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Massscorecard 2012 Senate Prediction

We predict: Republicans net gain 3 seats

Following are the Massscorecard predictions for each Senate race nationwide. 33 Senate seats (out of 100) are up for election in 2012, but 23 of those seats are currently held by Democrats and 10 by Republicans. That means the Democrats have more to lose in 2012 -- but the Dems also hold the majority in the Senate, 53-47.

To gain control of the Senate, the Republicans must gain 4 seats. We arrange the chart below based on which Senate seats we predict will stay in the same party and which will change hands:

StatePredictionPredicted WinnerPredicted LoserPrediction wrong? (26 out of 33 right!)
AZ Democratic takeoverRichard CarmonaJeff FlakeWrong!
CA Democratic retentionDianne FeinsteinElizabeth Emken
CT Republican takeoverLinda McMahonChris MurphyWrong!
I drive throughout Connecticut for my daily business, and I see a dozen "Linda" signs every hour, in every corner of the state, whereas seeing one Murphy sign per day is a lot. While signs don't vote, the lawn owners do, and they seem overwhelming.
DE Democratic retentionTom CarperKevin Wade
FL Republican takeoverConnie Mack IVBill NelsonWrong!
Paul Ryan's strong stance for Medicare/Medicaid overhaul hurts the Romney-Ryan ticket in Florida, and we therefore predict Obama will win Florida based on the large elderly population in this key state. But Florida voters prefer bipartisanship and therefore Sen. Nelson will suffer from "negative coattails."
HI Democratic retentionMazie HironoLinda Lingle
IN Republican retentionRichard MourdockJoe DonnellyWrong!
Oct. 26 update: Mourdock stumbled by saying in a debate that pregnancy rape was "God's will," which infuriated women's groups, but we do not see any change in the underlying dynamics that favor a conservative Senator to represent conservative Indiana.
MA Democratic takeoverElizabeth WarrenScott Brown
Obama will overwhelmingly beat Romney in blue-state Massachusetts, and we predict Warren will ride Obama's coattails to victory. Sen. Brown won in a special election -- when there were no presidential coattails -- and would probably win again if this were not a presidential election year -- but the coattails are just too long against him in 2012.
MD Democratic retentionBen CardinDan Bongino
ME Democratic takeoverAngus KingCharlie Summers
Gov. King is an independent but we predict he will win and then choose to caucus with the Democrats in the Senate, in effect gaining the Democrats one Senate vote. King is a true independent, but sides with the Democrats on healthcare, social issues, and the need for taxes to deal with the deficit -- key upcoming voting issues for Senators.
MI Democratic retentionDebbie StabenowPete Hoekstra
MN Democratic retentionAmy KlobucharKurt Bills
MO Democratic retentionClaire McCaskillTodd Akin
During the summer, we would have predicted a Republican victory in red-state Missouri, but Rep. Akin put his foot in his mouth and exacerbated the problem with yet more flubs with every passing week -- he blew it!
MS Republican retentionRoger WickerAlbert N. Gore
MT Republican takeoverDenny RehbergJon TesterWrong!
ND Democratic retentionHeidi HeitkampRick Berg
North Dakota's economy is booming due to new oil extraction. So this Senate race is missing the usual drag on Obama and the Democrats, that the economy is bad elsewhere and that the Democrats would limit oil extraction elsewhere -- and Hietkamp will benefit.
NE Republican takeoverDeb FischerBob Kerrey
NJ Democratic retentionBob MenendezJoe Kyrillos
NM Republican takeoverHeather WilsonMartin HeinrichWrong!
NV Republican retentionDean HellerShelley Berkley
NY Democratic retentionKirsten GillibrandWendy Long
OH Democratic retentionSherrod BrownJosh Mandel
Voter registration is an issue in many states but none more than in Ohio. As a result of the heavy-handed election-day voter suppression in minority districts in the 2004 election, Ohio Democrats have pushed voter registration and early voting (beginning Oct. 2) -- and Sen. Brown will benefit.
PA Democratic retentionBob CaseyTom Smith
RI Democratic retentionSheldon WhitehouseBarry Hinckley
TN Republican retentionBob CorkerMark Clayton
TX Republican retentionTed CruzPaul Sadler
UT Republican retentionOrrin HatchScott Howell
VA Democratic retentionTim KaineGeorge Allen
Gov. Allen seems to have recovered from his "macaca" gaffe in 2006, but he has run the nastiest campaign in the country, and we predict that many will vote against him to signal a dislike for negative campaigning.
VT Democratic retentionBernie SandersJohn MacGovern
WA Democratic retentionMaria CantwellMichael Baumgartner
WI Republican takeoverTommy ThompsonTammy BaldwinWrong!
The Tommy-Tammy race is one of the tightest in the country, but we predict a Republican victory based on Paul Ryan's coattails. While Wisconsin is a blue state, many independents will vote Republican on the presidential line based on Ryan's "favorite son" status, and will push that pattern downballot to the Senate race.
WV Democratic retentionJoe Manchin IIIJohn Raese
WY Republican retentionJohn BarrassoTim Chesnut

