Election Watch: 9/24

With less than 7 weeks to go to Election Day, polls results begin to look more final. If Obama is ahead by this margin at this point in the race, Romney’s chance of winning is slim at best. Romney shot himself in the foot last week with a PR disaster. Another thing we learned this week is that anyone who still claims the Senate is not in play, is out of their mind. The Democrats have a very good chance of holding on to the upper house.

Democratic Party – 51
Republican Party – 47
Independents – 2 (ME, VT)
Democratic Party – 200
Republican Party – 235

Changes since the last prediction:


  1. California: Strong D (19.3) to Solid D (20.2)
  2. Colorado: Lean D (2.3) to Toss-up (1.8)
  3. Florida: Toss-up (1.0) to Lean D (3.4)
  4. Illinois: Solid D (26.0) to Strong D (18.0)
  5. Indiana: Strong R (-16.0) to Likely R (-9.3)
  6. Massachusetts: Strong D (17.5) to Solid D (22.4)
  7. Ohio: Lean D (2.6) to Likely D (5.8)
  8. Oregon: Lean D (4.0) to Likely D (5.7)
  9. South Dakota: Likely R (-6.0) to Strong R (-15.0)
  10. Texas: Likely R (-8.0) to Strong R (13.0)
  11. Wisconsin: Lean D (2.6) to Likely D (5.8)


  1. Massachusetts: Lean R (-2.3) to Lean D (2.4)
  2. Minnesota: Solid D (24.5) to Strong D (18.4)
  3. Missouri: Lean D (2.3) to Toss-up (1.4)
  4. Montana: Likely R (-7.0) to Toss-up (-1.0)
  5. Virginia: Toss-up (0.8) to Lean D (3.3)
  6. Wisconsin: Lean R (-3.3) to Lean D (4.7)


  1. AZ-09: Likely D (5.0)
  2. CO-06: Lean R (-3.0)
  3. OH-06: Toss-up (0.0)

Click to enlarge.

The polls this past week have been almost universally positive for the forces of change. There are only two pieces of bad news:

  1. CO: Obama now leads by an average of only 1.8 points in Colorado, making the race a statistical toss-up.
  2. MD-01: Democratic House candidate Wendy Rosen has withdrawn for the race over allegations of voter fraud. Unfortunately, it is now too late for another candidate to be placed on the ballot to oppose right-wing extremist Rep. Andy Harris, even John LaFerla, who lost the primary election to Rosen by only 57 votes. LaFerla is now running a write-in campaign. There was talk of former Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest making a run for his former seat, but apparently this was nothing more than a rumor.

Presidential strength indicator:  (BLACK indicates no data)

Click to enlarge.

The big news in the Senate is the general trend toward Democrats this week. Massachusetts and Virginia have finally moved out of the toss-up category into the Democratic column, Wisconsin has shifted from Lean R to Lean D, and the Montana race, once considered a sure Republican pickup, is now within 1 percentage point.

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 a strength indicator for the Senate:

Click to enlarge.

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

The net gain for Democrats is now down to D+10; however, that number does not take into account the effects of redistricting on party seat changes:





So now what?

The day after Election Day, where will you be? If progressive candidates lose, will you be comforted knowing you did all you could? Or will you wonder what could have happened if you had done just a little more? Don’t let that be your story. There’s still plenty of time to volunteer or contribute.

Register to vote, and make sure your friends are registered!



Donate to progressive candidates for Congress. Even small donations like $5 add up.

Volunteer for President Obama’s campaign in your area!