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Like everyone else, I find the polling picture very confused and confusing (and that's caused me to hesitate in composing a new Senate race ratings diary), but I still would like to make new predictions, for whatever they're worth. In making these predictions, I am considering poll results, dreaminonempty's post on Senate polling error patterns, and ultimately, a bit of guesswork. I will reference previous ratings in my 8/19/2012 diary where they are different, as well as giving new ones.

Ratings key:

Safe = No path to victory for the other candidate, absent some unforeseen disaster to the leading candidate.
Likely = Perhaps a 10-20% chance of victory for the trailing candidate.
Lean = Slight edge to one candidate, with the other having about a 25-35% chance of winning.
Tossup/Tilt = A very tenuous edge to one candidate

Arizona: Tossup/Tilt D (was Tossup/Tilt R) - I am uncomfortable with this rating, but I will not take the easy way out and call this a pure tossup. And the fact is, Carmona's polling numbers have clearly improved against Flake, who has proven to be a much less formidable and much more problematic candidate than I and most other observers expected. Lately, most polling has been showing Carmona with a small lead. dreaminonempty theorizes a 2-point difference between the polling average and the final result, but I think that he is likely to win, anyway. The thing that bugs me about this prediction is that it is still uncertain whether Carmona's ill-advised joke about Candy Crowley's looks might yet hurt him. But despite the mild Republican lean of the state of Arizona and great unlikelihood, at this point, of Obama carrying the state, I believe that a combination of a possibly significant number of Republicans and right-of-center independents voting for a really compelling candidate, the likelihood of a humongous Latino turnout for a Latino candidate and against a Republican Party that's made Latinos and immigrants scapegoats for everything they consider wrong with the US, and some pretty serious knocks against Flake's record are likely to propel Carmona to a narrow victory.

California: Safe D.

Connecticut: Likely D. Polling is showing this to be a close race, but it seems like McMahon gets worse as the campaign continues, and while her liberal spending gave her a fighting chance, her mouth will sink her. The margin may be under 10 points, but I don't see an obvious path to victory for her.

Delaware: Safe D.

Florida: Likely D (was Lean D). As with the Connecticut race, I don't see an obvious path to victory for Connie Mack IV, whose campaign has to be deeply disappointing to Republicans around the country. Liberal Democrats will never be passionate supporters of Senator Bill Nelson, but they will vote for him, along with quite a number of independents and some Republicans. Regardless of whether Romney narrowly wins the state or narrowly loses, a victory by Mack would be quite surprising.

Hawaii: Safe D. Hawaii polling sucks, but it's clear that Mazie Hirono will romp in this election.

Indiana: Tossup/Tilt R (was Tossup/Tilt D). I don't know what to think about this race. The final result will depend on what disaffected Lugar voters do. If they split more toward Donnelly and the Libertarian candidate than toward the extreme Republican candidate, Mourdock, Donnelly will win. I just don't feel confident in making a prediction, but since I'm making myself do so, in a very close election, I'll go with my head and not my heart. I hope my prediction proves incorrect.

Maine: Likely I (was Safe I). This race has gotten closer than seemed possible a few months ago, but in spite of lots of spending by Karl Rove's organization and so forth, it is hard to imagine King really losing this. If polls get closer, I'd revise this to Lean I, but right now, I think Likely is a reasonable slot for this. And of course, if elected, King would caucus with the Democrats.

Maryland: Safe D.

Massachusetts: Lean D (was Tossup/Tilt D). Elizabeth Warren made some early mistakes in her advertising strategy, but the strong Democratic lean of her state gave her the room to revamp her strategy, and overall, she has run a smart, authentic campaign and showed the limits of Scott Brown's talents. Brown has been unmasked as a small, bitter man who's likely to lose and lose ugly. I'm not rating this Likely D yet, but it's not easy to see how Brown could come back and win this one.

Michigan: Likely D (was Safe D). I think my rating may have been a bit enthusiastic in August. Some polling has shown this race within single digits. However, the prospect of "Pete Spend-It-Not" actually winning this race definitely seems a bridge too far. The only way he wins it is if President Obama somehow implodes in the next 2 weeks, and I just don't see that.

Minnesota: Safe D.

Mississippi: Safe R.

