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October 1st Ratings Update –

Presidential –

At this time last week, we saw Barack Obama continuing to build momentum in the polls, and this trend continued through about midweek, when he reached a 5.67% national lead on Wednesday, a cycle high.  After that, Romney was able to stem the tide and gain back just a smidge of ground.  That being said, the republican candidate is still down by a little over 5% nationally, so he has a lot of ground to make up.  This week presents what could be his best opportunity, as the first presidential debate comes our way this Wednesday.  Everybody from the political punditry to the beltway media agrees that Romney has to win this debate in order to get back into the race.  If he does win we could be looking at Bush-Kerry redux from 2004 when Bush had a roughly 5% advantage going into Debate #1 and then Kerry buried him, resulting in a tied race the next week.  If Obama wins though…it’s another nail in Mitt’s proverbial coffin.

In terms of the electoral college, there was a slight move toward Romney as North Carolina, by 1%, moved back into the red column.  The Tar Heel state continues to be the tipping point state at the moment and could go either way on election day.  The other three toss-ups tilt toward Obama at this point.  Perhaps most disturbing for Romney is the presence of not only Ohio, but now also Florida in the Lean D column.  Without those states, Romney has no path to victory.

Electoral vote distribution:

Safe D – ME, CT, VT, MA, RI, NY, DE, MD, DC, IL, CA, WA, HI – 165 EV
Likely D – NJ, PA, MI, MN, NM, OR – 72 EV
Lean D – NH, FL, OH, WI, NV – 67 EV
Toss Up/Tilt D – VA, IA, CO – 28 EV
Toss Up/Tilt R – NC – 15 EV
Lean R – SC, GA, IN, MO, MT, AZ – 60 EV
Likely R – TN, TX, ND, SD, NE, AK – 63 EV
Safe R – WV, KY, AL, MS, LA, AR, OK, KS, WY, ID, UT – 68 EV

Total Obama EV - 332
Total Romney EV – 206

The Map:

[IMG]http://i763.photobucket.com/...[/IMG]

Popular Vote Projection:
National – Obama 51.77%, Romney 46.63%
DC – Obama 91-7
Hawaii – Obama 69-30
Vermont – Obama 66-33
Massachusetts – Obama 62-36
New York – Obama 62-37
Rhode Island – Obama 61-37
Illinois – Obama 61-38
California – Obama 61-38
Maryland – Obama 60-39
Delaware – Obama 59-39
Washington – Obama 58-41
Maine – Obama 57-42
Connecticut – Obama 57-42
Oregon – Obama 56-43
New Jersey – Obama 56-43
New Mexico – Obama 55-43
Michigan – Obama 55-44
Minnesota – Obama 54-44
Pennsylvania – Obama 54-44
Ohio – Obama 53-46
Wisconsin – Obama 53-46
Nevada – Obama 52-46
New Hampshire 52-46
Florida – Obama 52-47
Iowa – Obama 51-47
Colorado – Obama 51-47
Virginia – Obama 51-48
North Carolina – Romney 49-48
Arizona – Romney 52-47
Missouri – Romney 52-46
Georgia – Romney 53-46
Montana – Romney 53-46
Indiana – Romney 53-46
South Carolina – Romney 53-44
Tennessee – Romney 54-43
South Dakota – Romney 55-43
North Dakota – Romney 55-43
Alaska – Romney 55-42
Texas – Romney 56-42
Nebraska – Romney 56-42
Mississippi – Romney 57-42
Kentucky – Romney 57-41
Kansas – Romney 57-41
West Virginia – Romney 58-40
Louisiana – Romney 59-40
Arkansas – Romney 60-39
Alabama – Romney 61-37
Wyoming – Romney 62-36
Idaho – Romney 62-36
Utah – Romney 64-35
Oklahoma – Romney 65-33

Senate –

The Senate picture continues to get better and better for democrats up and down the board.  For the first time this week they are now gaining seats in the Senate as Joe Donelley moved ahead of Richard Mourdock, putting that seat into the blue column.  The race between Denny Rehberg and Jon Tester in Montana is so razor tight, its hard for me to not envision it going to a recount.  You could almost call this a projected 1.5 seat gain for the Democrats, but I’m keeping the seat red by literally .1% in the aggregate.  There are a couple of other changes, but the calculus remains the same, there are 8 total toss ups, the Republicans need to win all 8 to take over 51 seats and control of the Senate.  If the Democrats sweep, they will enter the next Congress with 57 seats, almost as big a majority as they had in 2009-2010.

Democrats – 30 seats not up for re-election
Safe D – VT, RI, NY, DE, MD, WV, MN, CA, WA, HI
Likely D – ME, NJ, PA, FL, MI, NM
Lean D – OH, WI, MO
Toss Up/Tilt D – MA, CT, VA, IN, ND
Toss Up/Tilt R – MT, NV, AZ
Lean R –
Likely R – NE
Safe R – TN, MS, TX, WY, UT
Republicans – 37 seats not up for re-election

Democratic Pickups – ME, MA, IN
Republican Pickups – NE, MT
New Senate Partisan Breakdown – 54 democrats, 46 republicans
Swing – Democrats +1

The Map:

[IMG]http://i763.photobucket.com/...[/IMG]

House –

About the same time Mitt Romney stabilized his numbers midweek, we started to see for the first time this cycle some pushback from congressional republicans in the battle for the House majority.  A bunch of republican internal polls dropped in various districts, countering the hoard of democratic internal polls we had seen in the preceding weeks.  Also, the pollster.com regression has moved in the republicans’ favor, but only marginally from a 3% deficit to a 1.7% deficit.  That average is also somewhat dusty, as pollster.com as of midday today isn’t showing any new generic ballot polling since 9/24!  That’s shocking to me.  

At the end of the day, a few seats on each side changed hands, for a net of +1 to the republican side.  As of today, the Democrats are slated to pick up 19 seats, which is short of the 25 they need to take over the House majority.  

Current pollster.com regression – 45.6% democratic, 43.9% republican
Projected 2-party vote share – 51.25% democratic, 48.75% republican
Battleground PVI – R+1.79 (the PVI of all 102 competitive districts on the equal area map)
Battleground 2-party vote share – 49.44% democratic, 50.56% republican
New House Partisan Breakdown – 223 republicans, 212 democrats
Swing – Democrats +19

The Equal Area Map:

[IMG]http://i763.photobucket.com/...[/IMG]

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Who will win Wednesday night's presidential debate?

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