Final Analysis Of All The Key Senate Races


All races not listed here can be assumed to be holds for the party that already has the seat. So, for example, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Dan Coats, Rob Port, and Kelly Ayotte all look to be cruising towards easy wins. Here are the other key races to watch.

State: North Dakota
Seat Currently Held By: Byron Dorgan (D)
Competitors: John Hoeven (R) vs Tracey Potter (D)
Latest poll: John Hoeven 72% vs. Tracey Potter 25% — Rasmussen
Ranking: Game over. Hoeven wins.
Analysis: See ranking.

State: Arkansas
Seat Currently Held By: Blanche Lincoln (D)
Competitors: Blanche Lincoln (D) vs. John Boozer (R)
Latest poll: John Boozman 55% vs. Blanche Lincoln 36% — Rasmussen
Ranking: Game over. Boozman wins.
Analysis: Barring a miracle, Lincoln is toast. Enough said.

State: Indiana
Seat Currently Held By: Evan Bayh (D)
Competitors: Dan Coats (R) vs Brad Ellsworth (D)
Latest poll: Dan Coats 52% vs Brad Ellsworth 34% — Rasmussen
Ranking: Game Over. Coats wins.
Analysis: Coats has had a double digit lead over Ellsworth from the get-go, Ellsworth has gotten no traction, and barring a miracle, time has run out.

State: Wisconsin
Seat Currently Held By: Russ Feingold (D)
Competitors: Ron Johnson (R) vs Sen. Russ Feingold (D)
Latest poll: Ron Johnson 52% vs. Russ Feingold 45% — Marist
Ranking: Leaning Republican (90% chance of Republican pick-up)
Analysis: Johnson has been up in every poll since July and in the real world, his lead is probably 7-8 points. Still, it ain’t over until it’s over.

State: Alaska
Seat Currently Held By: Lisa Murkowski (R)
Competitors: Joe Miller (R) vs. Lisa Murkowski (I) vs. Scott McAdams (D)
Latest poll: Joe Miller 37% vs. Lisa Murkowski 30% vs. Scott McAdams 30% — PPP
Ranking: Leaning Republican (75% chance of Republican hold)
Analysis: Miller had made some mistakes at the end of the campaign and a couple of polls by unreliable pollsters seemed to show Miller tanking. However, PPP is the only reliable pollster that has done a poll in the last 10 days and they show Miller up by 7. Still, in a three way race, with Murkowski running a write-in campaign, and Alaska being notoriously difficult to poll, there’s enough uncertainty that you can’t pencil in Miller as a guaranteed winner yet.

State: Pennsylvania
Seat Currently Held By: Arlen Specter (D)
Competitors: Pat Toomey (R) vs. Joe Sestak (D)
Latest poll: Pat Tooomey 51% vs. Joe Sestak 45% — PPP
Ranking: Leaning Republican (75% chance of Republican pick-up)
Analysis: Sestak finished strong, but it looks like Toomey has too much horsepower for him.

State: Nevada
Seat Currently Held By: Harry Reid (D)
Competitors: Sharron Angle (R) Vs. Harry Reid (D)
Latest poll: Sharron Angle 49% vs. Harry Reid 45% — PPP
Ranking: Leaning Republican (75% chance of Republican hold)
Analysis: Angle has been ahead in every poll during the final three weeks. Moreover, she has been flirting with the 50% mark while Reid has been sitting in the mid-forties. Given that the voters in Nevada already know Reid very well, you have to think the undecided voters will break towards Angle. So, at the moment, looks like she’s in really good shape.

State: Colorado
Seat Currently Held By: Michael Bennet (D)
Competitors: Michael Bennet (D) vs. Ken Buck (R)
Latest poll: Ken Buck 49% vs. Bennet 45% — Marist
Ranking: Leaning Republican (75% chance of Republican pick-up)
Analysis: Bennet closed strong, but Buck looks like he’s going to have a small edge on election day.

State: Illinois
Seat Currently Held By: Roland Burris (D)
Competitors: Mark Kirk (R) vs Alexi Giannoulias (D)
Latest poll: Mark Kirk 46% vs. Alexi Giannoulias 42% — Rasmussen
Ranking: Slight Edge to Republican (60/40 race)
Analysis: Kirk has done well in the final two weeks and appears to have a slight lead. Still, the voters don’t seem to like either man and there is a surprising number of undecided voters for this late in the race. Although Kirk is in a slightly better position, it’s not possible to say who’ll win with certainty at this point.

State: Washington
Seat Currently Held By: Patty Murray (D)
Competitors: Patty Murray (D) vs. Dino Rossi (R)
Latest poll: Patty Murray (49%) Vs. Dino Rossi (48%) — Marist
Ranking: Toss-up (50% chance of Republican pick-up)
Analysis: Most analysts seem to be writing this race off for the Republicans, but it looks like a genuine coin-flip at this point. Moreover, if I absolutely had to pick a winner, I’d have to go with Rossi because he’s been closing strong and has a little momentum.

State: West Virginia
Seat Currently Held By: Carte Goodwin (D)
Competitors: John Raese (R) vs Joe Manchin (D)
Latest poll: Joe Manchin 51% vs. John Raese 46% — PPP
Ranking: Leaning Democrat (75% chance of Democrat hold)
Analysis: This is a bitterly disappointing race because it looked like Raese had pulled a little ahead, but Manchin appears to have closed strongly and passed him at the end.

State: California
Seat Currently Held By: Barbara Boxer (D)
Competitors: Barbara Boxer (D) vs. Carly Fiorina (R)
Latest poll: Barbara Boxer 49% vs. Carly Fiorina 46% — Rasmussen
Ranking: Edge to Democrat (75% chance of Democrat hold)
Analysis: Fiorina has only been ahead of Boxer in 1 of the last 28 polls. Real world, Boxer is about 4-5 points ahead and barring a shocking level of turn-out, Fiorina probably isn’t going to be able to close th gap.

State: Connecticut
Seat Currently Held By: Christopher Dodd, (D)
Competitors: Linda McMahon (R) vs Richard Blumenthal (D)
Latest poll: Richard Blumenthal 54% vs. McMahon 43% — PPP
Ranking: Game Over.
Analysis: McMahon made a little run at Blumenthal in early-mid October, but he’s closed strong and opened up what appears to be an insurmountable lead.

State: Delaware
Seat Currently Held By: Ted Kaufman (D)
Competitors: Chris Coons (D) vs. Christine O’Donnell (R)
Latest poll: Coons 51% vs. O’Donnell 40% — Rasmussen
Ranking: Game Over.
Analysis: O’Donnell has consistently polled around 40% while Coons has consistently polled above 50%. Barring a miracle, O’Donnell is done.

Final Analysis: My prediction based on these numbers? 7-9 seats. If we had a really bad night? 7 seats. If we win all the races we should win? 8 seats. If we win all the races we should win and Murray seat? 9 seats.

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