Missouri: Lean D (was Lean R, updated to Tossup/Tilt D after Akin's "legitimate rape" remarks). I'm almost tempted to rate this as Likely, because Akin lacks money and keeps on hurting himself further with the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. Unlike a lot of other Republican politicians, he really does believe all that crap.

Montana: Tossup/Tilt D. This is another really difficult rating. Polling has tended to show a small lead for Tester, but an Obama win is nearly impossible, and dreaminonempty estimates a 1 to 2-point difference in favor of the Republican senate candidate between the polling average and the actual results. Either way, this will probably again be one of the closest Senate races in the country.

Nebraska: Likely R (was Safe R). Kerrey recently released an internal poll result, showing him with a 5-point deficit. If that is accurate, it's barely conceivable that it could close further, but it's very hard to see an actual win for him. I'd give him perhaps a 5% chance of winning, so Likely is a stretch here.

Nevada: Tossup/Tilt D. Same reasoning as in my previous Senate race ratings diary: A slight opinion poll lead for the Republican is likely to evaporate in actual election returns, given the recent history of Nevada polling. Plus, absentee and early voting so far in Nevada have been highly Democratic.

New Jersey: Safe D (was Likely D). Menendez may never become that popular, but I don't see any path to victory for Kyrillos, and polling lately has mostly not been close.

New Mexico: Likely D (was Lean D). Polling has shown a consistent lead for Heinrich, and Obama will probably win the state by double digits.

New York: Safe D.

North Dakota: Tossup/Tilt R (was Tossup/Tilt D). If I go with my heart, I pick Heitkamp - to whom I sent money - to win. Going with my head, I have to take some of the recent polling seriously. A tie in a public poll of a state that clearly leans Republican is a danger sign for the Democratic candidate. The voters have to pick between an apparently squeaky-clean candidate who's run one of the best races in the country and is known to be very likeable in a state where retail politics are still important and a not very popular, somewhat damaged candidate from the party that will win the state's Electoral College votes by 12 or so. Heitkamp has a great chance, but I would need to see more positive polling to feel more confident of her winning.

Ohio: Likely D. Some of the recent polling has been close, but I really don't see Brown losing.

Pennsylvania: Likely D (was Safe D). The fact that the DSCC has to spend money on this race shows that it hasn't been put away. But I would still rate Casey's chance of victory at 90%.

Rhode Island: Safe D.

Tennessee: Safe R.

Texas: Safe R.

Utah: Safe R.

Vermont: Safe I (caucusing with the Democrats).

Virginia: Tossup/Tilt D. According to dreaminonempty's calculations, the expected result of a Senate race in Virginia should be approximately 2 points toward the Republican side from the polling average, but I think Kaine will win, anyway (and I also expect Obama will carry the state).

Washington: Safe D (was Likely D). I'm not sure many Republicans thought Baumgartner would actually win this race, but they have to be disappointed with his performance.

West Virginia: Safe D.

Wisconsin: Lean D
(was Lean R). If Heitkamp may have run the best Senatorial campaign of the year, Thompson may have run the worst of any candidate in a competitive race. In a word, he has been awful. He should have stayed retired.

Wyoming: Safe R.

To summarize:

Safe D: CA, DE, HI, MD, MN, NJ, NY, RI, VT (I), WA, WV

Likely D: CT, FL, ME (I), MI, NM, OH, PA

Lean D: MA, MO, WI

Tossup/Tilt D: AZ, MT, NV, VA

Tossup/Tilt R: IN, ND

Lean R:

Likely R: NE

Safe R: MS, TN, TX, UT, WY

Race changes in favor of the Democrat (8): AZ (Tossup/Tilt D from Tossup/Tilt R), FL (Likely D from Lean D), MA (Lean D from Tossup/Tilt D), NE (Likely R from Safe R), NJ (Safe D from Likely D), NM (Likely D from Lean D), WA (Safe D from Likely D), WI (Lean D from Lean R).

Race changes in favor of the Republican (5): IN, (Tossup/Tilt R from Tossup/Tilt D), ME (Likely I from Safe I), MI (Likely D from Safe D), ND (Tossup/Tilt R from Tossup/Tilt D), PA (Likely D from Safe D).

I'll be interested in reading everyone else's take on these races in the comments.

Poll

Which of the Tossup races do you think is least likely to go Democratic?

