Note: The chart below is small, but if you double click on it— it will open a much larger view.
The chart below lists the ten states which (IMHO) the GOP has the best chance of picking up senate seats in the upcoming election, and the three states the Democrats have a legitimate possibility to pick up a seat.
For each race we provide the Real Clear Politics Poll average, and the latest race ratings from Charlie Cook, Stuart Rothenberg, Larry Sabato, NYTimes, 538, Washington Post, and the official “lid” ratings. Understand, these outlooks are a snapshot at a point of time—and there is still plenty of room before election day for things to change.
As things stand today the Democrats have a 55-45 seat majority in the senate (two independents caucus with the Democrats) Constitutionally the Vice President gets to cast a vote in the event of a tie, to take over the Senate the GOP needs a net gain of six seats to bring them to 51.
When it comes to each of the prognosticators, I tend to lean toward the Cook, Rothenberg and Sabato which include personal experience and gut, over the computer model predictors, the NYT, 538, and WaPo.
My predictions disagree with the experts in some cases. In Alaska most believe the race to be leaning Dem. or a Toss Up. One thing missing is that Begich’s election six years ago was a bit of an accident. The GOP incumbent Ted Stevens had been convicted of corruption in a case that was eventually reversed because as the judge who threw out the conviction said, “The investigation and prosecution of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens were
permeated by the systematic concealment of significant exculpatory
evidence which would have independently corroborated Senator Stevens’s
defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and
credibility of the government’s key witness.” Despite the fact that he had just been convicted of corruption, Stevens losing margin was a mere 1.25%. Alaska is a conservative state, and this time Begich will not have the help of an opponent dealing with a politically motivated scandal.
The Human pundits see Louisiana as a toss-up. In this case I agree with computers who have the state leaning toward the Republican Cory Gardner. Incumbent Landrieu has been hit with a few scandals over the past few weeks, the feeling here is she has no where to go but down.
There was Rasmussen a poll earlier this week showing a tie in the New Hampshire race between Scott Brown and the incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. That poll may have been an outlier as the two polls after that reported relatively large margins for Shaheen. I hope I’m wrong but right now I see New Hampshire as safe Democratic.
The Republican seat in Kansas may be a problem. If the election was held today everyone would be a huge because it’s only Mid-Sept. With or without a Democratic candidate (and right now it looks like without), incumbent Republican Pat Roberts is in big trouble. IMHO the race is leaning toward Independent candidate Greg Orman. And make no mistake about it, Orman is left leaning and if he wins he will caucus with the Democrats (that’s why the Democrat dropped out).
If I was forced to make a final prediction today the GOP has a 60% chance of taking the Senate. They would pick up six seats and lose one for a net of five. The races to keep an eye on are Iowa and Colorado. If everything stays as it is now, and one of those two go GOP–the senate leadership will switch. Republican Joni Earnst has been trending up in the Iowa polls as has Republican Cory Gardner in Colorado.
But as you know things can change quickly in these two or any of the other 11 races so keep following developments here.