From the Pennsylvania and Kentucky Senate races to the 3rd congressional election in Nevada, The Daily Beast's Election Oracle zooms in on 10 races and predicts who will sink and who will swim.
Jack Conway vs. Rand Paul
Could the Aqua Buddha ad be working? Jack Conway (D) has trailed Rand Paul (R) for much of the campaign to fill Kentucky's open Senate seat, but as the contest enters its final stretch, the race may be tightening: recent polls have Paul ahead just 52-48. Still, the Oracle gives Paul an 80 percent chance of winning—this election is Rand Paul's to lose.
Pat Toomey vs. Joe Sestak
Just when you thought this volatile election year would be a cut-and-dried case of Republican resurgence, the Pennsylvania Senate race comes along and bucks the trend. While Republicans are riding a surge nationally, Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak has been steadily gaining on former Congressman Pat Toomey (R). As election day nears, Sestak trails Toomey just 51-49—the Oracle gives Toomey a 60 percent chance of winning.
David Vitter vs. Charlie Melancon
Once thought vulnerable after he became embroiled in a sex scandal, today David Vitter (R) is looking like a sure thing in his race against challenger Charlie Melancon (D). Polls show Vitter ahead 59-41, and the Oracle gives him a 90 percent chance of victory.
Ken Buck vs. Michael Bennet
The Colorado Senate race is a nail-biter as November 2 approaches, with Sen. Michael Bennet (D) trailing Tea Party favorite Ken Buck (R) 51-49. The Oracle gives Bennet only a 40-percent likelihood of holding onto the seat to which he was appointed last year after Ken Salazar left the Senate to join the Obama administration.
Dina Titus vs. Joe Heck (NV3)
Eclipsed by Nevada's high-priority senate race, the Nevada 3rd's congressional election is nevertheless as close as they come. The suburban Las Vegas district was a Democratic pickup in 2008, and is a top Republican target in 2010. The Oracle and traditional polling both have support for incumbent Rep. Dina Titus (D) and Joe Heck (R) split right down the middle, 50-50.
Mary Jo Kilroy vs. Steve Stivers (OH15)
Widely considered a bellwether district in a bellwether state, the rematch in the Ohio 15th between Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) and Steve Stivers(R) will be closely watched on election night by Democrats and Republicans alike. The GOP lost the seat to Kilroy by a razor thin margin in 2008, but looks likely to get it back in 2010. Polls have Stivers beating the incumbent 54-46, and the Oracle gives him a 60 percent chance of victory.
Ben Quayle vs. Jon Hulburd (AZ3)
The contest between Ben Quayle (R) and Jon Hulburd (D) has generated tremendous national buzz ever since the former vice president's son ran a controversial ad calling Obama the worst president ever. With a famous name in a Republican-leaning district, this race was Quayle's to lose, and polls say he might just do that—he's running 49-51 behind Hulburd. Interestingly, the Oracle, which takes buzz into account, gives Quayle a 90 percent chance of winning.
Ted Strickland vs. John Kasich (OH)
Ted Strickland (D) was swept into the governor's office by a huge margin in the Democratic wave of 2006, and the Republican wave of 2010 looks like it might sweep him back out. John Kasich (R) leads Strickland in the polls 53-47, and the Oracle gives Kasich a 70 percent likelihood of victory.
Rick Perry vs. Bill White (TX)
Politicos will be looking closely at voting patterns in the Texas gubernatorial race between former Houston Mayor Bill White (D) and Rick Perry (R), the longest serving governor in state history. Texas is one of two states in which Latinos make up more than a quarter of the electorate, and how they vote in the wake of the uproar over illegal immigration sweeping the country will portend important future trends. Though he posed a serious challenge at first, White now trails Perry by 10 percent, and the Oracle gives Perry 80 percent odds of winning.
Alex Sink vs. Rick Scott (FL)
As in recent elections, all eyes will turn at some point in the night to Florida, where Democrat Alex Sink is facing off against Rick Scott (R) in what is shaping up to be a very, very close race. Scott was initially the underdog, but the candidates have taken turns leading the polls in recent months, and as the game comes to its climax they're nearly tied, with Sink at 51, Scott at 49. The Oracle gives each a 50 percent chance of pulling out a win.