31%76 votes
16%39 votes
7%19 votes
21%52 votes
12%30 votes
9%22 votes

| 239 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know (7+ / 0-)

    Mourdock's rape comments in Indiana seem to be getting play. I think we might pull out a win there if Donnelly pounces on it.

    Proud supporter of actually prosecuting rape, even if it requires extradition!

    by zegota on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 07:13:16 PM PDT

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody

      I just read a recommended diary about that and listened to the clip. Mourdock's position is actually a consistent, principled position of someone who actually believes that an embryo is a human life, period. But his phrasing was inapt and may leave a bad taste in enough people's mouths to swing the election to Donnelly. It sure wouldn't shock me if it did.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 07:25:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does that affect your rating at all? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        24, Practical Progressive Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg/Simpson for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

        by HoosierD42 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 02:39:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not yet (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zack from the SFV

          I want to see new polling data. On the face of it, what he said was not as bad as Akin's "legitimate rape" remarks, because Mourdock was expressing an opinion, rather than repeating a long since debunked Medieval myth about human physiology, but it's certainly possible that the political effects of this could be equally bad for Mourdock, and even if the effects are relatively slight, that could be enough to tip a close election to Donnelly.

          Let's see whether there's more polling within a week, and then revisit this.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:44:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The first full day of Republican response to this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen

            is resembling the initial Republican reaction to Akin's statement quite a bit, though.

            It seems like establishment Republicans are pro-life, except when it's not convenient to be.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:42:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Terrific news: Pharos data included pollster.com (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              huffpo, that is

              Just visited, and within the past 15 minutes, they have made the decision to beginning posting the Pharos data, for some, (ND, MT) perhaps all States.

              Glad to see that Pharos passed their tests for credibility, at least as well as pulse, gravis, purple, mclaughlin, and all the others have done.

          •  A mathematical model supporting Donnelly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            (before polls start showing him surging past Mourdock)

            Using the Akin effect in MO, one could predict a Dem candidate surge of 5 to 9%, since Akin was ahead of McCaskill and is now several points behind.

            Barring the unforeseen, Mourdock's numbers will probably drop at least 5%, and since the race has been so close, Donnelly should forge his way into the lead within the coming week.

            IN: toss-up (probably shifting to tilt or lean D in 1 week)

  •  HI-Sen (0+ / 0-)

    I'm really concerned that this is not nearly as safe as most assume.  Wish someone would poll.

  •  Senate elections are waves (7+ / 0-)

    Let's go with some assumptions:

    1) The Reg. Voter polls showing Obama +5 are closer to reality than the Likely showing a tie.

    2) Nevada and Arizona will improve upon a Dem candidates polling by as much as 4-5% due to massive hispanic turnout- we've never seen anything like this before.

    3) That said -- I see Heitkamp winning with women, and Donnelly eeking out a late late (next day type) win in Indiana - leaving Kerrey our only loss.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 07:26:56 PM PDT

    •  I hope you're right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV

      But I'm not confident you are, so I'm being conservative (not in my politics, but in my ratings).

      Also, Senate elections are not always waves by any means. Why do you think this one will be a wave?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 07:35:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MT & NV & AZ probably just "toss-up" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        MT may be closest to tilt-D.

        I'd put IN as tilt-D, since Missouri is as conservative as Indiana, and the Akin effect was so large there.

        Do we know anything about the ND poll?  The numbers seem so far off to be "skewed," and Heitkamp's campaign said it was very flawed.

        The Dems could hold MT and ND, and they could pick up IN, MA, ME caucus, possibly NV or AZ (probably not both(?)).
        Even NE could be influenced by the Akin/Ryan/Mourdock effect on women voters, running against teabagger.

        Today, it appears that our team could end up doing as well as 56 or 57 with Maine, or as low as 52.  54 seems like an accurate mid-point, and if so, then the net effect is to add King in Maine to 53 Dem/Sanders.  55 would not be a huge surprise.

        •  Which ND poll are you referring to? (0+ / 0-)

          The internal poll that's 50-40 in favor of Berg? I don't put much weight behind that, and if I did, I wouldn't consider this a tossup race. No. My point is, if the race looks essentially tied, is that more likely to result in a Republican or Democratic win?

          As for NE, to my knowledge, Fischer is not a Tea Partier but an establishment Republican. Am I operating under a misimpression? I have a dim memory of some extremist statement or other by her, but I don't remember it.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:02:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  fischer is the devil (0+ / 0-)

            Seriously -

            She is worse than a tea partier -

            She is a tea partier (in IQ, belief system) who will vote with the Republican establishment.

