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  Politics and Elections
   2012 Elections - Florida Races
Monday, June 25, 2012

Election Projection update for June 25
The effects of Bloomberg's outlier poll are fully felt in today's numbers.  Last week, they released a survey purporting to show Obama ahead of Romney by 13 points and the generic Democrat ahead of the generic Republican by 7.  Both counts are way outside of the norm.  In this same poll, Obama sports a 53% approval rating which is 5 points better than his average approval.

As a result of that poll, there are several party switchers today.  The Electoral College moves in Obama's direction with Florida, aided also by 4-point lead for Obama in the latest Quinnipiac poll, changing back to a projected hold for the President.  The EV count stands at 314-224 with Romney clinging to a 0.7% lead in Ohio.

The projected House count moves even more drastically toward the blue team.  Because so many races were projected to go to the Republican by a very small margin, the change in the composite generic number drew no less than six of them into the Democrats' column.  The last projection showed no net gain in the House tally; today's projection gives Democrats a net 6 seat gain.  The seats changing colors today are CA-52, NV-3, NY-18, OH-16, TX-23 and UT-4.  Utah CD-4 moves from a GOP takeover to a DEM hold.  The rest are new projected takeovers for the Democrats.

Filed under:  2012 Presidential Election  2012 Projection Updates  FL President 2012  Florida 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:07am 06/25/12::
Monday, April 2, 2012
Senate projection update - Florida turns back to blue
A Quinnipiac poll out of Florida last week puts incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson eight points ahead of his likely GOP challenger Connie Mack, IV.  As a result, the Sunshine State is projected to re-elect Senator Nelson in EP's latest Senate projections.  In the race for the White House, this projection update shows little change from the last one.  President Obama continues to lead the projected electoral vote count by 332-206 margin.  The popular vote projection has narrowed a bit to 1.7%, down from 2.1%.

Filed under:  2012 Presidential Election  Senate '12  Florida 2012  FL Senate 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:33pm 04/02/12::
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Presidential election projection update
The latest projections have been posted.  President Obama's approval ratings have held up well over the last few weeks despite his recent on mic gaffe with Dmitry Medvedev a couple days ago.  We'll have to see over the next week or so if that forces his numbers down a bit.

For now, however, the president is polling strong in several battleground states, maintaining surprisingly comfortable margins in such Republican must-win states like Virginia and Florida.  On the strength of that polling Obama enjoys a blue Florida with this latest update, and its 29 electoral votes put him even farther ahead of Mitt Romney, 332-206.

Correction: I originally said Obama was talking to Vladimir Putin when the gaffe was aired.  He was in fact speaking to Dmitry Medvedev.  My apologies for the error.

Filed under:  2012 Presidential Election  2012 Elections  Florida 2012  FL President 2012  Virginia 2012  VA President 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 11:52pm 03/28/12::
Saturday, March 17, 2012
2012 Senate election projection update
Polls and a new candidate have altered the Senate electoral landscape in Election Projection's latest numbers for the 2012 Senate election.  Republican Challenger Connie Mack IV is polling 6 points ahead of Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in Florida, and in Missouri, Democrat Claire McCaskill is running behind several possible Republican nominees.  And then there's Maine.  Former Governor Angus King, an Independent, has thrown his hat into the ring to succeed outgoing Republican Olympia Snowe.  With his decision to run, he vaults immediately into the frontrunner slot in that race.

As a result of these updates, Republicans are projected to enjoy a 52-46-2 majority in the Senate.  That tally includes six Republican takeovers (FL, MO, MT, ND, NE, WI), one Democratic gain (CT - from IND) and the Independent takeover in Maine.  The GOP is benefiting from the fact that out of 33 senate races this year, they must defend only 10.

In fact, even as Election Projection currently gives President Obama the edge in the 2012 presidential election, this is shaping up to be a potentially huge year for Republicans in the Senate.  In addition to the six seats they are projected to win, Hawaii, New Mexico and Virginia are also in play.  On the other hand, only two Republican seats other than Maine are in the mix, Massachusetts and Nevada.

Filed under:  Senate '12  Florida 2012  FL Senate 2012  Maine 2012  ME Senate 2012  Missouri 2012  MO Senate 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:56am 03/17/12::
Saturday, February 18, 2012
2012 redistricting update posted
I just posted the latest status of the 2012 redistricting process.  The big story comes out of Florida where Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a Republican-drawn map that solidifies the party's large House delegation advantage.  Florida Democrats plan to challenge the map in court, so we'll have to see if it holds up.

We're also still eagerly awaiting the resolution of Texas' long-running redistricting battles in court.  For detailed and frequent updates, I recommend this site.

The overall picture is becoming more complete as the heart of the election season approaches.  Forty-one states, representing 318 congressional districts, have either settled on a final map or claim only one statewide district.  Four more states, Connecticut and Minnesota along with Florida and Texas, are slogging through court challenges.  That leaves just 5 states that have yet to pass a new district map.

