Election Watch: 8/25

The past week has seen two major political events: the selection of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate, and Rep. Todd Akin’s commentary concerning how women’s bodies work.

While the first event has appeared to help Republicans nationwide, the second seems to be causing the GOP’s efforts in Missouri to self-destruct. In the only two rolling polls taken since the controversy, Akin himself dropped from a seven-point lead to a ten-point deficit, and a poll was even released showing Obama defeating Romney in the state by one point. This is the only poll so far to show Obama with a lead in Missouri, so we will have to wait for more data to see whether there will be a trickle-up effect in the state.

Democratic Party – 48
Republican Party – 50
Independents – 2 (ME, VT)
Democratic Party – 204
Republican Party – 231

Changes since the last prediction:


  1. Connecticut: Strong D (10.0) to Likely D (9.3)
  2. Florida: Lean D (2.2) to Toss-up (0.6)
  3. Nebraska’s 2nd District: Toss-up (-1.0) to Lean R (-2.5)
  4. Nevada: Lean D (4.8) to Likely D (5.5)
  5. Wisconsin: Likely D (6.2) to Lean D (2.6)


  1. Connecticut: Likely D (5.5) to Lean D (2.7)
  2. Florida: Toss-up (-1.6) to Likely D (5.8)
  3. Missouri: Lean R (-3.0) to Toss-up (-1.6)
  4. Wisconsin: Toss-up (-0.7) to Lean R (-3.3)


  1. CO-06: Weak D gain (4.0)
  2. CO-07: Likely R gain (-9.0)
  3. IL-10: Toss-up (0.0)
  4. IL-17: Strong R hold (-13.0)
  5. MN-08: Likely D gain (7.0)
  6. NV-04: Strong R gain (-11.0)
  7. NH-02: Toss-up (-0.5)
  8. NY-27: Likely R gain (-7.5)
  9. NC-08: Weak D hold (4.0)
  10. TX-14: Weak D gain (4.0)


Click to enlarge.

For yet another week, the electoral college vote remains unchanged: Obama-Biden beats Romney-Ryan comfortably, 332-206. Paul Ryan’s selection seems to have given the Romney ticket a “bump” though, especially in his home state of Wisconsin, where the Democratic ticket now leads by less than three points. The Wisconsin Senate race is also looking better for Republicans after the primaries, with Tommy Thompson up an average of 3.25 points over Tammy Baldwin.

Following is a map we created to show how the Senate is projected to change. DARK RED = R gain, LIGHT RED = R hold, DARK BLUE = D gain, LIGHT BLUE = D hold, DARK GREEN = I gain, LIGHT GREEN = I hold, PURPLE = Toss-up.

Click to enlarge.

Summary of results:

“Current” – The current makeup of the U.S. Senate. “2012” indicates the makeup of the Senate after the 2012 elections, but only using poll results that are outside our margin of error of 2.0. “Toss-up” indicates the makeup of the Senate after the 2012 elections including all races, including the closest races. For example, a race where the Republican candidate leads by 0.1 would not be counted in the 2012 line, but would be counted in the Toss-up line.


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

The net gain of D+13, however, must still take into account the effects of redistricting on party seat changes:

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

Using the new key, we have updated our presidential strength indicator. States colored in black do not have data.

Click to enlarge.

Strongest OBAMA states and the size of his lead:

  1. Vermont: 37
  2. New York: 26
  3. Illinois: 20

Strongest ROMNEY states and the size of his lead:

  1. Utah: 42
  2. Oklahoma: 29
  3. West Virginia: 17

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

Click to enlarge.