12:27 PM PT: CA-33: Here's a little backgrounder on a race that's probably flown under your radar, from the L.A.-area Daily Breeze. Dem Rep. Henry Waxman's been in office for almost four decades, and while he is expected to win re-election, he's facing two major wrinkles this year. First, he only represents about half of the redrawn 33rd District, meaning that a lot of voters don't know him despite his lengthy tenure. And the seat, while still very Democrat at 64-33 Obama, is still several points less blue than Waxman's old 30th, which was 70-28.
Second and more importantly, wealthy businessman Bill Bloomfield, a Republican-turned-independent, has been spending freely, putting over $6 million into the race. Waxman's raised and spent over $1.5 million, but Bloomfield's cash advantage allowed him to dominate the airwaves early in the expensive Los Angeles market. Bloomfield didn't fare especially well in June's top-two primary, taking 25 percent to Waxman's 45. However, the total Dem take in the primary was about 52 percent, not exactly a dominant number. That said, a Bloomfield victory would still be quite an upset, but in an abundance of caution, we're slotting this race on to our Big Board at Likely D.
• OH-Sen (SurveyUSA): Brown (D-inc): 44-41; Obama 49-44
• VA-Sen (Marist): Kaine (D): 49-46; Obama 48-47
• NC-Gov (PPP): McCrory (R): 50-43; Obama 49-49
• NV-Sen (PPP): Heller (R-inc): 48-46; Obama 51-47
• OH-Sen (Rasmussen): Brown (D-inc): 50-48
• VA-Sen (Rasmussen): Kaine (D): 49-47
2:23 PM PT: CT-Sen (Tossup to Lean D): It looks like Democrat Chris Murphy is finishing strong: Polling in recent weeks has shown his margin expanding over Linda McMahon, who hasn't led in a public poll since September. That's capped off with PPP's latest, showing Murphy up 9. McMahon also needed to run a perfect campaign to pull off an upset in solidly blue Connecticut—her zillions were never going to be sufficient, and her stumbles over abortion and Social Security have proved it. While this race definitely got a lot hairier than any Democrat would have liked for a while, Murphy looks to have the advantage now.
2:34 PM PT: KY-06 (Lean D to Tossup): This is definitely one of those "non-barking dog"-type moves. Earlier in the campaign, Dem Rep. Ben Chandler produced a couple of polls showing him with comfortable leads over repeat candidate Andy Barr. But it's been a long time since we've seen good numbers from him, and we're concerned that this race has grown closer since then. Barr lost by just a few hundred votes last cycle, and while you can say "that was 2010," the conservative nature of this district, combined with the fact that Obama's likely to do even worse here than in 2008 (despite the seat getting shored up a bit in redistricting), makes us not want to take any chances.
2:59 PM PT: MI-11 (Likely R to Lean R): I gotta admit, we're pretty much throwing up our hands on this race. It seems like both major party committees have no interest in touching either candidate in this freakish open-seat contest, particularly Republican Kerry Bentivolio, who by all accounts may actually be crazy. That has us reverting our rating to simply reflect the district's blank-slate status, which we view as Lean R. Recent revelations about Bentivolio's bizarre past may be enough to hand a fluke victory to Democrat Syed Taj—but let's not kid ourselves: A Bentivolio win would be pretty flukish, too. Someone has to emerge victorious, though, but at this point, truly nothing would surprise us.
3:10 PM PT: OH-07 (Likely R to Safe R): Once upon a time, a long time ago (all the way back in January), PPP coughed up a poll for House Majority PAC showing our old friend Generic D edging GOP freshman Bob Gibbs 43-42. Unfortunately, it seems like actual Democrat Joyce Healy-Abrams never quite lived up to Generic D's promise, and there's been no polling since, nor any meaningful outside spending here.
3:24 PM PT: Voting: Due to Hurricane Sandy, the state of New Jersey has taken the unusual step of allowing affected residents to cast ballots online. (It's not as unusual as it sounds, since many states already allow members of the military and overseas citizens to vote electronically.) Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that New Yorkers displaced by the storm may vote at any polling location by casting an affidavit ballot. Unfortunately, that will mean some voters will only be able to vote in the presidential and Senate races, but that has to be better than not being able to vote at all.
3:50 PM PT: HI-Sen, ND-Sen: A couple of Senate candidates are getting some last-second top-of-the-ticket help: Barack Obama just cut an ad for Mazie Hirono in Hawaii, calling her "part of my ohana" (that's "family" for you mainlanders). The only other person he's done one for is Connecticut's Chris Murphy. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney recorded a spot for ND-Sen's Rick Berg, who joins an exclusive club that includes Denny Rehberg, Jeff Flake, and that lucky, lucky guy, Richard Mourdock.
4:17 PM PT: Site News: On Tuesday, Daily Kos will conduct two parallel liveblogs: On the Daily Kos front page, Markos will direct coverage of the presidential race, and he'll also be following the key Senate contests. On Daily Kos Elections, we'll be doing our usual downballot thing: Senate, House, governor, ballot measures, and more. You'll want to keep tabs open to both dailykos.com and elections.dailykos.com.