Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine greets President Barack Obama on Saturday at a grass-roots rally at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow. Virginia isnít the largest swing state, but it is a microcosm of the country.
The Land of Lincoln isnít a presidential battleground and doesnít even have a U.S. Senate race this year, but it is the presidentís home state and Democrats have to get some positive net gain of a handful of House races to avoid a completely embarrassing night. Democrats used their redistricting authority to target and orphan Republican Members, but up until Election Day, even some of the most vulnerable Republicans have a chance to survive. Rep. Joe Walsh (R) is the most likely to lose. On paper, GOP Reps. Robert Dold in the 10th district and Bobby Schillingin the 17th have no business winning districts where Obama would have received more than 60 percent in 2008, but it would almost be more of a surprise if both of them lost. The redrawn 11th district has been neck and neck between Rep. Judy Biggert (R) and former Rep. Bill Foster (D), but Republicans arenít optimistic about the Congresswomanís chances. Downstate features two of the most contested races anywhere in the country. Democrats are targeting the open 13th district and trying to hold the open 12th district. Overall, Illinois could be feast or famine for Democrats and set the tone for the rest of the night.
The Granite State provides the most bang for your buck. Romney and Obama are battling for the stateís four electoral votes, both Congressional seats are tossups, and the gubernatorial race is one of the most competitive in the country. We could be headed for a repeat of 2004 and 2000, when 1 point separated the presidential contenders. The 1st district has been traditionally more Republican, electing a Republican from 1984 until Carol Shea Porterís (D) upset win in 2006. Rep. Frank Guinta (R) defeated her in 2010 and took back the seat, and now the two face off again. The 2nd district is slightly more Democratic and has flipped back and forth between the two parties over the years. Rep. Charles Bass (R) narrowly won in 2010 and is in a tough fight against Democrat Ann McLane Kuster. If she canít win, itís going to be a very long night for Democrats. Winning both would be great but still doesnít get them anywhere close to a majority.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.