael Warnock.

Now it’s entirely possible that Republican Senate candidates will gain as they become better known, define their opponents, and benefit from the backlash against President Biden. It’s entirely possible the polls are off and that, as happened in Tom Cotton’s race in 2014, single-digit polling leads will turn into big wins on Election Day.

Still, the Republican Senate team in 2022 isn’t as strong as it was eight years ago. The roster this year looks more like it did in 2010 and 2012. And those seasons were disappointing.

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