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The 12 Key Senate Races To Watch In 2012 ^ | September 21, 2012 | John Hawkins

Posted on 09/21/2012 4:15:23 AM PDT by Kaslin

This year, most people have been focused on the Romney vs. Obama race, but there is also a battle going on for control of the Senate. The Senate is currently comprised of 47 Republicans, 51 Democrats and 2 liberal independents. That means the GOP would need to capture 4 seats for a takeover. Although that may sound like a heavy lift, keep in mind that this year there are only 10 Republicans up for reelection while 23 Democrats/liberal independents have to defend their seats. When you have that kind of spread, big gains are very possible. Will they materialize this time? Looking at the breakdown, a GOP takeover of the Senate isn’t out of the question, but seems unlikely at this point.

12) State: Maine
Seat Currently Held By: Olympia Snowe (R)
Competitors: Charles Summers (R) vs. Angus King (I) vs. Cynthia Dill (D)
Current Ranking: Leans Independent pick-up (75% chance of independent pick-up)
Analysis: Angus King is a popular, former Governor who could conceivably caucus with either party despite the fact that he's probably a little bit to the right of Olympia Snowe. That being said, if you had to bet, King would be more likely to support Harry Reid for majority leader than Mitch McConnell. King has been ahead all along and Dill has no chance. Can Summers catch King? Maybe, but it'll be a tough slog.

11) State: Massachusetts
Seat Currently Held By:
Scott Brown (R)
Scott Brown (R) vs. Elizabeth Warren (D)
Current Ranking:
Toss-up (50% chance of Republican hold)
Normally, a popular incumbent like Scott Brown would have nothing to fear from a far left-wing socialist who advanced her career by pretending to be an Indian. Unfortunately, we're talking about a state that sent degenerates like Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank back to Congress year after year. This is a tight, back-and-forth race that still might break either way.

10) State: Nevada
Seat Currently Held By: Dean Heller (R) who took John Ensign's place after he resigned
Competitors : Dean Heller (R) vs. Shelley Berkley (D)
Current Ranking: Edge to Republicans (60% chance of a Republican hold)
Analysis: Heller has consistently been ahead in this race by a small margin, but there are two areas of concern here. The first is that Democrats have been greatly outpacing Republicans in voter registration efforts in the state. The second issue is Harry Reid DRAMATICALLY outperformed his poll numbers against Sharron Angle in 2010. Could Berkley do the same thing? Time will tell.

9) State: Indiana
Seat Currently Held By: Richard Lugar (R)
Competitors: Richard Mourdock (R) vs. Joe Donnelly (D)
Current Ranking: Leans Republican hold (75% chance of Republican hold)
Analysis: Most people seem to be assuming that Mourdock is going to coast to victory, but at the moment, both candidates seem to be knotted in the low forties. Mourdock SHOULD win this race, but if he stumbles down the stretch or Republicans get complacent about this seat while Democrats go after it hard, this could turn into the Democrats' best chance to pick up a GOP seat they're expected to lose.

8) State: Missouri
Seat Currently Held By: Claire McCaskill (D)
Competitors: Todd Akin (R) vs. Claire McCaskill (D)
Current Ranking: Likely Democrat Hold (90% chance of Democrat hold)
Analysis: This was a gimmie seat for the GOP before Todd Akin made his "legitimate rape" comments. Now, McCaskill is ahead by several points and has had a 6-to-1 fund raising advantage (McCaskill has raised $12,545,922 vs. Akin's $2,229,189). If Akin drops out of the race before the September 25 deadline, the GOP MAY still have a shot at capturing the seat. Otherwise, Akin is unlikely to get much outside help and will be buried in an avalanche of McCaskill attack ads down the stretch.

7) State: New Mexico
Seat Currently Held By: Jeff Bingaman (D)
Competitors: Heather Wilson (R) vs. Martin Heinrich (D)
Current Ranking: Leans Democrat hold (75% chance of Democrat hold)
Analysis: Wilson is a moderate candidate, running a solid race for what was expected to be a competitive seat. Unfortunately, it's just not happening for her yet. Henrich is close to putting this race away early. If Wilson is going to have a chance to win, now is the time for her campaign to start moving the needle.

6) State: Virginia
Seat Currently Held By: Jim Webb (D)
Competitors: George Allen (R) vs. Tim Kaine (D)
Current Ranking: Edge to Democrats (60% chance of Democrat hold)
Analysis: This is a race between two well funded, well liked candidates in a crucial battleground state. Although Allen has outspent Kaine by a significant margin, Kaine still appears to have a small, but significant lead. This is a winnable race, but Allen will have to run a strong down the stretch to beat Kaine.

5) State: Connecticut
Seat Currently Held By: Joe Lieberman (I)
Competitors: Linda McMahon (R) vs. Chris Murphy (D)
Current Ranking: Edge to Democrats (60% chance of Democrat hold)
Analysis: McMahon and Murphy appear to be roughly tied right now and the WWE mogul will dramatically outspend the Democrat in the last few weeks of the campaign. On the other hand, Connecticut is a very blue state and that will give Murphy a large, natural advantage that may turn out to be too great for McMahon to overcome.

