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Election Update: Where the Races Stand 3 Weeks Out

Posted: 10/19/12 at 11:14 AM

By Johanna Morsberger, Assistant Manager, Government Relations -

Control of the Senate Up for Grabs
With Election Day less than three weeks away, 11 Senates races that will determine which party controls the Senate are still very uncertain. According to recent analysis from BIPAC, the Senate races in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin remain within five points in the most recent credible independent polling. 

Currently, the Senate has 47 Republicans, 51 Democrats and two Independents that caucus with the Democrats. In order for Republicans to take control of the Senate, they would need to gain three seats if Governor Romney wins the Presidency or four seats if President Obama wins.

Republicans Keeping Control in the House
A change in the party controlling the House of Representatives does not look possible.  The House currently has 242 Republicans and 193 Democrats. Most experts believe Democrats will gain around 10 House seats, however, they will not be able to gain the 25 seats needed to take back control of the House.

Presidential Race Tightens
According to the polls, Obama carried a strong electoral vote lead until the first Presidential debate on October 3, when Romney’s strong performance allowed him to turn many states that were leaning towards Obama into the toss-up category. Obama improved his performance in this Tuesday’s town-hall style debate; however, there has not been enough polls completed in the swing states since Tuesday to tell if it caused any major changes to the race.

In order to get the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the Presidency, Romney must:

  • Hold the states that are leaning his way: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina; and
  • Win these two lean-Obama and toss-up states: Ohio, Virginia; and 
  • Win at least one of the following states, all of which are currently close or lean-Obama in the polls: Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin or New Mexico.

Obama will keep the White House if Romney fails on any of these three points.

More Citizens Take Advantage of Early Voting
More than 2 million Americans have already cast their ballots, according to the United State Election Project at George Mason University. In 2008, 31.7 million Americans voted before the General Election Day, representing 25.7 percent of all ballots cast. Some expect that early voting may represent 35 percent of the total this year. Provides Vital Election Information
SOCMA members are using the SOCMA Votes website to make sure they are educated about the 2012 elections. The website provides information about voter registration, early voting, which candidates are on the ballot, the 2012 election landscape and other election news.

Johanna Morsberger manages SOCMA’s grassroots political network, SOCMA CONNECT. For more information about SOCMA CONNECT, please visit

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