            Why do I say that?  Because at least the tea partiers put a wrench in the Republican machine.   If she's elected she'll be in office 30 years.

            The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

            by jgkojak on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 08:30:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for confirming my point (0+ / 0-)

              that she's an establishment Republican. And since she is, it's very unlikely that she won't win this election.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 05:14:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Non sequitur to suggest that she'll win (0+ / 0-)

                because she is an establishment Republican.

                It doesn't follow, because first, as Rachel Maddow has pointed out on the air in a TV essay, NE Republicans chose a rather extreme candidate in Deb Fischer.

                Whether a tea-party member or not, Maddow asserted that she was a terrible choice for NE Senate nominee, and that candidates like her and Richard Mourdock were doing the Democrats a favor by carrying the (R) banner.

                It also doesn't follow because establishment Republicans have been defeated by Bob Kerrey before.

                So I'm disputing that she is a mainstream establishment Republican. according to Rachel Maddow, and also to jgkojak, whomever that may be, who's asserting that she is even worse with the heart of a tea-partier (i.e., a Trojan Horse?).

                Also that, even if she were, she could still defeated, because Bob Kerrey is a much, much more qualified candidate and well trusted by most Nebraskans.

                •  We'll see (0+ / 0-)

                  As I noted in the other thread, given that another poll showed a surprisingly close race, I am on the cusp of re-rating NE-Sen Lean R. But Nebraska has not been averse to electing establishment and, lately, even religious right Republicans, as witness former Senator and now Governor Brownback and current Senator and former Governor Mike Johanns.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 02:56:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think we can assume #2 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, James Allen

      especially since "we've never seen anything like this before". Also, #1 is wishful thinking big time, and I don't feel safe assuming it.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:05:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  waves in one sense... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, MichaelNY, yella dawg, wu ming

    ....which is not that Senate "waves" are transformative, but that nearly all the close races tend to go at the last minute toward one side or the other.  Think of 2006, 2008, 2010, 1980, 1974, 1986, etc.  If it's true this year, either the GOP will take over the Senate or the Dems will not only hold but will take most of the close races, losing only one or two.

    perhaps we can "wave" goodbye to the filibuster.

    •  All that's required to get rid of the filibuster (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV, nycvisionary

      is a simple majority vote in the Senate. 51 votes would do it.

      I don't think you're actually right that nearly all the close races tend to go toward one side or the other. 1974, 1980, 2006, 2008 and 2010 were all wave years, period. In 2010, remember, the Republicans gained 6 seats in the Senate, along with their huge House gains. Their Senate gains were blunted by excessive extremism, as we all know, but 6 seats is still a substantial gain. In 1986, the Democrats gained seats in an off-year election during Reagan's 2nd term, though their gain of 8 Senate seats was much more significant than their gain of 5 House seats.

      But really, you've selected a series of wave elections in order to make an argument that is not likely to hold for non-wave years. And while I hope 2012 is a Democratic wave, so far, there is no strong evidence that this will be more than a mildly Democratic legislative election.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also note GA-Sen 2008 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        a close race that did not go to the Democrats. NV-Sen 2010 and TN-Sen 2006 are similar stories.

        Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

        by fearlessfred14 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:04:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes - this is the only way to get anything done. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        The Republicans have forced the Dems to change the Senate rules so that 60 votes aren't required for a measure or candidate to advance.

        There may be a number of intermediate solutions, such as limiting the total number of filibusters that can be made to a sensible number (e.g., 10 filibusters every two years), or making it otherwise more difficult (requiring 40 Senators to be physically present in order to make a filibuster vote).

        In addition, the "hold" provisions in the Senate have been so repeatedly abused that they should be eliminated, completely, or radically cut back.  Perhaps each Senator could be allowed only 1 hold per term in office, for example.

        So Reid and the Dems can consider a wide range of measures limiting filibuster and the number of holds.

        The good thing about this is that, next time Dems are the minority of Senators, a reduced filibuster and hold power will not be overly restrictive - still there for emergencies, but only used very rarely.

  •  Heidi Heitkamp owes you a thanks. (5+ / 0-)

    I just sent $5 her way because of this diary, because you said you sent her some. It's not much, but I am a poor college student right now.

