These days, it's hard to find a good website that presents an accurate picture of the presidential and Senate races. GOP astroturf Koch-funded fake pollsters such as Gravis Marketing and "biased and inaccurate" Rasmussen tend to gum up the works of most forecasting websites. So I decided to see how we were doing on my own terms, filtering out GOP biased and/or fake and incompetent pollsters (Rasmussen, Wenzel, McLaughlin, Gravis, etc.). So what does the picture look like? Very good!
I'll start with the presidential race:
Unlike the pundits and MSM that are desperate for a horse race, I use a slightly altered definition of the word "toss up". Well actually, I use the ACTUAL meaning of the word, meaning "could go either way". Some sites have an absurdly broad definition of toss up, thus the heavy media resistance to move Ohio out of "toss up" despite the fact that Obama lead by 5-10 points. How many times has a candidate lost a state they led by more than 5 points in the polls in? According to their "toss up" rating, it should be close to 50-50!
This is the key to the map:
+/-2% = Toss Up
2-5% = Leans
5-10% = Likely
>10% = Solid
You'll notice that Obama's solid + likely states give him a win. In fact, he could even lose a likely state or two and still win. You'll also notice Romney has no "leaning" states, only likely and solid. That's mainly because, with the notable exception of Indiana, he's made up little to no ground in states outside the ones that were won by John McCain in 2008. As of now, Florida tilts toward Obama and North Carolina tilts toward Romney, but both were close enough to be called true toss ups.
One thing that is incredibly clear (and that even most pundits have noticed by now) is that Obama's path of least resistance is pretty easy to see. Kerry states + NM (solidly for Obama at this point), + NV (basically solid because polls always understate Dem strength here), + OH, where he has lead all year and buried Romney in his ads. He could even lose the Kerry state of NH (extremely doubtful) and still come out with 271 EVs.
Although there is a lot of handwringing about Romney's "debate bump", most reliable pollsters have only seen a slight bump (and according to PPP it is already dissipating). The bump was mainly manufactured by GOP pollsters so far.
Now, to the Senate...I used the same methods I used to make the presidential map. I'm including Bernie Sanders and Angus King as Democrats. Also, I apologize in advance for the bad map, but there's no good site that lets you make one, so I had to do so manually:
If you look at just the solid races, we trade a pickup. They get Nebraska solidly, and we get Maine solidly (again, assuming Angus King caucuses with us). That brings us to the somewhat competitive races:
Likely D: MO(D), OH(D), PA(D)
Lean D: CT(D), MA(R)*, VA(D), WI(D)
Toss Up: AZ(R), IN(R), MT(D), ND(D), NV(R)
If you factor out the tossups for a second, the new Senate would be... 51-44-5. Meaning, we already have 51 seats and the majority even if all 5 toss ups go GOP. Their only hope at this point is to knock some toss ups into lean R and some lean D seats into toss ups.
If you assume the toss ups revert to the party in control of the seat before the election, the new Senate would be...the same as it is now, 53-47. If you assume whoever is ahead in the legitimate polls at the moment wins each toss up race, then the result would be:
GOP pickups: NE, MT
Dem pickups: ME, MA, AZ, IN
Which would make 55-45 Senate. And that's assuming Berkley doesn't outperform the polls (she certainly will) and Tester doesn't pull it out. Although it's not particularly likely, we could even have a 57-43 Dem Senate after the election.
Amazing what filtering out GOP pollsters does to the state of a race, isn't it?