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Updated Senate landscape says Democrats have a better chance to take control

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Correction: This article was first published on Oct. 11, 2016.

The Cook Political Report on Thursday published an updated Senate landscape, saying it sees a better chance for Democrats than Republicans to capture control of the chamber.

The new score is heavily based on the analysis of Virginia’s Senate race, which Democrats seem to be banking on despite the fact that the state has a Republican governor.

Cook’s top forecaster, Dave Wasserman, has said he didn’t think the race was going to turn the way Democrats hoped.

“Although it’s not a slam dunk win, it’s far better than every other presidential state that’s left and basically figures to send more than a senator to Washington,” he wrote in early September.

Virginia is home to a large number of veterans and highly educated voters, both of which tend to go Democratic.

It also seems like a big win for the party. In the Senate race, the party is expected to swing the seat of retiring Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., from Democrat to Republican in 2020.

There is a slim chance that Democrat Ralph Northam will succeed Warner and retain the seat when he becomes governor in 2019. But it seems more likely that the Democratic nomination, which is currently split, will go to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. He has built a substantial lead over both of his opponents in the campaign so far.

Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter at @MattLStevens

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