Battle for control of Congress hinges on handful of key races, GOP faces uphill climb

That puts the GOP within the margin of error in a perennial blue state. 

“There’s less than three weeks to go and there’s roughly a dozen Senate races that are within the margin of error so clearly it’s a very competitive battle, but Republicans are well-positioned to pick up seats on November 6,” Walsh said. 

Elsewhere, costly gaffes have transformed races. Tim Kaine for his old seat, and Wisconsin, where former Republican Gov. The Rothenberg Political Report estimates anywhere between no net change and a Republican gain of four seats, which would flip the chamber. The retirement of longtime Sen. “It’s an incredible development.” 

Rounding out the list of other toss-up states: Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and Pennsylvania. 

But they also include a few surprises as both parties eye pick-up opportunities in otherwise hostile territory. 

Senate Democrats dominate the chamber by a narrow but significant margin of 53-47, meaning Republicans would need a net gain of four seats to flip the balance of power. Todd Akin by an average of 5 points in the wake of his controversial comments about “legitimate rape” earlier this year. 

Still, political analysts differ on the margins but seem to agree that if the election were held today, Democrats would most likely retain control of the chamber. who ran unsuccessfully in 2010 against current Sen. McMahon has pumped $29 million of her own money into the race, which Murphy currently leads by 3 points, according to the RealClearPolitics poll average. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat. 

Whether it’s President Obama or Romney sitting in the Oval Office come January, odds are that Americans should be prepared for more divided government and — if past is prologue — more legislative gridlock.

“The map has shifted in ways I don’t think anyone expected,” said Nathan Gonzales, deputy editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report. 

“Half of the Republican-held seats (up for election) are labeled ‘toss ups’,” said Matt Canter, spokesman for Senate Democrats’ campaign arm. John McCain handily won the state by more than 8 points. 

Depending on how well Romney does in Florida and Ohio, there is a chance he could help make congressional races in those swing states competitive, Gonzales said, adding that Republican candidates are not running strong enough to win in the event of a Romney loss. 

Brian Walsh, spokesman for the Senate Republican campaign arm, acknowledged a competitive landscape but said the GOP is confident about its chances. 

Connecticut is a prime example. Joe Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has given rise to a brutal face-off between Democratic Rep. Richard Blumenthal.

Of course, Republicans aren’t alone in expanding the traditional electoral map. While a total of 33 seats are on the ballot this year, the battle for a majority hinges on fewer than a dozen key races. 

“Republicans would need to win eight of the nine most competitive races on our list in order to take the majority,” Gonzales said, stressing that the path would be much easier if the GOP can hang on to seats in Nevada, Massachusetts, Indiana and Arizona. In 2008, Republican presidential candidate Sen. “So that’s possible — it’s just not as likely.” 

Prospects may have improved for Mitt Romney after a strong first debate performance, but election handicappers say Republicans are still looking at an uphill climb to win control of the Senate — and thus, Congress — come November. 

. All lawmakers in the chamber face an election, but analysts say it’s unlikely Democrats can take back control given the fact they need a total of 218 seats to do so. 

The Rothenberg Political Report expects anywhere from four to 10 Democratic pick-ups, while Sabato predicts a net gain of seven for Democrats. 

The toss-ups include obvious presidential swing states like Virginia, where former Gov. In this cycle’s marquee example, Missouri Sen. Sabato’s Crystal Ball tentatively pegs the outcome at 52 seats for Democrats and 48 for Republicans – a scenario in which Republicans only pick up one net seat. 

By all accounts, fewer surprises are expected in the House, where Republicans maintain a 240-190 advantage, excluding five current vacancies. Democratic Senate candidates are running competitively in normally safe Republican territory, such as North Dakota, where former Attorney General Heidi Heitekamp, a Democrat, is in a dead heat with Republican Rep. Tommy Thompson is running against Rep. By contrast, University of Virginia Prof. Claire McCaskill, previously considered the Senate’s most vulnerable Democrat, now leads Republican Rep. Larry J. Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon, the former chief executive officer of Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Rick Berg. George Allen, a Republican, is vying with former Democratic Gov

How To Choose The Right Shaft Flex For Your Golf Clubs

As the shaft flexes throughout the swing, the position of the clubhead will change. Stiff

o If you know (or have been told) you have a very smooth swing, you might benefit from a softer flex even if you swing very fast. To be more specific, your flex will impact how straight you hit the ball, how high or low it goes and how long or short it travels.

2. If this describes you (and you know who you are), you should consider a softer flex to help you slow your swing down. Ladies

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I always am experimenting with different shafts and flex types because I know that if my swing is on plane and accurate, my shaft flex type can be adversely affecting my results.