     She really is my favorite candidate this cycle. She is so genuine, and personable. When I watch one of her ads, I feel like I have known her for years. If we had to lose every competitive race but one, I would want to win this one, because Heidi is a very special candidate, and person.

    (I also don't feel guilty for sending money out of state when there is a competitive race in my state, since I gave Tammy Baldwin $$$$$ already in order to get a yard sign. Also sent $$$ to O, recently. And come to think of it, his yard sign was $$.)

    Farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -6.00, -3.54, I finally got a chance to do something my parents have done for years- vote against Tommy Thompson!!!! Tammy Baldwin for US Senate!!!!!

    by WisJohn on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:13:07 PM PDT

    •  I like Carmona even more than Heitkamp (5+ / 0-)

      I think if Heitkamp wins her election, some of her votes will disappoint me - and probably should, if she has the desire to be reelected. But though I'm sure my views won't coincide 100% with Carmona's, he has such a compelling biography, he could be an unusually insightful senator.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:19:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right. (6+ / 0-)

        She is for more drilling, and Keystone. I don't like that. But she is in North Dakota, not Massachusetts. At the end of the day, I would rather have a senator that votes with me 50% of the time than 0% of the time.

        Farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -6.00, -3.54, I finally got a chance to do something my parents have done for years- vote against Tommy Thompson!!!! Tammy Baldwin for US Senate!!!!!

        by WisJohn on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:23:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I couldn't agree more. n/t (4+ / 0-)

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:26:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe we don't have to choose, though... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            I would LOVE to see Heitkamp and Carmona win.

            Realistically, these days, we need the McCaskills and the Heitkamps, the Kerreys, and the Donnellys.  It is the only way we'll ever get 60 votes in the Senate again.

            Eventually, it would be great for the whole nation to evolve in such a way that we would have the possibility of electing a:

            Frank Church (D, Idaho !)

            Mike Mansfield (D, Montana)

            Fred Harris (D, Iowa)

            William Fullbright (D, Arkansas !)

            Howard Metzenbaum (D, Ohio !)

            George McGovern (D, South Dakota !)

            along with

            Robert F. Kennedy (D, NY)

            Eugene McCarthy (D, MN)

            and a host of others...
            Yes, we used to have flaming liberals in Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Arkansas, and Ohio.

            •  Sort of, in Arkansas (0+ / 0-)

              Remember, he voted against civil rights legislation he personally was strongly in support of.

              Also, I didn't choose: I sent money to Donnelly and Heitkamp as well as Carmona. But I sent more to Carmona.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 03:57:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Carmona (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    I'm surprised that Carmona is winning my unscientific poll by such a lopsided margin. Why do so many of you think he's the least likely candidate among the tossups to win his election? I think that he's more likely to win than at least Heitkamp, and perhaps Donnelly (though that depends on whether he can make a lot of hay out of Mourdock's remarks on rape and pregnancy). I even think it's not too unlikely that he could win while Tester loses.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:24:14 PM PDT

    •  Hispanic turnout. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Yes he is Hispanic, but they are notorious for underwhelming turnout in AZ. That is why I voted for AZ.

      Farm boy, 20, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -6.00, -3.54, I finally got a chance to do something my parents have done for years- vote against Tommy Thompson!!!! Tammy Baldwin for US Senate!!!!!

      by WisJohn on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:49:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've never been on the Carmona bandwagon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, The Caped Composer

      It seems to me that maybe a month ago, when Carmona started to approach Flake in the polls, everyone here decided, without much evidence, that Carmona would win. I personally don't see much evidence of that. Flake hasn't made any big mistakes, and he is a good fit for Arizona politically. And with the exception of Janet Napolitano, Arizona isn't known for electing Democrats statewide, especially to federal offices. Carmona is running a good campaign, but I think it would take a more Democratic year than 2012 to actually elect him. I'm looking at 51-48 Flake.

      I also agree with what WisJohn said.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), new ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 07:18:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  sen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    so am I right..your predictions give the Dems a net pickup of 3 and the new senate will be 56-44...I'll take it.

    •  No, a net pickup of 2 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, Zack from the SFV

      and a 55-45 split. At this point, I'm predicting turnovers to the Republicans in Indiana and Nebraska and to the Democrats in Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada.

