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  Politics and Elections
Saturday, November 3, 2012

EP update for November 3 - Mourdock loses lead in Indiana, parties swap House seats
Countdown:  3 days until Election Day
Indiana Senate Race
Republican Senator Richard Lugar lost a primary battle earlier this year to Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock.  Lugar likely would have easily won re-election.  Mourdock's chances were not as guaranteed.  Nevertheless, he consistently led his Democratic opponent, the formidable Joe Donnelly, until his sound-bite ready comments on rape and pregnancy changed the dynamics of this race.

Today, that shift comes to fruition as Donnelly holds a three-point lead in the latest projections.  If the Democrats gain this red-state Senate seat, it will make the GOP's climb to a coveted majority in the Senate all the more difficult.  As the projected balance currently stands at 51-47, Republicans must hope for an overwhelming sweep of most of the other competitive races.  To be sure, the opportunities are out there to get them over the top, but a lot of close races - and a surprise or two perhaps - must go their way on election night.

Speaking of election night, let me point out again Election Projection's Election Results page, 2012 edition.  Once the returns start coming in, I'll be updating the battleground presidential races as well as competitive Senate races every 15 minutes.  Want to know exactly how the Electoral College stands real-time at frequent intervals next Tuesday night?  EP's 2012 Election Results page is definitely a good place to set up camp.

Georgia House District 12 Race
For several cycles, Democrat John Barrow has been a first-tier target for the GOP, and each year he has endured the challenge.  This year, Republicans drew him into a redder district in hopes of surely unseating the veteran this time around.  Early on, it appeared the plan would work; Barrow had been projected to lose from the onset of the election season until now.  However, the skilled politician seems poised now to fight off another serious threat.  Georgia CD-12 is colored blue in today's House projections.

Utah House District 4 Race
Like Barrow, Utah Democrat Jim Matheson has long been a major target for Republicans who always seemed to come out on top.  And like Barrow, he faced a less friendly constituency thanks to redistricting.  However, unlike his Georgia colleague, Matheson doesn't appear to be on the path to re-election.  A recent poll gives GOP challenger Mia Love, of Republican National Convention fame, a 12-point lead.  As a result, this seat moves to the red side of the ledger today.

Unskewed Polls Update
The polls continue to feature very lopsided Democratic advantages in partisan sampling.  Whether those partisan skews are justified will be known soon enough.  In the meantime, I have updated Election Projection's Unskewed Polls page.  Now, before my liberal friends start heating up their keyboards, let me point out that the models I incorporate include the 2008 turnout model.  In fact, using that model, President Obama is favored to win Virginia, a state Romney holds in the current presidential projections.  However, if these polls are overstating Democratic involvement, we could be in store for a Romney win ranging from close (2004/2008 average turnout model) to a rout (2004 turnout model).

November 3 Election Projection Update
  Electoral Votes Current Previous Change
  Barack Obama 290 290 no change
  Mitt Romney 248 248 no change
  Party switchers:  none
  Popular Vote Current Previous Change
  Mitt Romney 49.4 49.4 no change
  Barack Obama 49.0 49.0 no change
  Party switchers:  none
  U.S. Senate Current Previous Change
  Democrats 51 50 +1
  Republicans 47 48 -1
  Independents 2 2 no change
  Party switchers:  Indiana
  U.S. House Current Previous Change
  Republicans 242 242 no change
  Democrats 193 193 no change
  Party switchers:  Georgia CD-12, Utah CD-4
  Governors Current Previous Change
  Republicans 31 31 no change
  Democrats 18 18 no change
  Independents 1 1 no change
  Party switchers:  none
Next update will be Monday.  It will be the next-to-last one.

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