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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?

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Comment Preferences

  •  You "de-skewed" the polls (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dracowyrm, petesmom, Lujane

    That always seems to result in a very rosy picture.

    "The Obama Administration has been an unmitigated disaster" - Osama Bin Laden

    by Explorer8939 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:58:34 PM PDT

    •  I wouldn't say that (7+ / 0-)

      I'd say I excluded unreliable/GOP polls. "Unskewing" would be adding 10 points to Obama's margin on every poll that comes out, partisan or otherwise.

    •  ...in a skewed manner. If you're going to pull (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Lujane

      Rasmussen, you need to dump PPP, too. PPP is a more credible outfit, but they have a demonstrable Dem house effect. Dumping Gravis I don't mind, because they're a fraud, not a polling house.

      I agree that this map is too rosy. Colorado really IS up in the air, and so is Virginia. I feel pretty confident about Nevada and Iowa. But even Wisconsin may be in play. Obama's map looks good, but it's by no means a lock.

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

      by Dracowyrm on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:39:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope Nov 6 turns out your way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PALiberal1

    It would be awesome. Reality says it probably won't.
    Unless the dems GOTV and there are some coattails.

    I do look for the dems to hold the senate. Picking up a seat would be icing on the cake.

    20-25 house seats will change the tone in the house, even if the dems don't take back the gavel. Obama could have a more productive second term.

    The fact that we can even dream of  a 57-43 senate is amazing, when you could where things were 6 months ago.

    Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

    by Sherri in TX on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:08:17 PM PDT

    •  I'm curious (0+ / 0-)

      By reality says it probably won't, do you mean because of the national polls, GOP biased polls, your gut feeling, or something else?

      •  I think red state coattails will make it harder to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        win in those states for the democrat. Just  as I think Warren and Shays will win no matter if  their polls are close now, because of the huge Obama coattails in  Mass. and CT.

        Indiana, Montana, Arizona, Nevada, Missouri, ND will be close.
        The winning presidential candidate in those states, just might be the difference in the senate seat.

        Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

        by Sherri in TX on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:45:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  just visited huff post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PALiberal1

    clicked in/clicked out....thanks for taking the time to sift thru the clutter.

    high information voter

    by aj2k on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:20:45 PM PDT

    •  lol, I just saw that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranton, aj2k

      God, I hate the media. Do they ever take a look at actually who is CONDUCTING these polls, instead of just blindly looking at the top line? Of course not, they just want their horse race! eye roll

      I bet Rasmussen could take a new poll showing Romney winning California and the media would blindly eat it up.

  •  I received one of those ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... breathless doom and gloom (fundraising) emails from moveon.org today telling me that Sherrod Brown is in trouble in Ohio. I'm having a hard time keeping up with the swings in that race, even if they're nonsense.

    •  There were no swings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      It's just that the media doesn't realize that comparing one pollster to another is apple and oranges. Reliable polls like Quinnipiac, PPP, and Marist show Obama up by 5-10 points in OH. Then right wing polls like Gravis, Ras, and We Ask America show a tied race. That's not a volatile state, it's GOP pollsters gumming up the works to prevent an actual picture of the presidential race from forming (because as you can see, it isn't pretty for them).

  •  It all sounds good... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    ...but we really need some sound state polling post-debate to see what the real situation is. The unemployment rate dropping to 7.8% and the CBO estimate of the 2012 budget deficit being some $200Billion lower than expected hasn't baked in yet either. Whether they'll have any effect compared to Romney's debate performance is questionable. The voters who move polls from debate performances pay less attention to macroeconomic data. The jury's still out.

    I expect Obama to be ahead when all is said and done, some of the states may go from leaning Obama to toss up, but who can say. Ras, Gravis, and the other meathead pollsters muddy the water, but they serve only to humiliate themselves in the end. There just aren't enough undecided voters available to make enough of a change to the degrees that they are showing, IMHO.

  •  if the dems do well in the senate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PALiberal1

    and i think they will - it will push the senate and the democratic caucus significantly leftwards. replacing lieberman with murphy, akaka with hirono, kohl with baldwin, brown with warren, kyl with carmona, and heller with berkeley would all make a significant difference.

    heitkamp for dorgon, heinrich for bingaman, kaine for webb and king for snowe are somewhere between slight shifts to the left and no movement. if mcaskill can hold MO against akin, we'll also avoid a huge step backwards.

    there are no dems running that are more conservative than whom they'd replace, so my knowledge. if dems can win and reform the filibuster, after having lost some of the usual DINO suspects to retirement - lieberman, nelson NE, dorgan, etc. -  the senate could end up passing much better legislation than we've seen in a while.

    •  Conrad, not Dorgan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      Aside from that I agree. I think Angus King will be way more liberal than Snowe, who frequently moved the goalposts and did her duty for the GOP leadership. I think Heitkamp would be more in the mold of populist Dorgan who retired in 2010 than corporatist Conrad who retired this year, so I think she'd be an improvement.

      •  whoops, my bad on dorgan v. conrad (0+ / 0-)

        i hope heitkamp and king are upgrades as well, i didn't know them well enough to say with any certainty, and king from all appearances seems fond of centrist posturing when the mood takes him.

        the bigger this win gets, the better our dem caucus will be.

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