Senate Tipping-Point State

For each state, the current best estimate of the Senate race is given below, with all the polls for the most recent week of polling averaged together. (Note: the most recent week of polling for a given state may not be this week.) The states are listed from most Democratic to most Republican. The fourth column gives the candidate's current lead in that state. The seats column tells how many of the two Senate seats are up this year. Since there are no special elections in 2012, it is 1 for all states.

If you compare our scores to that of other media sources, you will no doubt find differences. Part of this is that we do count robopollsters (e.g., PPP, Rasmussen, and SurveyUSA) but do not count partisan pollsters, who work to elect Democrats or Republicans. Also, every source has its own algorithm for combining recent polls. Ours is here.

The color coding is as follows:

  • Dark blue: Strongly Democratic (Democrat leads by >= 10%)
  • Middle blue: Likely Democratic (Democrat leads by 5-9%)
  • Light blue: Barely Democratic (Democrat leads by 1-4%)
  • White: Tossup (currently exactly tied)
  • Light red: Barely Republican (Republican leads by 1-4%)
  • Middle red: Likely Republican (Republican leads by 5-9%)
  • Dark red: Strongly Republican (Republican leads by >= 10%)

The states in the middle are the ones in play.

The final two columns are the cumulative Senate seats. For they Democrats, start at the top, so if they win Delaware and nothing else they get 31 seats: Delaware + 30 holdovers. For the Republicans, read up from the bottom. If they win only Wyoming, they get 38 seats: Wyoming + 37 holdovers.

Another way of viewing this table is to ask "How deep into red territory do the Democrats have to go to win?" Or alternatively (reading upwards from the bottom) "How deep into blue territory do the Republicans have to go to win?" The state that puts either candidate over the top is the tipping-point state. It is indicated by the little hand icon for each candidate.

Click on a state name to see a graph of all the Senate polls for that state.

Note that the sum of the seats in a single row is never 100 because that would count the row twice. The sum of the Democrats' seats in any row plus the Republican seats in the row below it is 100, since that assigns each state to only one candidate.

Data to be supplied later.