Polls indicate Republicans will take back U.S. Senate

Posted Jul 29, 2012 by Larry Clifton
Latest polling results suggest Republicans are positioned to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November as races tighten.
Rasmussen Reports electoral map.
Rasmussen Reports electoral map.
Rasmussen Reports
Current polls and projections show the odds the GOP will regain the majority are far more likely than the odds of the Democrats retaining their majority, according to the Rasmussen Reports.
According to Rasmussen Reports, there will be 49 seats held by Republicans and 46 held by Democrats with the other five remaining seats as toss-ups. Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico and Virginia are the states considered toss ups. Republicans only need to win two of those toss-up seats and Democrats would need to sweep them to retain a 51-seat majority. Two Republican wins out of the five is far more likely than a Democrat sweep since the races are so close.
Another poll, Real Clear Politics, gives the Democrats 47 seats while giving Republicans 46 seats and rates the remaining eight as toss-ups. Those eights states are the five rated toss-up by Rasmussen, minus Indiana and New Mexico, plus Florida, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
Considering that poll, Democrats would have to win half the seats listed as toss-ups and Republicans would need to win five of them. Of those eight seats, Republicans are defending two, while the other six are currently held by Democrats. Recent polls show Republicans leading in six of those states and tied in the other two, suggesting the far more likelihood of a GOP majority.
Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball is projecting seats either safe, likely or leaning toward each party in a configuration that shows each party holding 47 seats with six seats classified as toss-ups. Those six states are Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Virginia and Wisconsin. Five of those six states are currently held by Democrats, meaning that party would need to win four of them to retain a majority. Republicans would need to hold only one of the six they are defending and win three of the other five. Latest polls show Republicans winning four of them and tied in the other two. The results, like the other polling scenerios mentioned, show the GOP with a more likely majority.
Below is analysis of the 13 states considered toss-ups or close by the various projections of the senate races, starting with the two GOP2112 toss-ups and then the other 11 states.
Massachusetts: RCP average: Warren (D) 43.3, Brown (R) 43.2
All major polls have this race dead even. Warren is helped by a Democrat-registration edge in the state while Brown is a popular incumbent. This race is even
Virginia: RCP average: Allen (R) 44.4, Kaine (D) 44.0
The RCP average indicates this race is about tied, in a race for an open seat between two former governors who have both won state-wide office in this state. Both are popular but Kaine has the disadvantage of being tied with the president who is may lose this state to Mitt Romney. Nevertheless, this senate race is statistically tied.
Neither party has chosen their nominee until August primaries. However former Surgeon General Richard Carmona is the likely candidate for the Democrats while the GOP front runner is Cong. Jeff Flake. Flake leads in all major polls against Carmona. This state remains a likely Republican win in November.
Florida: RCP average: Mack (R) 44.0, Nelson (D) 41.8
Incumbent Senator Bill Nelson is behind likely GOP nominee Connie Mack in most polls. Mack surged past Nelson during the past month of polling and seems and will likely continue his father’s legacy as a senator from the sunshine state. The latest Rasmussen survey of likely voters gives Mack a 46 to 37 percent edge over Nelson; the seat is a likely Republican win come November.
This state has former popular Governor Linda Lingle running against one of two candidates the Democrats have running in their primary. Most of the polls show the Democrat candidate leading over Lingle, but this race could get close after the primaries. As of now it looks like a likely Democrat win in November.
Since Richard Mourdock defeated Richard Lugar in the primary, conventional wisdom has suggested this race will be closer than it would have been if Lugar had won the primary. RCP reports a single pre-primary poll showing the race tied at 35 percent each which means very little. Indiana is a solidly Republican state and there's no reason why Mourdock, who has won state-wide office as state treasurer, should not easily win. This state remains likely Republican.
This state has not held its primaries yet but all three major GOP candidates are maintaining a lead in the polls against incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill, who is looking a lot like the most vulnerable incumbent of two years ago – Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Whoever wins the GOP nomination will win the seat. This one is likely Republican.
Nearly all the polls shows the likely Republican candidate, Republican Cong. Denny Rehberg, leading over incumbent Democrat Senator Jon Tester. This is traditionally Republican state and it should be expected to go that way this November. This race is a likely Republican win.
Nevada: RCP average: Heller (R) 46.5, Berkley (D) 42.8
All the polls shows Heller leading in this race and it is likely this seat will remain a Republican senate seat in November. This one is likely Republican.
New Mexico: RCP average: Heinrich (D) 48.5, Wilson (R) 43.0
All the polls show Cong. Martin Heinrich leading over former Cong. Heather Wilson, who is attempting a comeback running for this senate seat. While this race could get closer before November, right now it looks likely Democrat.
North Dakota: RCP average: Berg (R) 48.7, Heitkamp (D) 43.7
This race shouldn't be close in heavily Republican North Dakota, but some say Berg is running a weak campaign and letting it remain closer than it should. But by November, this seat should remain a Republican win.
Ohio: Brown (D) 47.3, Mandel (R) 38.3
Incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown leads in all the major polls over State Treasurer Josh Mandel, even polling 50 percent in one recent survey. This race is likely to be won by the Democrat.
Wisconsin: RCP average: Baldwin (D) 44.7, Thompson (R) 43.7
One poll showing Baldwin leading by 7, clearly an outlier, skews the RCP average. Thompson has lead in most polls, and the former governor is likely to win this senate seat. This one is a likely Republican win.