4) State: Wisconsin
Seat Currently Held By: Herb Kohl (D)
Competitors: Tommy Thompson (R) vs. Tammy Baldwin (D)
Current Ranking: Toss-up (50% chance of Democrat hold)
Analysis: Tommy Thompson is a popular former governor who looked to have this race well in hand, but the numbers have started moving Baldwin's way. Either candidate could still pull this out.

3) State: Montana
Seat Currently Held By: Jon Tester (D)
Competitors: Denny Rehberg (R) vs. Jon Tester (D)
Current Ranking: Edge to Republican (60% chance of Republican pick-up)
Analysis: This has been a tight, competitive race. However, Rehberg has been consistently polling a little stronger than Tester which is a bad sign for the incumbent this late in the race in such a Republican state. If Rehberg finishes strong, he should be able to come out on top.

2) State: North Dakota
Seat Currently Held By: Sen. Kent Conrad (D)
Competitors: Rick Berg (R) vs. Heidi Heitkamp (D)
Current Ranking: Leans Republican Pick-Up (75% chance of Republican pick-up)
Analysis: Heitkamp is running a solid campaign which is why Berg hasn't quite been able to put this race away yet. Still, Berg is close to taking it home and this election could slip away from Heitkamp very soon.

1) State: Nebraska
Seat Currently Held By: Ben Nelson (D)
Competitors: Deb Fischer (R) vs. Sen. Bob Kerrey
Current Ranking: Likely GOP Pick-Up (90% chance of Republican pick-up)
Analysis: Nelson may have been the only candidate who could hold a seat in a such a red state. The Democrats probably couldn't run a much better candidate than Kerrey and he's getting clobbered. You can chalk this race up for Fischer.

TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections

1 posted on 09/21/2012 4:15:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Mayne an outside shot at a +4 for the GOP. More likely it`ll be 50-50.

2 posted on 09/21/2012 4:39:17 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Record high turnout is our hope for sending 0bama home. Pray hard!!!)
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To: ScottinVA


3 posted on 09/21/2012 4:40:34 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Record high turnout is our hope for sending 0bama home. Pray hard!!!)
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To: Kaslin

Regarding North Dakota, Heitkamp is about as left of a leftist there could be, who supports obamacare and obama, however in her sickening adds, she boasts herself as “an independent voice”, which is one of her many lies. Typical democrat liar who also uses Democrat tactics by reminding the public Berg is a millionaire.

I’ve never figured out how being a millionaire makes someone a poor performer in a political office.

4 posted on 09/21/2012 4:52:12 AM PDT by redfreedom (Just a simpleton enjoying the freedoms a fly-over/red state has to offer.)
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To: redfreedom

It’s the liberal logic, nothing else

5 posted on 09/21/2012 4:55:24 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin
Break Down
Independents 1
Republican 5
Democrat 4
No Advantage 2

Not looking to good for Freedom

6 posted on 09/21/2012 4:56:10 AM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (All Y'all White Peoples is racist!)
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To: Kaslin
My two cents:

Maine: de-facto D pickup, what’s the difference anyway? RINO – D?

Massachusetts: R hold, Warren is not any better than Coakly (or whatever her name was)

Nevada: R hold, I think NV has had enough hopenchange

Indiana: R hold, if this was ’08, they’d lose the seat….but it’s not ’08

Missouri: D hold. This was a slam-dunk pick-up, McCaskill is inept, corrupt & an Obamite. But Akin can’t recover from his own stupidity, the media won’t permit it (think macacca). He can’t overcome the media AND 110% dem turnout in St. Louis & KC

New Mexico: D hold…too many illegal alien votes

Virginia: R pick-up, VA has also had enough hopenchange, that’s why there’s a R gov

Connecticut: D hold, no R is going to win a Senate seat in bluehellhole-CT anytime soon (no real R, a RINO – maybe)

Wisconsin: R pick-up….demholes have thrown everything at the Rs in WI the last few years – the full-Alinsky – and keep coming up short.

Montana: R pick-up. Tester won by the skin of his teeth in a dem wave year. If this was ’06 or ’08 again, Ds would hold, but it’s not. I don’t see Obama having coattails in MT.

North Dakota: R gimmee

Nebraska: R gimmee

7 posted on 09/21/2012 5:49:55 AM PDT by wny
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To: wny

Just because Olympia Snowe is a RINO, doesn’t mean Charles Summers is. We just have to wait how he votes. You can not lump him in the same pot as Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins

8 posted on 09/21/2012 6:04:58 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

I seriously doubt Kaine will beat Allen in Virginia. Kaine was very unpopular with his deficits and closing the rest stops. Allen on the other hand has always been well liked. Given the two, and the fact that Virginia went nearly entirely red in 2010, I find it hard to believe that Virginia would side with the Democrats in this election. They must be polling in Alexandia and Hampton.

9 posted on 09/21/2012 6:15:43 AM PDT by HarleyD
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