Filed under:  2012 Redistricting  Florida 2012  Texas 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 3:29pm 02/18/12::
Monday, January 30, 2012
Florida Republican primary predictions and results - updated
During the nine days between the Republican primary in South Carolina and tomorrow's Florida Republican primary, we've seen the striking rise and fall of Newt Gingrich.  With Newt's fall, Mitt Romney's nomination has become once again the most likely outcome of this primary season.  I believe the Sunshine State's result tomorrow will be a coronation of sorts for Romney, and my predictions bear that out.
  • Mitt Romney - 45%
  • Newt Gingrich - 33%
  • Rick Santorum - 13%
  • Ron Paul - 9%
The long-sought momentum Romney will finally enjoy after winning Florida will be insurmountable.  Gingrich will continue the fight - as will Ron Paul and possibly Rick Santorum as well - but the outcome will be sure.  It will be Romney to face President Obama in November.

As usual, I'll post an update with a link to the results when it becomes available.

Update:  You can watch the returns come in tonight at the Florida Election Watch website.

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  FL Primary 2012  Florida 2012  FL President 2012  Newt Gingrich  Mitt Romney 

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:15pm 01/30/12::
Thursday, January 26, 2012
This is what you call a 'bounce,' part II - Romney back on top
As I reported Monday, polls taken immediately after South Carolina's primary last Saturday showed Newt Gingrich enjoying a substantial bounce in Florida.  He climbed from 20 points down to 9 points up in one poll in a matter of days.  Now, as is the case with a bouncing ball, what goes up can also come down.  Three days removed from that post, Romney has recovered with striking speed.  The latest polls from Rasmussen Reports and Insider Advantage, taken yesterday, put Romney comfortably back in the lead in the Sunshine State.  Attacks on Newt's previous record by Romney and his super PAC are hitting their mark.
In addition to slamming Gingrich on Freddie Mac, Romney has sought to raise questions about Gingrich's tenure as speaker of the House.  He has called on Gingrich to release "all of the records" from the House ethics investigation of him in the 1990s.
Moreover, I'm sure articles like this one aren't helping Newt's cause.  Elliott Abrams, an assistant secretary of state under Ronald Reagan, claims Newt repeatedly insulted the president.
In the increasingly rough Republican campaign, no candidate has wrapped himself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan more often than Newt Gingrich.  "I worked with President Reagan to change things in Washington," "we helped defeat the Soviet empire," and "I helped lead the effort to defeat Communism in the Congress" are typical claims by the former speaker of the House.

The claims are misleading at best.  As a new member of Congress in the Reagan years - and I was an assistant secretary of state - Mr. Gingrich voted with the president regularly, but equally often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism.  Gingrich was voluble and certain in predicting that Reagan's policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.

Even though I have appreciated much about Gingrich throughout this primary season, I have come to fear his nomination.  Abrams' report depicts a major reason why.  The GOP will not be served well in November, top to bottom, if Gingrich is our top line choice.

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  FL Primary 2012  Florida 2012  FL President 2012  Newt Gingrich 

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:24am 01/26/12::
Monday, January 23, 2012
This is what you call a 'bounce' - Gingrich overtakes
Romney in Florida
Rasmussen Reports polled Republican voters in Florida on January 11, 10 days before the South Carolina primaries.  That survey showed Mitt Romney leading the Newt Gingrich by more than 2 to 1 (41% to 19%).  Today, they released another poll taken in the Sunshine State after Gingrich walloped Romney in South Carolina on Saturday.  No longer does Romney hold an overwhelming lead.  In fact, it is now Gingrich who commands a clear advantage, 41%-32%.  That's a swing of 31 points.  And that, my friends, is what you call a bounce.  The striking change serves to highlight the real power of the early primary states - particularly South Carolina.

Sure, not many delegates were at stake in the Palmetto State, but the course of the whole primary election season may have been reversed there this weekend.  Unless something happens to derail the former Speaker for a third time this election cycle, he has to be considered the favorite to win in Florida. And where it had been Romney's nomination to lose just a few days ago, it is now Gingrich, assuming he indeed wins Florida, who will wear the mantle of frontrunner heading into February.

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  FL Primary 2012  Florida 2012  FL President 2012  SC Primary 2012  South Carolina 2012  SC President 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 11:06pm 01/23/12::
Sunday, January 22, 2012
South Carolina results make Florida (and a host of
other states) relevant again
A week ago, fresh off a convincing, if not unexpected, victory in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney's nomination bid looked to be cruising to inevitability.  He had weathered a surprise Iowa showing by Rick Santorum, and polls had him up by double-digit in South Carolina.  Then, a strange thing happened on the way to Dixie.  Newt Gingrich re-emerged as a force.  With momentum going for the former Speaker of the House, Romney's lead in the Palmetto State disappeared.  Even accusations that he asked for an open marriage with his second wife could not slow down Newt's increasingly rapid rise.  By the time the voting started yesterday, Gingrich blew by Romney en route to a remarkable 12.6% victory.

So what does Gingrich's final lap kick in South Carolina mean for the nomination contest?  One thing it doesn't mean is that Romney has lost his chance to be the nominee.  In fact, I believe it would be hard to demote him from frontrunner status.  He still holds the same advantages that prompted me to declare him the winner while he still enjoyed that substantial lead in South Carolina.  Moreover, despite all the hoopla, just 80 of 2,286 delegates have been spoken for.  We still have a lot of voting left to do.

