Days after the release of the Access Hollywood tape on October 7, Senate Republican incumbents and challengers saw a drop in support. At the time, the speculation was that the drop was caused by "casual" Republican voters losing interest in the race. It didn't appear that Republicans were recovering and thus we increased the range of Democratic gains to five to seven seats. Then came FBI Director James Comey's announcement about the existence of additional emails from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's private server. Days after that revelation, Republican Senate incumbents and challengers experienced a surge in support, regaining whatever they lost prior to October 7 and putting some races that seemed to be slipping from their grasp back on the board. Strategists from both parties warn that they are seeing a lot of volatility in polling, but acknowledge that the playing field seems more level than it has been over the past three weeks. While we still expect Democrats to win the majority, we are lowering the range of potential gains back to the four- to six-seat range.
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