The Campaign Spot

The Washington Post‘s Broad Definition of ‘Toss-Up’

In calculating how retirements will impact this year’s Senate elections, the Washington Post categorizes the races in Missouri, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Florida, and Ohio as toss-ups. (It seems they’re using the Cook Political Report as a basis.)

In Missouri, I’d call it a legitimate toss-up race; Blunt has led some polls, and Carnahan has led some. (Quite a few Democratic firms in RealClearPolitics’s pile, though.) Of course, Carnahan’s last lead was in December.

The rest of them, though, I’d be inclined to classify as “leaning Republican,” as the Post classifies the Indiana race.

In Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul has led Democrat Jack Conway in three of the four polls conducted, including the three most recent. The last two put him ahead by 8 percentage points. Republican Trey Grayson has led Conway in five of the six polls conducted, with a lead ranging from 1 to 10 percentage points.

In New Hampshire, Republican Kelly Ayotte had led Democrat Paul Hodes in every poll conducted, with a lead ranging from 1 to 9 percentage points in ten consecutive polls. Hodes has led against some other Republicans, but Ayotte appears to be the clear frontrunner in the GOP primary.

In Florida, Democrat Kendrick Meek has never led against either Charlie Crist or Marco Rubio in any poll on RealClearPolitics, and the closest margin is 9 percent.

In Ohio, neither Brunner nor Fisher has led Republican Rob Portman in any poll conducted since September. They have trailed by 1 to 7 percentage points in six consecutive polls.

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