OK

This isn't quite my last round of predictions (I'll do one the weekend before Election Day), but this is what I have right now.  I'm not going to predict margins on Safe races.
Senate unless otherwise noted.

Double Digit Races:

Maine: Angus King (I) 44, Charlie Summers (R) 36, Cynthia Dill (D) 16
Angus King once looked dominant, but his star has faded a bit (although not as badly as Tommy Thompson's.)  He was once expected to get over 50%, but despite some commitee spending showing this to be a competitive race, an eight point margin is decent for King Angus.

Nebraska: Deb Fischer (R) 55, Bob Kerrey (D) 43
I think Fischer is doing worse than she was a week or two ago, thanks to Kerrey's new ad.  However, it's too little, too late, and Kerrey never had a path to victory here short of a Fischer gaffe.  45% would be a respectable performance, but I don't think he'll quite make it there.  43% is at least good enough to win a few counties, so there's that.

New Jersey: Bob Menendez (D) 55, Joe Kyrillos (R) 43
I wouldn't be shocked if this was closer to 8 points than 12; Menendez has always been underwhelming and Kyrillos has no flaws (although no great qualities either).  But this is where I'm pegging the race.

Florida: Bill Nelson (D) 54, Connie Mack (R) 43
Mack was supposed to be the GOP's savior, but he's everyone's stereotypical spoiled kid who thinks he's a hotshot.  43% is absymal for a Republican in Florida, but that's what I expect him to get.  The most interesting thing about this election will be how many Demosaur counties in Northern Florida Nelson wins this time around, to see if he still has the conservaDem appeal he did six years ago.

Missouri (Governor): Jay Nixon (D) 55, Dave Spence (R) 44
Nixon's been between a seven and fifteen point lead all cycle, and I'm pegging him right in the middle.  Spence is better than Peter Kinder, so there's that at least.  Kinder and Akin atop the ticket would be absolute doom for the Missouri GOP.

Pennsylvania: Bob Casey (D) 54, Tom Smith (R) 44
Casey seems to be on cruise control, which will hold down his margins, and Smith has lots of money to use.  So this could end up closer, although I can't see it within six.  Like Florida, the interesting thing here is how the Democrat does in the Demosaur areas (Western Pennsylvania and to a lesser extent, parts of NEPA.)

Indiana (Governor): Mike Pence (R) 55, John Gregg (D) 43
I was never very optimistic about this race, especially with Obama not contesting the state, and it appears I was right (not that I'm happy about it).  Super-conservative Mike Pence will likely be Indiana's next Governor, and by a decent margin.  Gregg should do pretty well in the Ohio River area, though, as he's clearly a Blue Dog.

High Single Digits, Little to No Chance the Trailing Candidate Can Win:

Missouri: Claire McCaskill (D) 50, Todd Akin (R) 41
3rd parties should do better here, since many moderate Republicans won't be willing to vote Akin yet don't want to vote for McCaskill.  For much of 2011 and the first half of 2012, we worried about Claire McCaskill's path to 50%, and I'm honestly not sure she'll make it to 50 even with Akin's gaffes.  But she definitely won't lose.

North Carolina (Governor): Pat McCrory (R) 53, Walter Dalton (D) 44
Bev Perdue's unpopularity made this race impossible from the start, and Dalton's done about as average a job as possible.

Ohio: Sherrod Brown (D) 53, Josh Mandel (R) 45
Sherrod Brown is one of my five favorite senators ideologically (I'd also add Merkley, Reed, Whitehouse, and Harkin), and I'm glad to see him beating Josh Mandel, who has quickly become my least favorite Republican running this cycle.  Hopefully Mandel loses his Treasurer position as well.

New Mexico: Martin Heinrich (D) 53, Heather Wilson (R) 46
The Republicans have given up here, but I don't think Wilson will end up below 45, because of her only somewhat conservative record (she wasn't Mike Castle, but she wasn't that conservative either) and her being well-known from 2008.  Heinrich is the most likely Presidential nominee among 2012 candidates on either side, in my opinion, along with Cruz for the Republicans.

Virginia: Tim Kaine (D) 52, George Allen (R) 46
I'm finally moving this out of the Tossups; I really do think Kaine has this, thankfully because Allen is quite despicable in his own right.

Washington (Governor): Jay Inslee (D) 53, Rob McKenna (R) 47
The Rain Man appears poised for defeat here, which is great news for every state but Oregon (they're 2nd to Washington in most consecutive years of Democratic Governors).

These Could Change, But for Now One Side Has a Clear Lead:

Connecticut: Chris Murphy (D) 51, Linda McMahon (R) 46
McMahon's flubbing of social issues has cost her here, as has Connecticut's blue lean.  But Murphy, who was my pick for rising star of the 2012 cycle on our side, has seen his star diminish between his inability to put McMahon away and his mortgage/tax issues.

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren (D) 52, Scott Brown (R) 47
Warren's taken the driver's seat (no truck pun intended) of this race ever since the convention, benefitting from being tied more closely to Obama and his popularity in the state.  That means Susan Collins will be the only blue-state Republican senator in 2013.  Pretty incredible.

Arizona: Jeff Flake (R) 51, Richard Carmona (D) 46
Carmona's comment about Candy Crowley yesterday wasn't helpful, but I had him down four even before that.  I've never been too optimistic about this race.

Tossups, More or Less:

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin (D) 51, Tommy Thompson (R) 48
Along with many others, I thought Thompson would win this won by around five.  Thankfully, I've been proven wrong.  His campaign is horrible, and Baldwin is campaigning well.

New Hampshire (Governor): Maggie Hassan (D) 51, Ovide Lamontagne (R) 48
Ovide isn't an old-school Yankee Republican in any way, shape, or form.  Maggie Hassan appears poised to be the only Democratic female Governor, but she doesn't have this wrapped up by any means.

Indiana: Richard Mourdock (R) 51, Joe Donnelly (D) 48
Donnelly hasn't been able to get into the high forties in polling, and in a red state that's a big problem.  Mourdock's mouth could still cost him the race, but I'm less and less optimistic here as time goes on.

Recount Territory?:
These are the closest races of all; the ones that really could go either way.

North Dakota: Heidi Heitkamp (D) 51, Rick Berg (R) 49
Only Heitkamp could make this race competitive, and she has, in a way that exceeded nearly everybody's expectations.  Her ads have been great, and she's really connected with North Dakota voters.  Even a month ago, I still had Berg winning this one, but his campaign still isn't picking up any steam.

Nevada: Dean Heller (R) 49, Shelley Berkley (D) 47
Polling of Nevada just isn't very good, but I'm going to go with my gut (and head) over my heart, although some users may vehemently disagree.  Ironically, Heller's quasi-incumbency may have given him the winning margin, so we might have John Ensign to thank for Heller keeping this seat red.

Montana: Denny Rehberg (R) 49, Jon Tester (D) 48
What a difference a point makes.  After winning 49-48 six years ago, I'm predicting Tester loses by that same margin this time around.  You can chalk it up to the bad climate relative to 2006; Rehberg's better than Burns (that isn't saying much), but Tester's incumbency makes up for that.  Tester's done everything right, and I really like him, but he just hasn't shown enough polling leads.

Montana (Governor): Steve Bullock (D) 49, Rick Hill (R) 48
What a difference a point makes, part two.  Partially because of the difference between state and federal races, I have Bullock winning here despite Tester's loss.  I'd definitely prefer a Tester victory, though.

This puts us at EVEN in the Senate (gains in ME and MA, losses in NE and MT), and at -1 in Governorships (NC).  

Your thoughts?  Comment away.

Originally posted to jncca on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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