What Gingrich's performance yesterday does do is make Florida's primary on January 31 an important one.  Had Romney won South Carolina, the race would have been over.  As it turned out, the race is still interesting, or, as Newt Gingrich said in his speech last night, "game on!"  Looking beyond the Sunshine State, it's also important to note that even Florida's result won't seal the deal for the winner, regardless who that turns out to be.  We are now looking at a protracted battle for the right to face President Obama.

In February, the game will be played in seven states representing approximately 200 delegates - or just 9% of the total delegates available.  Add to that the fact that, due to Republican Party rules, these February contests will be proportionately allocated, and it's easy to see how we could still be very much undecided when we get to Super Tuesday on March 6.

One thing's for sure, with three very different men looking at possible paths to the nomination (sorry, Ron Paul fans), Republicans are going to have ample time to figure out who they think the best of the lot is.  I just wish the options were more appealing.

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  SC Primary 2012  South Carolina 2012  SC President 2012  FL Primary 2012  Florida 2012  FL President 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:10pm 01/22/12::
Saturday, December 17, 2011
"Tour of the 50 states" halftime adjustments - two rating changes
With the preview of Missouri in the books, we're half way through Election Projection's "Tour of the 50 states."  I generally don't go back and make preliminary projection changes while the tour is still in progress.  However, two races beg for changes, and since halftime would be a good time to make some adjustments, I decided to make an exception to my customary practice.

Florida President: Even though I fully expect the Republican nominee to carry the Sunshine State in November, early polling shows President Obama performing very well there.  As a result, I'm moving the preliminary projection from Weak GOP Gain to Weak DEM Hold.

Massachusetts Senate: Republican incumbent Scott Brown was assured of a tough re-election battle the minute the vote counting completed in January, 2010 and he found out he would be the next senator from Massachusetts.  The state is far too liberal to easily re-elect a Republican in today's polarized political climate.  Indeed, two different polls conducted over the last month show him slipping behind Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren.  That's not a good sign for an incumbent this far from Election Day.  And it compels me to change the preliminary projection from Weak GOP Hold to Weak DEM Gain.

Filed under:  2012 Rating Changes  Florida 2012  FL President 2012  Massachusetts 2012  MA Senate 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 5:29pm 12/17/11::
Monday, November 21, 2011
Florida 2012 Preview
Another battleground state is on tap today as the "Tour of the 50 states" makes a stop in sunny Florida.

Reapportionment and Redistricting:  Florida's ever-growing population of sun-seekers has grabbed two additional congressional districts after the 2010 census.  The new seats bring Florida's House delegation to 27.  Although the GOP controls the entire redistricting process, a state law prohibiting the use of partisan factors in drawing its new map puts state Republican lawmakers in a bit of a quandary.  The map they come up with cannot appear to be designed to help their party or they could lose any say in it turns out.  As a result, Democrats actually stand to pick up both new districts in 2012 according to Charlie Cook's outlook.

President:  Florida will forever be known as ground zero in the presidential battle between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000.  Since then, each party has won here once without nearly the drama of 2000.  President Bush won by 5 points in 2004; President Obama by 3 in 2008.  Obama's victory last cycle had more to with Democratic momentum across the nation than with Florida's partisan leaning.  I expect the pendulum will swing back to the Republican nominee in 2012, so I'm starting Florida off as a Weak GOP Gain.

Senate:  Early on in his re-election bid, Republicans held some hope of unseating Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson.  But after nominating polarizing Katherine Harris, a prominent figure of the 2000 presidential recount mess, they saw that hope completely dissipate amid the big blue wave of 2006.  This time, the GOP again has Nelson in their sights, and, this time, they may indeed get the takeover that eluded them 6 years ago.  That said, I'm not yet prepared to say that will be the outcome.  We'll start this one off as a Weak DEM Hold until we see more evidence to the contrary.

Freshman GOP Senator Marco Rubio, who handily won a three-way race in 2010, will not be up for re-election until 2016.

Governor:  Republican Rick Scott also won his first term in 2010.  His re-election bid is set for 2014.

House:  As I mentioned before, Republican are a bit hogtied when redrawing Florida's congressional district map.  Look for Democrats to pick up the two new seats allocated by the 2010 census numbers.  But that still won't make up for the GOP's stellar performance in 2010.  They picked up four takeovers that cycle, bringing the delegation's balance of power to 19 Republicans against just 6 Democrats.  Surprisingly, given Republican gains, just District 22 is currently listed on EP's hotly-contested House race list.  That may change though as we move toward next November.  No less than five other seats (CDs 8, 10, 13, 24, 25) carry the possibly competitive label.  But with District 22 starting out as a Weak GOP Hold for freshman Congressman Allen West, Florida begins the cycle here at EP minus any projected takeovers in the House.

Florida's state page should be an exciting resource this election year.  Be sure to check it out often.

Next stop:  Georgia

Filed under:  Florida 2012  FL President 2012  FL Senate 2012  FL House 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:42am 11/21/11::

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