Key Senate Race Updates

10/12/2012 Update:

RCP is now showing us 11 toss-ups, 46 Dem and 43 Rep. Changes since 9/29 are pretty limited. Toss-ups are still toss-ups. Nobody has switched position. Some minor movement in numbers, usually a slight decrease in the Dem’s lead showing the waning of DNC bounce; only in the case of Nevada has the Republican widened an existing lead.

Check the table for the numbers!

Past updates are below the table.

Latest stories on 2012 US Senate races, updated regularly:

Here are the key races and their latest poll averages, as of 10/12/12:

StateDemocratic CandidateRepublican CandidateLatest RCP AverageNotes
ArizonaRichard Carmona

Richard Carmona (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Jeff Flake

Jeff Flake (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Flake +2.3Update 10/12. Remains "toss up"; Flake has lost 1.2 points in last two weeks.
Connecticut
Chris Murphy
Bio | Campaign Site

Linda McMahon
Bio | Campaign Site
Murphy +3.4Update 10/12. Murphy has increased his lead further, and more consistently.
Florida
Bill Nelson (Incumbent)
Bio | Campaign Site

Connie Mack
Bio | Campaign Site
Nelson +8.0Updated 10/12
Moved by RCP to "Leans Democratic" 9/29
Indiana
Joe Donnelly
Bio | Campaign Site

Richard Mourdock
Bio | Campaign Site
Donnelly +2.0Update 10/12. Only one poll in all of September; RCP toss-up. No new polls since 9/29 update.
Massachusetts
Elizabeth Warren
Bio | Campaign Site

Scott Brown (Incumbent)
Bio | Campaign Site
Warren +2.5Updated 10/12, a slight increase in Warren's lead.
MichiganDebbie Stabenow

Debbie Stabenow (Incumbent)

Bio | Campaign Site

Pete Hoekstra

Pete Hoekstra (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Stabenow +13.3Updated 10/12, moved from "Toss Up" to "Likely Democratic" by RCP 9/29.
Missouri
Claire McCaskill (Incumbent)
Bio | Campaign Site

Todd Akin
Bio | Campaign Site
McCaskill +2.3Updated 10/12, RCP moved back to "Toss Up" from "Leans Dem".
MontanaJon Tester

Jon Tester (Incumbent)

Bio | Campaign Site

Denny Rehberg

Denny Rehberg

Bio | Campaign Site

Rehberg +1.7Updated 10/12. No change in average since 9/29.
NevadaShelley Berkley

Shelley Berkley

Bio | Campaign Site

Dean Heller

Dean Heller (Incumbent)

Bio | Campaign Site

Heller +3.0Updated 910/12. Moved from "Leans Rep" back to "Toss Up" by RCP. Heller's lead increased 1 point since 9/29.
North DakotaHeidi Heitkamp

Heidi Heitkamp

Bio | Campaign Site

Rick Berg

Rick Berg

Bio | Campaign Site

TieUpdated 10/12. Only poll since July (10/3-10/5) is a tie. Change from Berg +5.0.
OhioSherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown (Incumbent)

Bio | Campaign Site

Josh Mandel

Josh Mandel

Bio | Campaign Site

Brown +4.2Updated 10/12. Moved by RCP back to "Toss Up". Brown's lead has dropped 3.3 points in last two weeks.
VirginiaTim Kaine

Tim Kaine

Bio | Campaign Site

George Allen

George Allen

Bio | Campaign Site

Kaine +3.4Update 10/12. Kaine's 3.4 average lead appears stable.
WisconsinTammy Baldwin

Tammy Baldwin (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Baldwin +3.0Update 10/12. Formerly "Leans Rep", RCP now calls this race a Toss Up. Baldwin has consistently led since the DNC, though her lead has declined by 2 points since 9/29.

9/29/2012: It’s been a month, time for an update.

RCP presently shows 9 toss-ups, 48 Dem and 43 Rep. Changes this month:

  • Arizona, Carmona (D) v. Flake (R), has moved from Leans Rep to Toss Up.
  • Massachusetts, Warren (D) v. Brown (R), remains a Toss Up, but shifts from a narrow lead for Brown to a narrow lead for Warren.
  • Michigan, Stabenow (D) v. Hoekstra (R) moves from Toss Up to Likely Dem.
  • Missouri, McCaskill (D) v. Akin (R) moves from Toss Up to Leans Dem.
  • Nevada, Berkley (D) v. Heller (R) moves from Leans Rep to Toss Up.
  • Ohio, Brown (D) v. Mandel (R) moves from Toss Up to Leans Dem.
  • Wisconsin, Baldwin (D) v. Thompson (R) moves from Leans Rep to Toss Up.

Do you see what I see?

Over the last month, three races moved from “Leans Rep” to “Toss Up”. Three more moved from “Toss Up” to “Leans Dem” or “Likely Dem”. The last remains a Toss Up, but the edge shifted to the Dem candidate.

None of the races are shifting to the right. Could we be seeing a backlash against the grandstanding and obstructionism of the Republican Party for the last two years?

8/28/12: It looks like the Senate races are going to be fluid this time around. Only six days since the last update, RCP now shows 46 Dem, 46 Rep, and 8 toss-ups.

Not much of a change, right? One race?

Try five. Three moved from “Toss-Up” to a lean in one direction or another, and two moved from leans to “toss-ups”.

  • Florida, Nelson vs. Mack is now Leaning Dem.
  • Michigan, Stabenow vs. Hoekstra moved from Leaning Dem to Toss-Up.
  • Missouri, McCaskill vs. Akin is now Leaning Dem.
  • Nevada, Berkley vs. Heller is now Leaning Rep.
  • Ohio, Brown vs. Mandel moved from Leaning Dem to Toss-Up.

Net is one Lean Rep.

8/22/12: RealClearPolitics currently calls 46 seats as “Safe,” “Likely,” or “Leaning” Democrat (or not up for election), and 45 “Safe”, “Likely”, or “Leaning” Republican (or not up).

So this year, control of the Senate boils down to just nine races. Akin vs. McCaskill is still competitive, thanks to McCaskill’s unpopularity; just last week, she was 11 points behind Akin.

Barring unexpected surges in the other races, the Democrats need to win five of these to retain control of the Senate; the Republicans need to win six. A 4D-5R split would leave the Senate divided down the middle.

Since tiebreaking votes are cast by the Vice President, if there is a 50-50 split in the Senate, the party in the White House will control the Senate.

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