Hardball with Chris Matthews, 10/26/12, 8:00 PM ET

Senate control up for grabs this November

Former Republican Senator Larry Pressler, who supports President Obama, and current Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa discuss the battle for Senate...

Chris Matthews breaks down the states with potential game-changing Senate races

Updated

Nearly as important as the presidential election are the races that could determine the control of the U.S. Senate.

Chris Matthews broke down the states with potential game-changing races on Friday night’s Hardball.

There are six Democratic seats that could go Republican, including Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Virginia and Connecticut.

There are also five Republican seats that could go Democratic, including Nevada, Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts and Maine.

Democrats maintain a narrow 53-47 majority in the Senate, and heading into November, many analysts believed the GOP had a strong shot of winning the small handful of seats necessary to flip control of the upper chamber, particularly because Democrats were defending some two dozen seats to the GOP’s 10. However, the conventional wisdom has shifted, and now the Democrats are favored to retain the Senate.

In large part, this is due to the GOP nominating extreme candidates in places like Missouri and Indiana, and Democrats doing surprisingly well in red states like Arizona.

The non-partisan Cook Political Report said Friday that the chances of Republicans taking control of the Senate is slated at 40% to 45%.

Chris Matthews breaks down the states with potential game-changing Senate races

Updated