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Senate election predictions 2012

November 4, 2012

Finally, I’ve gotten around to this even though I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

We know that Democrats are going to hold their seats in California, Delaware, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, and West Virginia and Republicans will hold theirs in Wyoming, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Utah. But what about the others that have shown competitive signs?

So many changes as the races have changed, tightened and moved solidly to one candidate or another. But in the end, here are the top 20 Senate races in order of likelyhood to change parties, starting with the 20th most likely.

20. Texas – Ted Cruz vs Paul Sadler – Sadler is a good candidate in a different state, but this is Texas and Cruz is also a good candidate. This seat becomes more conservative after Ted Cruz is sworn in.

Likely GOP hold

19. NJ – Menendez vs Joe Kyrillos – 3 polls in July most recently with Menendez in the mid 40’s and Kyrillos 9 back in the only LV poll. And with the recent allegations of Menendez, ah, ‘stiffing’, a couple of prostitutes coming out, this could be a problem for him. But he’s a Democrat, this is New Jersey, and with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, I doubt anyone will notice or care.

Likely Democrat hold

18. Hawaii – Mazie Hirono vs Linda Lingle – This is a rematch of 2002 when Lingle beat Hirono for governor by 5 points.  This time it’s for national office with native son, Barack Obama on the ticket. I used to think this will be close, but not anymore. Hirono wins the rematch.

Likely Democrat hold

17. Michigan – Stabenow vs Hoekstra – Stabenow is definitely the favorite here especially after the democrats pulled their usual race card on Hoekstra for his Super Bowl add, then this race has tightened for a bit, but has solidified for Stabenow.

Likely Democrat hold

16. New Mexico – Heinrich vs Wilson – This state has just gone too far to the left for a squishy Republican like Heather Wilson to compete.

Leans Democrat Hold

15. Florida – Nelson vs Mack – This one is still within reach of Mack, but Nelson looks like he has pulled away to a large enough lead against another lightweight “name” politician.

Leans Democrat Hold

14. Nevada – Heller vs Berkley – Even though Nevada keeps electing Harry Reid, this state hasn’t gone as far overboard as the those East Coast states in their love of corrupt democrats. Which means Senator Heller is likely to keep his seat.

Leans GOP hold

13. Connecticut – McMahon vs Murphy – This race once looked promising for McMahon, but as normal, corrupt Democrats win the day in places run by Democrats where American ideals are put down and the Constitution is shunned.

Leans Democrat Hold

12. Missouri – Akin vs McCaskill – Akin was probably the worst Republican to run against McCaskill and has put himself above his beliefs and his party by staying in a race he is likely to lose due to his own stupidity. This race is still closer than it should be, and with Mitt Romney running away with Missouri, Akin might get pulled across the finish line. But I doubt it.

Leans Democrat Hold

11. Ohio – Brown vs Mandel – The polls in this race have shown a consistent but small lead for Senator Brown. Josh Mandel hasn’t run a great race and is in it still because of a ton of outside money. Mandel could still win, but I think he jumped the shark in trying to rise too high, too fast. Not everyone is blessed with Obama charisma.

Leans Democrat hold

10. Arizona – Jeff Flake vs Richard Carmona – I’m surprised by how close this race is, but Flake should hold on to this GOP seat.

Leans GOP Hold

9. Virginia – Allen vs Kaine – Polls show Kaine leading by 1 more often than not, but Democrat enthusiasm is down in Virginia, especially around the DC suburbs. I expect George Allen to eek this out and return to the Senate.

Leans GOP Takeover

8. Pennsylvania – Casey vs Smith – Senator Bob Casey has run the same race as he did 6 years ago … none. But in 2006, he was the challenger against a very unpopular Rick Santorum. This time Tom Smith has run a relentless race against a Senator who is only in that position because his dad has the same name. Not this time.

Leans GOP Takeover

7. Wisconsin –  Thompson vs Baldwin –  Another race down to the wire, but I think the GOP ground game and Thompson being a popular former governor pull him across the finish line over Tammy Baldwin, who is to the left of Barack Obama. 

Leans GOP Takeover

6. Montana – Rehberg vs Tester – Denny Rehberg has been ahead by a small but steady amount for the majority of this race. In a presidential year with Tester’s vote for Obamacare in a GOP leaning state, Tester remaining a senator is difficult to see.

Leans GOP Takeover

5. Indiana – Mourdock vs Donnelly – This race is closer than it should be, but my guess is a lot of moderate Republicans are upset about Mourdock and the right’s depiction of Dick Lugar. I think this was always a close one, but his statement on rape and abortion and God didn’t need to be said in this sound bite world and will cost the GOP the race.

Leans Democrat Takeover

4. Massachusetts – Brown vs Warren – Warren is a bat crap crazy leftist and Senator Scott Brown is a moderate. But in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren will win. Hard to believe the level of idiocy that prevails in that state.

Leans Democrat Takeover

3. North Dakota – Berg vs Heitkamp – Heitkamp is personally popular, Rick Berg, not so much. But it’s a presidential year in a red state and even though North Dakota has been GOP presidential and Democrat down ballot, the overall polarization of the electorate will pull Berg to victory.

Leans GOP Takeover

2. Nebraska – Fischer vs Kerrey – Deb Fischer will be the next Senator from Nebraska. Should be some nice Tea Party voting there. This race has closed but the recycled Mr. Kerrey will stay on history’s ash heap.

Likely GOP Takeover

1. Maine – King vs Summers vs Dill – For a while this looked like a runaway for King, but lately the race has been tightening with Charlie Summers closing the gap. It’s still King’s to lose, but Summers is making a charge at it. The only real question in this race is whether King will caucus as a good Democrat or caucus as a liberal Chaffee Republican.

Likely Independent takeover

Which has this Senate Class going from 22 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and 1 independent (Lieberman) to 19 Democrats, 13 Republicans, and 1 independent (King – D?). That gives us a 50 Republican, 48 Democrat and 2 Independent (caucusing as Democrats) or a 50 – 50 senate led by the tie breaking Vice President. 2 more years of  extreme Senate gridlock. Enjoy!

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