It's still too early to call the 2012 elections, but some political analysts are predicting that the odds are against congressional Democrats in 2012, though the presidential race may still be a toss-up.
NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving says the Republicans need to pick someone who can go toe-to-toe with President Obama in the debates and bring together the party. But one of the most important things is that the chosen candidate should be able to win the key swing states — Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Colorado — because Obama needs to take three of those four to win in November.
As for the Senate, while the Democrats hold the majority at 51-47, Elving says that it "would appear highly likely that the Republicans will take control." A third of the seats in the Senate are going to open up because of term limits, and two-thirds of those are Democratic seats. The Republican seats opening up are in very red states, while the Democrats' seats are in states that could go either way.
The Republicans are also likely to keep control of the House, Elving says. They currently have 50 more seats than the Democrats, and the district lines being drawn across the country seem to benefit the GOP.