This is my second set of predictions for the 2012 Senate races. I'm going to try to do one more set of predictions the weekend before the election.
From the last time I did this, I've become more pessimistic about some races in the Senate and less about others. As always, no toss ups. This is my best guess on where the races end up in November, not necessarily based on where the polls are now. Right now, I have the Dems and the Republicans breaking even, with Repubs taking MT, NE and WI and Dems taking MA and NV, with King winning in Maine. That would not be a bad result, if it holds.
Arizona This is a tough race to call. Jeff Flake took some hits during the primary season and might have been even more vulnerable if his opponent hadn't run out of money. Richard Cardona is a strong candidate, but in the end, Flake is probably a bit stronger, particularly given Arizona's Republican lean. Lean Republican
California - Safe Democrat. Difi cruises
Connecticut - I had to downgrade this from Safe Democrat in my last ranking, but I'm not going to downgrade it much. Linda McMahon's poll numbers are an illusion and are sure to fall once Chris Murphy really engages. I'm still not worried. Likely Dem
Delaware Safe Dem
Florida - Bill Nelson is already starting to pull away here. Mack just has too many weaknesses. Likely Dem at this point.
Hawaii - Linda Lingle never had much of a chance here, despite what some overexcited pundits suggested Likely Dem
Indiana - Richard Mourdock is not strong candidate, but I'm not all that impressed by Joe Donnelly right now either. I think what's going to make the difference is how much Dick Luger gets involved (he has recently indicated he might more strongly back Mourdock than previously supposed). Given everything, I think Mourdock likely pulls it out. Lean Republican.
Maine - This was a nice change from my last rankings. Angus King gets crowned, and almost certainly caucuses with the Dems. One question: why is Cynthia Dill still in this? Likely Independent.
Maryland - Safe Dem
Massachusetts -I have to downgrade this one from my last rankings. Scott Brown is proving stronger than I hoped. But in the end, I still think the Dem proclivities of Mass make Warren the winner, albeit by closer than I expected Lean Dem
Michigan - Stabenow wins big. Safe Dem
Minnesota - Safe Dem
Misssissippi - Safe Republican
Missouri - You people who think Todd Akin has a chance are kidding yourselves. Keep in mind every single Republican worth mentioning called him to get out of the race. You think that's not going to show up in an add or two. Fortunately for us, Akin seems to like to kid himself too. Likely Dem
Montana - This is a toss up, for sure, but I don't do tossups. Tester has run the better ads, but I'm still having trouble seeing him pull it out against Denny Rehberg in an election year. This is just a gut call, and I could really go either way. Lean Republican
Nebraska - Kerrey desperately needs a big misstep from Deb Fischer, and probably more than one. Even then, its a tough call. Safe Republican
Nevada - Man, I don't know. Last time I predicted Berkley would win, but that was before the "ethics" problems. Dean Heller is no Sharron Angle. I'm going to still chose to buy stock in the Dems always under-poll in Nevada, but I'm waiting for Ralston to have the final word on this one. Lean Democrat
New Jersey - Safe Dem, despite a continued lack of enthusiasm for Menendez.
New Mexico - An upgrade. The two parties wouldn't be pulling out here if this wasn't Safe Dem
New York - Safe Dem
North Dakota - I've become a believer on this one. Heidi Heitkamp has been the most pleasant surprise of the campaign, proving to be a much better candidate than Rick Berg. This has turned in to Lean Dem, and I hope it stays that way.
Ohio - It'll be good to see Josh Mandel lose. Likely Dem
Pennsylvania - Safe Dem
Rhode Island - Safe Dem
Tennessee -Safe Republican
Texas - Forget it, Jake. It's Texas. Safe Republican
Utah - Safe Republican
Vermont - Safe Independent who caucuses with the Democrats
Virginia - This is my other big tossup. George Allen is actually proving to be a stronger candidate this time around than he was in 2006. Fortunately Tim Kaine is strong too. In the end, I actually can see some Obama-Allen voters out there, but not enough to carry Allen over the top with Obama winning the state. Lean Dem
Washington - Safe Dem
West Virginia - Safe Dem
Wisconsin - I like Tammy Baldwin, but I still think she's too liberal for Wisconsin, and Tommy Thompson is too well-regarded, even if he shouldn't be. This is Lean Republican at this point.
Wyoming - Safe Republican