President: Romney will win here. No Democrat has won the state since the 1976 presidential election, and Sen. McCain beat Obama there by just under 22 points in the 2008 race.
House: As the first African American woman to serve in Congress from Alabama, Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D) is expected to hold the state’s only Democratic House seat, which represents the minority dominated 7th District. She faces a rematch against businessman Don Chamberlain, a white Democrat-turned-Republican and Vietnam veteran who has already lost three House elections. Sewell picked up 72 percent of the vote in a 2010 contest against Chamberlain.
If fundraising is any indication, none of the six GOP incumbents face a serious challenge. Their combined fundraising totalled nearly $8 million compared with less than $120,000 for the Democratic challengers. Expect this state to remain solidly red.
President: Only one Democrat — Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 — has won Alaska since the energy-rich territory gained statehood in 1959. Mitt Romney is thought to have a lock on the state.
House: Rep. Don Young (R) appears poised to hold onto Alaska’s lone congressional seat. He holds a major fundraising advantage over state Rep. Sharon Cissna (D), having brought in close to $1 million compared with his opponent’s $14,000.
President: The Obama campaign maintains that Arizona’s surging Latino population, combined with a strong Senate nominee in Richard Carmona, has put the Grand Canyon State in play. Still, no Democrat has won here since Bill Clinton in 1996 — and even then, that was with 46.5 percent of the vote.
Senate: The open-seat race to succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R) has become one of this year’s unexpectedly close contests. Democrats believe that Carmona, who was surgeon general under President George W. Bush, will be able to ride to victory on a wave of support from Latinos and independents. Rep. Jeff Flake, his GOP opponent, has worked to link Carmona to Obama, who remains unpopular in the state.
House: Two former House members are looking to reclaim their seats: Ann Kirkpatrick (D), who is battling former state senator Jonathan Paton (R) in the 1st District, and Matt Salmon (R), who is expected to cruise to victory over Democrat Spencer Morgan in the race to succeed Flake. In the newly drawn 9th District, former state senator Kyrsten Sinema (D) is the slight favorite over Republican Vernon Parker, while in the new 2nd District, Rep. Ron Barber (D), who was an aide to former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and was among those wounded in last year’s shootings in Tucson, is running against Republican Martha McSally for a full term in Congress.
President Sen. John McCain won the state by 20 percentage points in 2008 and in 2012 its six electoral votes will go to Romney.
House: Rep. Mike Ross (D) decided not to seek re-election in the newly realigned and now-conservative-leaning 4th District. Establishment Democrats backed attorney Q. Byrum Hurst in their party’s primary, but state Sen. Gene Jeffress won the nomination in a race that required a runoff. Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Tom Cotton, a rising GOP star, looks poised to win the seat and bolster the Republicans’ House majority.
President: This electoral college mega-prize appears, as usual, to be handily in the Democratic column.
Senate: Polls show overwhelming support for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D). The 20-year Senate member even refused to debate Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken, a former nonprofit executive.
House: Rep. Dan Lungren and the national GOP want to hold on to the newly redrawn 7th District, where the incumbent is in a rematch against Democratic physician Ami Bera. Polls show the candidates virtually tied in one of the most expensive races in the country.
In the 9th District, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) faces a stiff challenge from 25-year-old GOP upstart Ricky Gill, a son of Indian immigrants who was handily outraising the incumbent.
Two moderate candidates emerged from nonpartisan roles in local politics to compete for the 41st District, almost evenly divided between registered Democrats and Republicans. Republican John Tavaglione is a county supervisor, while Democrat Mark Takano is a trustee for a community college district.
Ballot measures: Proposition 30, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), would increase the state sales tax for four years and raise rates on income above $250,000 for seven years. The competing Proposition 38 — bankrolled by Molly Munger, daughter of billionaire investor Charles Munger — would raise income taxes on most residents for 12 years. Proposition 34 would abolish the death penalty, while Proposition 32 would prohibit unions and corporations from using payroll-deducted fees to pay for political donations.