Here’s what I do:

o Your driver will be your best gauge on which flex you need.

Why is the flex in your shaft important? Well, when you have a flex that doesn’t match the needs of your swing, the result is the clubface being misaligned at impact, causing your shots to go off-target. What about Extra Stiff? I can count the number of people on one hand that actually need or use an Extra Stiff shaft. Not 100% accurate but the best club to use for this purpose.

If you are not comfortable determining which flex you should choose on your own, go see your local pro at the course you play at or your driving range. Extra Stiff

The Best (and most accurate way) to Choose Flex Type



Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book “How To Break 80…And Shoot Like The Pros!”

There are five basic categories or types of shaft flex:

What you want to do is to experiment by hitting lots of different clubs and watching the effects on your shots of changing shaft flex. Further, if you have a swing that gets jerky at the top, especially starting the downswing, you’ll probably need a stiffer shaft. It makes the science of hitting the ball so much easier, which translates to more enjoyment on the course.

If you find a flex that feels good and produces a good ball flight, there’s a good chance that’s the right flex for you. Just go ahead and “waggle” your club a little and see how much the shaft bends and you will get an idea of what “flex” is. Or, if you have clubs with a shaft flex that is not very stiff, the clubhead will be tend to be closed at impact, resulting in a hook.

o If shots with your driver tend to go left, you might benefit from a stiffer flex; if your drives go right, you might benefit from a softer flex.

This article was posted on February 15, 2006

Now, when I say “flex”, I am referring to the ability of a golf shaft to bend as forces are applied to it during the golf swing. Slowing down the swing will certainly produce more accurate shots and better distance control.

Keep in mind one very important thing about the shaft of your club and its flex. If you can carry you driver 250 yards or more, go with Stiff; 230-250 yards, Regular; 200-230 yards, Senior; less than 200 yards, Ladies. Senior

Choose Your Flex Type

How To Choose The Right Shaft Flex For Your Golf Clubs

 by: Jack Moorehouse

5. Most high-handicappers (especially men) tend to over-swing. Not good. He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that helped thousands of golfers lower their handicaps without quitting their day jobs.

And lastly, here’s the best advice I can give on choosing flex. Only guys like John Daily and Long Drive Champions need that type.

. Regular

All low handicappers and golfers who are serious about shooting the lowest scores possible consider flex in their clubs. This will take a lot of the guesswork out of the equation.


A good pro will take a lot of measurements, watch your swing, measure your swing speed, watch your ball flight and be able to tell you with certainty which flex is right for you. This means you need a shaft that will properly match your swing type and speed so that it can deliver the clubface back to a square position at impact.

About The Author

For example, if the flex of your clubs is too stiff, the clubface will tend to be open, sending the ball in a slicing direction

Role of a Sports Handicapper

There are many meaningless stats outthere that are quoted on television or on the radio as a deciding factor within a game. In reality, this is far from the truth. Handicapping is a difficulttask, even for the best ones. This is a sure sign that the handicapper takes their job seriously. Sure, it helps keep the activity more interesting for sports fans,but being a fan can actually be deceiving to a handicapper. It is one thing to win a wager; it is another to win wagers at the optimum level. They should either have a record posted on their web site, or better yet, with anindependent web site.

Finally, a sports handicapper must practice good money management skills. A goodhandicapper needs to see through these things and pick out the factors that are salient to the gameyou have in mind.. If you want to bet on football, the handicapper you choose should have a wealthof knowledge and statistics to fall back upon in order to help them make better selections.The statistics that are used can be extremely important. If someone is a big Boston Celticsfan, they would have been more inclined to have bet the Celtics to win the NBA Championshiplast year, even though the Lakers had every advantage. As you know, the Lakers went on to win,causing many Celtics fans to question their betting strategies.

It is important that any sports handicapper you may choose to buy picks from has a proventrack record. Sometimes it seems like everyone claimsto be a successful handicapper. Anyonecan pick who will win a sporting event; not everyone can do it correctly the required 53 percentof the time to beat the spread.

A sports handicapper’s job is to make other people money. Still, people looking to make a quick dollar will pose as talentedhandicappers only to end up losing money for you over the long run while they make a few easybucks.

Regardless of the sport you wish to wager on, the handicapper you choose should have a deepinsight into it. Thismight sound contradictory to the first point, but a good handicapper does not have to actuallyenjoy the sports they analyze. This means that the best handicapperswill rate their selections so that you can see just how much you should wager on their selections.If something only has a marginal chance of occurring, you would not want to wager as much onit as you would something that has much better odds.

A good handicapper does not necessarily need to be a fan of the sport you wish to bet upon. This is not easy, but you would befooled by the amount of sports handicappers out there