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Last updated: Nov 5, 2012 at 5:30 PM ET

Democrats currently control 53 seats in the Senate (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats), Republicans 47.

Here's how we define our ratings categories:

Safe: Barring unforeseeable developments, one party is certain to win.

Race to Watch: A foreseeable but as-yet unrealized development has the chance to make an otherwise "Safe" race potentially competitive, or an incumbent faces a potentially competitive primary.

Likely: One party has a strong advantage and is likely to win, though the race has the potential to become more competitive.

Lean: One party has an identifiable advantage, but an upset victory is possible for the other party.

Tossup: Both (or all) parties have a strong (though not necessarily perfectly equal) chance of winning.

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