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A look at the 16 states in play according to 538.com

5 = Democrats are gonna win this one
4 = Democrats don't win only if there is a national trend/tide away from Dems
3 = This is a pure toss-up.
2 = Need a wave/trend toward the Democrats to pick this up.
1 = This is a sure loss - not even a "dead girl/live boy in a hotel room" could swing this.

Leaning Democratic (7)
Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut

Tossup (7)
Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Virginia, Wisconsin

Leaning Republican (3)

Arizona, Nebraska, North Dakota

Ratings in extended...

Leaning Democratic (7)
Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut

Tossup (7)
Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Virginia, Wisconsin

Leaning Republican (3)

Arizona, Nebraska, North Dakota

5 = Democrats are gonna win this one
4 = Democrats don't win only if there is a national trend/tide away from Dems
3 = This is a pure toss-up.
2 = Need a wave/trend toward the Democrats to pick this up.
1 = This is a sure loss - not even a "dead girl/live boy in a hotel room" could swing this.

+ = an upgrade from the current Democrat holding the seat

Arizona - 2
See Nevada.  A strong Hispanic turn-out could flip this one.

Connecticut - 4+
No way McMahon wins here without an anti-Obama wave, no matter how much money she has.  But this is a double-bonus because it takes out arguably the worst Democrat of the last decade, Lieberman, and replaces him with a reliable moderate-progressive.  Almost like flipping a seat.

Florida - 3 1/2
I don't trust Florida or Rick Scott's elections officials as far as I can spit in a Hurricane, but Mack is such a bad candidate, and has so much dirt, its hard to see how, in a pinch, the gloves don't come off and push this one to Nelson.

Hawaii - 5+
If this weren't a Presidential year, and the President wasn't from Hawaii, I'd rate this lower, but Hirano is a great candidate (an upgrade) and no way Hawaiians split their ticket this year.

Maine - 5 (+1 Democrats = 54)
If the Dems are in control King will caucus with them.  Dare I say he may be a breath of fresh air in the Senate and could help some progressive causes?  

Massachusetts - 3
I don't get it.  But Warren seems like she's not catching on.  She could get pulled out of the fire by a strong debate performance coupled with Presidential-year turn-out and a lot of lean-Dems goosing pollsters.  I'll give it to Brown for our numbers analysis.

Michigan - 4
If Stabenow had solid opposition, I'd be more worried, but in a Presidential year running against an ass, she'll hold.

Missouri - 2 (-1 Democrats = 53)
We almost had the dead girl/live boy scenerio here, and they're still tied.  My theory (I live across the border in KC, KS area) is that Missouri is one good Governor (Nixon) away from becoming Kansas.  Claire could pull this out, but Akin is going to have to screw up a debate in a big way.

Montana -  2 1/2 (-1 Democrats = 52)
As much as I love Tester, he's going to need a little luck or some solid Dem turnout to turn this one around.

New Mexico -  4
I don't see how Dems lose this state either Presidentially or in the Senate.  Hispanics just make up too much of the electorate, and they're not voting for Romney and they're certainly not splitting their ticket.

Nebraska - 1 (-1 Democrats = 51)
I always thought Nelson got a bit of a bum rap, since he handled his situation with a lot more grace than, say, Lieberman.  

Nevada - 2 1/2
I had high hopes for this one, but Berkely just doesn't seem like she's got enough traction.  A huge hispanic turn-out could prove me wrong (see Arizona).

North Dakota - 2 1/2  (-1 Democrats=50)
Heitkamp is a great candidate and has a bonehead for an opponent.  Will that be enough?  

Ohio - 4
Sherrod Brown has run one of the best campaigns this year.  It looks like he'll be re-elected easily and will also be a good ballot leader for Obama voters.  Also a great example of how when Democrats actually stand for something, voters appreciate it.

Pennsylvania - 4 1/2
OK, a live boy or dead girl would probably make this one competitive, but just barely.

Virginia - 3 1/2
If Obama wins Virginia, Kaine will win.  The exception is if Goode brings out enough teabaggers who would otherwise have stayed home because they hate Romney.  I'd watch that.  For now I'll give it to Kaine.

Wisconsin - 2 (Democrats -1 = 49)
This is one reason a lot of people were against the recall.  If this were the one race this year, its possible Baldwin would have won.  But Thompson appeals to Indies, everyone knows him already so you can't go too negative, and a lot of people in Wisconsin are sick of politics.  

We always say to fight like we're down 5 points.  In the Senate we are.  We need to flip one of these to at least let Biden (or King - yikes) break ties at 50-50.

Poll

No. of Dems (including Ind.) in next Senate

3%2 votes
1%1 votes
7%4 votes
18%10 votes
24%13 votes
16%9 votes
14%8 votes
1%1 votes
11%6 votes

| 54 votes | Vote | Results

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