And correspondent Natalie Morales played up the possibility that "a lot of people are going to be blaming the Tea Party" if Republicans land one vote short of a majority and Delaware Republican nominee Christine O'Donnell also loses: "If they're somehow able to get to nine and then Christine O'Donnell loses, a lot of people are going to be blaming the Tea Party."
Thursday night: "Mitchell Tags Toomey as 'Conservative' Four Times in 50 Seconds, Leaves Sestak Unlabeled "
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Sunday, October 31, NBC Nightly News:
RON ALLEN: The Republicans hoped for a big victory here. Conservative Pat Toomey, a former Congressman and businessman, has been consistently leading in the polls ahead of Joe Sestak, a Democratic Congressman. That's pretty stunning in a state that President Obama won by 10 percentage points, and where Democrats have a 1.2 million voter registration edge.
JANET SHAMLIAN: Since her primary win in September, Christine O'Donnell's campaign has struggled to gain traction. Polls show Democrat Chris Coons with a double-digit lead anywhere from 10 to 20 points. Political observers say, if Republican Congressman Mike Castle had won the Republican primary, he would be the favorite here. And keep in mind, Republicans need to take 10 seats currently held by Democrats to take back the Senate. If they're somehow able to get to nine and then Christine O'Donnell loses, a lot of people, Lester, are going to be blaming the Tea Party.
- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center