University of Virginia professor and political pundit Larry Sabato along with his colleagues Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley predicted in "Sabato's Crystal Ball" Monday that President Barack Obama is likely to win reelection on Tuesday, but he will do it without Virginia.
"With a slight, unexpected lift provided by Hurricane Sandy, Mother Nature’s October surprise, President Barack Obama appears poised to win his second term tomorrow," they wrote. "Our final Electoral College projection has the president winning the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin and topping Mitt Romney, with 290 electoral votes."
The prediction gave the Old Dominion's 13 electoral votes to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, but said the race in Virginia would be close.
"We believe the three closest states are Virginia, Colorado and New Hampshire; in reality, all three are toss-ups, but because we feel obligated to pick every state, we’re splitting these 26 combined electoral votes right down the middle -- 13 for Obama (nine from Colorado and four from New Hampshire) and 13 for Romney from Virginia," they wrote. "It’s not very scientific, but in these three states the polling averages and our sources aren’t giving us enough to work with."
RealClearPolitics.com, which keeps a running averages of recent polls, has Obama and Romney in virtual ties nationally and in Virginia.
In Virginia Real Clear Politics has Obama with 48 percent to Romney's 47.7 percent. Nationally the political website has Obama with 48.5 percent to Romney's 48.1 percent.
In the U.S. Senate race in Virginia between former Govs. Tim Kaine (D) and George Allen (R), Sabato and company said the race would likely go to Kaine.
"In the event of a Virginia vote as close as we foresee, former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) should be able to run ahead of former Sen. George Allen (R), but a bigger-than-expected Romney win could lift Allen," they wrote.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Kaine with 48.6 percent to Allen's 46.8 percent.
"Sabato's Crystal Ball" predicts that the composition of the U.S. Senate will not change, with Democrats continuing to hold 53 seats and Republicans holding 47 seats.
They also predicted the race in Virginia's 2nd Congressional District between freshman, incumbent U.S. Rep Scott Rigell, R-Virginia Beach, and Democratic challenger Paul Hirschbiel, of Virginia, will break in Rigell's favor.
The authors predict Democrats will pick up three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, leaving the GOP in firm control of the chamber with 239 seats to the Democrats 196 seats.