      If Mourdock's remarks on rape and pregnancy tip that election to Donnelly, that would produce the results you speak of, and if Heitkamp were also to win, with the Democrats sweeping all the tossups, the Senate would be 57-43. I think that's the very best outcome we could reasonably hope for. It's a tall order, but quite a bit more likely than a Republican takeover of the Senate, in my opinion.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:38:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  pretty much agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    I voted Indiana, fwiw.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:59:12 PM PDT

    •  I'm thinking North Dakota is least likely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Zack from the SFV

      But still a tossup, and Heitkamp has a good chance, probably around 45%, so all of these races are pretty closely bunched together in terms of chances of each side to win. I think VA is the most likely tossup to go Democratic, perhaps close to a 60% chance, but maybe I'm underrating Allen's chances because I find him so odious.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 12:03:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't consider VA a tossup anymore. (4+ / 0-)

        Kaine has been expanding his lead lately.

        ND and IN are the two most Republican states on the list, so it's logical we'd conclude one of them.  Both have a history of electing Democrats to congress.  ND, though, till 2010 had a solid 3/3 Democratic delegation, Heitkamp is running one of the best campaigns in the country and is one of the most likeable candidates one could imagine, and Berg is unpopular.

        In Indiana, Donnelly is running a good campaign, he's okay as far as likeability, and Mourdock is pretty unpopular.

        I give that edge to Heitkamp.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 12:20:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All of your points make sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          I think that Kaine's race is on the cusp between Tossup/Tilt and Lean. Different polls have given him anywhere from a tossup race to a mid single-digit lead. But I do think he is likely to win, in the end.

          I'm not completely sure that Indiana is a more Republican state than Montana. I think that's debatable in either direction, and the point you make about ticket-splitting is applicable to the Dakotas, Indiana, and also Montana.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 12:31:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good job, I agree with your analysis (3+ / 0-)

    Of the 6 tossups, I think Virginia is the least of our worries.  While I agree with your ranking, I anticipate that Virginia will move to the Lean Dem category before election day.

    Montana...I think Tester will win by a narrow margin.  He appears to have the ability to connect well with the rural voter.

    Arizona...I'd rather be Carmona than Flake, but not by much.  Tough call, but I agree with you.

    Nevada...I know we mentioned that HI polling underestimates Democratic support, but I'm hoping this is also the case in Nevada.  The polling hasn't been kind to us recently, but hopefully we can still pull this one out.

    Indiana...Donnelly is a good fit for this state.  The Lugar primary voters will decide this race.  

    North Dakota...ND has had a good history of sending Democratic Senators to the Senate, so I'm still holding out hope.  Reading thru the tea leaves, I think the Berg camp is getting somewhat scared of losing this race.  The advertisements in this state lend me to believe that Berg is conceding that people like Heidi, but that a Heidi vote will be an Obama senate vote.  

    Anyway, I agree with your ratings, and I could see us winning all 6 races.  I'd be pleasantly happy to break even amongst the six.

    •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)

      I do believe that polling undercounts Democratic voting in Nevada, though not to nearly the extent as in Hawaii. In addition, Democrats have been leading in early voting.

      Berg and his allies are definitely running scared in North Dakota. There's no question he's in big trouble. The only question is whether the trouble is so serious that he actually loses the election, and right now, I think that's at the knife's edge.

      We'll revisit the Indiana race in a week or so, assuming there's some decent-seeming polling between now and then.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:50:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stabenow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Actually, only one poll in the last month has shown a single digit lead for Stabenow.  I don't find that poll credible because it's from the pollster who always has 80% of respondents being over the age of 50.  I think it's very unlikely that Hoekstra can overcome Stabenow's lead.      

    •  Really, only one poll? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueonyx

      I thought there were a few. Anyway, we are in complete agreement. It greatly strains credibility for anyone to predict a win for Hoekstra. He was never thought too likely to win this seat, but other than Thompson, he's probably the Republican in a race that was conceived to be possibly competitive who ran the worst race. I mean, really, the grossly racist "Debbie Spend-It-Now" ad?!

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 06:32:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Republican internal poll (0+ / 0-)

    showing IN-Sen tied (see the leadoff post in Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 10/26 [morning edition]) is just about sufficient for me to change my IN-Sen race rating to Tossup/Tilt D. I'd love to see confirmation by another poll, but I don't think this race leans Republican anymore.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 10:27:42 AM PDT

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