Reviewed daily by staff.
(To read about each individual race with regular updates, visit our home page. Our site is free, and we provide a comments section that our staff will participate in).
Blue = Current Dem, Red = Current GOP.
Safe Dem Likely Dem Leans Dem Toss-up Leans GOP Likely GOP Safe GOP
CA CT MI FL MT AZ MS
DE HI OH NM ME IN TX
MD MN WV VA MO ND UT NY NJ WI NE TN WY
WA PA MA NV
Current official projection – Republican pick-up of 5.5 seats.
With each of the three toss-ups seats having a value of 50% to flip, we project 1.5 seats to flip out of three from the toss-up column.
Republican Pick-ups in >>> MO, MT, NE, and ND, as well as ONE of the following (FL, NM, or VA).
Democrat Pick-ups in >>> None.
Wave direction for democrats – Republicans still manage to get 1.5 seats. The GOP picks-up ND. Then MT, MO, NE, MA and ME become toss-ups , with GOP ME and MA cancelling out two of the dem three. A 50% chance of the remaining seat flipping to the GOP, while the GOP gets ND.
Wave direction for republicans – Republicans gain 9 seats. The GOP loses no seats, and picks up ND, MT, MO, NE, FL, NM, and VA. Then, of the following four seats, the republicans also get two seats (MI, OH, WV,WI)
Conclusion – We would expect the GOP gain 5 seats if the election were held today. The full range, accounting for a wild disaster for one party or the other, gives the republicans no less than 1 seat and no more than 9 seats. In a worst case scenario, the GOP will get at least one seat in 2012. In a best case scenario, their ceiling is to gain 9. The actual number is likely to be 5 for the GOP.
For information on how we evaluate each race, go to the “methodology” link near the top of the page and click it. For information on each race, visit our home page (linked near the top of the page as “home”). For information on the chart, continue reading.
Independents are not really independents when it comes to party affiliation. The party that a candidate caucuses with is the party we list him or her as.
You’ll note that we don’t call many seats “Safe”. A designation of “Safe” is the firmest commitment of a rating, and isn’t taken lightly. If we have any reasonable doubt, the seat becomes “Likely”. Major occurrences (retirement, death, scandal) trigger a re-evaluation.
You’ll also notice that our site leads many others in pick-ups because we try to avoid the toss-up column. It is the nature of prognostication sites to claim that “We aren’t really predicting anything” and to hold back from making a stand on seats to change. At Political Daily we already know what everyone else does: Seats are going to change each year, and likely more than one. With that in mind, let’s just come out and say it. “These are seats that the other party can expect this year”. If it “leans”, it “leans”, and we strive to ensure that the “toss-up” rating isn’t an excuse not to make a pick.
According to the chart above, a state of one color under the heading of a different color is expected to change (with the exception of toss-up). When calculating the total number of seats to change, we consider all seats under their own party’s color to remain with that party. We then cancel out the seats in the “Toss-up” column amongst themselves at a ratio of 1:1 (one red to one blue), and give odds of 50% of the remaining seats under the toss-up column to flip.
Further, we’ve calculate for extreme “wave years”. To do this, apply the preceeding methodology and shift every seat one column left or right, depending on which side the wave benefits. This gives us the potential range of pick-ups each party has as a possibility.