To summarize our prediction by party status:

  • 3 Democratic takeovers
  • 17 Democratic retentions
  • 6 Republican takeovers
  • 7 Republican retentions
The net result of our prediction: A 50-50 split in the Senate. The Republicans score a net gain of 3 seats, but that's not enough. We predict Maine Independent Governor Angus King will win his Senate race; and we predict he will caucus with the Democrats. But if he goes Republican the GOP will gain control of the Senate -- hence King will become the kingmaker in that scenario!

The more likely scenario is that one of our predictions goes the other way: The most likely? Connecticut, where a wrestling executive takes on a long-term Congressman. And then Indiana, where a Tea Party Republican beat the incumbent Senator in the GOP primary. If either of those races goes against our prediction, the Democrats maintain control of the Senate. But a 50-50 split is MUCH more fun!

A 50-50 split means that control of the Senate is determined by the presidential race: If Romney wins the Presidency, Paul Ryan would get the tie-breaking vote in the Senate; if Obama wins re-election, Joe Biden retains his tie-breaking Senate vote. So stay tuned for our House and presidential prediction next week....


Actual election results to compare to pre-election prediction above:

StateParty ResultElection WinnerElection Loser
AZ Republican retentionJeff FlakeRichard Carmona
CA Democratic retentionDianne FeinsteinElizabeth Emken
CT Democratic retentionChris MurphyLinda McMahon
DE Democratic retentionTom CarperKevin Wade
FL Democratic retentionBill NelsonConnie Mack IV
HI Democratic retentionMazie HironoLinda Lingle
IN Democratic takeoverJoe DonnellyRichard Mourdock
MA Democratic takeoverElizabeth WarrenScott Brown
MD Democratic retentionBen CardinDan Bongino
ME Democratic takeoverAngus KingCharlie Summers
MI Democratic retentionDebbie StabenowPete Hoekstra
MN Democratic retentionAmy KlobucharKurt Bills
MO Democratic retentionClaire McCaskillTodd Akin
MS Republican retentionRoger WickerAlbert N. Gore
MT Democratic retentionJon TesterDenny Rehberg
ND Democratic retentionHeidi HeitkampRick Berg
NE Republican takeoverDeb FischerBob Kerrey
NJ Democratic retentionBob MenendezJoe Kyrillos
NM Democratic retentionMartin HeinrichHeather Wilson
NV Republican retentionDean HellerShelley Berkley
NY Democratic retentionKirsten GillibrandWendy Long
OH Democratic retentionSherrod BrownJosh Mandel
PA Democratic retentionBob CaseyTom Smith
RI Democratic retentionSheldon WhitehouseBarry Hinckley
TN Republican retentionBob CorkerMark Clayton
TX Republican retentionTed CruzPaul Sadler
UT Republican retentionOrrin HatchScott Howell
VA Democratic retentionTim KaineGeorge Allen
VT Democratic retentionBernie SandersJohn MacGovern
WA Democratic retentionMaria CantwellMichael Baumgartner
WI Democratic retentionTammy BaldwinTommy Thompson
WV Democratic retentionJoe Manchin IIIJohn Raese
WY Republican retentionJohn BarrassoTim Chesnut



                                                                                                                                                                               
  

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