Election Watch: 9/8

The Republican and Democratic National Conventions are a party’s 3-day opportunity to make their case to the American public. With these now wrapped up and in the books, there does not seem to be much movement in the Presidential race.

Democratic Party – 48
Republican Party – 50
Independents – 2 (ME, VT)
Democratic Party – 201
Republican Party – 234

Changes since the last prediction:


  1. Iowa: Lean D (2.0) to Toss-up (1.0)
  2. Missouri: Lean R (-4.8) to Likely R (-7.2)
  3. Nevada: Likely D (5.5) to Lean D (4.8)


  1. Connecticut: Lean D (2.7) to Toss-up (-0.7)
  2. Massachusetts: Toss-up (-0.3) to Lean R (-2.3)
  3. Michigan: Strong D (10.0) to Likely D (8.4)
  4. Missouri: Toss-up (-1.6) to Lean D (2.3)
  5. New Jersey: Likely D (5.6) to Strong D (11.0)


  1. CA-07: Toss-up (0.0)
  2. CT-05: Toss-up (0.0)
  3. FL-18: Lean R (-2.5)
  4. FL-26: Likely D gain (9.0)
  5. IL-11: Toss-up (-1.0)
  6. NY-01: Likely D gain (5.0)
  7. NC-08: Toss-up (1.5)

Click to enlarge.

The electoral college vote remains unchanged after two months: the Obama-Biden ticket beats Romney-Ryan 332-206. It doesn’t look like Rep. Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” gaffe has “trickled up” and hurt Romney; instead Romney has increased his lead. However, Akin himself is damaged, with the Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill taking a lead in average percentage points.

Additionally, we may be seeing the beginning of the next realignment cycle. These political realignments tend to happen about once every 40 years. This realignment seems to have Democrats strengthening in states with a large voting minority ethnic population, such as Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia. Meanwhile, the Northeast may be trending Republican, as socially conservative Roman Catholic voters leave the party of Kennedy. The Connecticut and Massachusetts Senate races now lean Republican, and the CT-05 House race is a surprise toss-up.

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 for Democrats is now down to D+11; however, that number does not take into account the effects of redistricting on party seat changes:

Here is out color code for party strength indicator maps:

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

Click to enlarge.


This map is the same, but for the Senate:

Click to enlarge.