Election Watch: 8/15

After a relatively slow polling week and primaries in four states, we have updated our predictions using the latest poll data. These are also the first polls since Paul Ryan was announced as Romney’s running mate.


Democratic Party – 50
Republican Party – 48
Independents – 2 (ME, VT)
Democratic Party – 203
Republican Party – 232

Changes since the last prediction:


  1. Indiana: Likely R (-6.0) to Strong R (-16.0)
  2. New Hampshire: Likely D (5.3) to Lean D (3.8)
  3. New Mexico: Likely D (6.5) to Strong D (10.7)


  1. NH-01: Likely D Gain (5.0)
  2. NH-02: Weak D Gain (4.0)


Click to enlarge.

Once again, the electoral vote count remains unchanged after a week of polls. The more interesting developments have been down the ballot. In Wisconsin, Tommy Thompson has won the GOP primary and will face Tammy Baldwin in the general election. For this head-to-head matchup, Quinnipiac found the two tied at 47 apiece while Rasmussen found Baldwin up 48-41.

Further down the ballot, PPP polls in New Hampshire showed both Republican incumbent Representatives in trouble. We therefore added NH-01 and NH-02 to our list of Democratic pickups in November.

Here is our current list of House pickups for both parties:

We have developed a new color code for our party strength indicators:

Using the new key, we developed, for the first time on CFP, a strength indicator for the presidential election. A state colored in black indicates there is no data yet.

Click to enlarge.

Strongest OBAMA states and the size of his lead:

  1. Vermont: 31
  2. New York: 25
  3. Illinois: 20

Strongest ROMNEY states and the size of his lead:

  1. Utah: 42
  2. Oklahoma: 35
  3. West Virginia: 17

This map shows the strength of the Senate candidates in each state using the latest poll data:

Click to enlarge.

The strongest Senate candidate from either party (determined by having the greatest average poll lead) is Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) with a 52-point lead.

Finally, perhaps you were wondering why the Senate prediction changed from 49-49-2 to 50-48-2. While toss-up races are colored purple in our strength indicators, we count even the smallest lead when making our Senate projections. This is so that the totals always add up to 100 Senators. This week, Wisconsin changed from a -0.7 average spread to a +0.7 spread, leaving the race in the toss-up category but giving the edge to Democrat Tammy Baldwin. Even a 0.7% lead is a win on Election Day, and Wisconsin would thus be a Democratic hold rather than a Republican pickup.