200 days to go before the election

Candidates for president, House and Senate have 200 days left to make their case before voters cast their ballots in November.

With the presidential primary effectively over, the war of words between President Obama and Mitt Romney has been heating up. Both candidates are on the air with ads and jetting from swing state to swing state, while their parties implore supporters to send in their checks.

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Polling shows Romney and Obama locked in a tight race, and political handicappers expect it to go down to the wire all the way through to November.

Jobs and the economy continue to dominate the agenda as both candidates present their ideas to voters. Speaking at a shuttered drywall factory on Thursday in Lorain, Ohio, Romney said he expected Obama to continue to attack his record as a successful businessman.

"You will see him attack success day in and day out. And one thing you know is if you attack success, you're going to have less of it,” Romney said. “This is a president who is more intent on punishing people than getting people back to work.”

In the Senate, Democrats are working feverishly to keep from losing more than three seats, which would hand control of the upper chamber to Republicans (if Obama is reelected).

Earlier in the cycle, Republicans were in a strong position to wrest control from Democrats. But robust recruiting and productive fundraising appear to have given Democrats the upper hand, and while they will almost surely lose a few seats, the prospect of a GOP takeover has diminished.


More news from The Hill:
Romney suits up for November battle with Obama
Jobless rate falls in Ohio, Florida, where Obama is opening lead in polls
Romney has best month in fundraising, topping $12.5M
Pros, cons of Capitol veep picks


On the Democratic side, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is considered the most vulnerable senator facing reelection this year. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) holds that distinction among Republicans. Both represent states where the electorate tends to trend to the opposing party.

Redistricting after the 2010 U.S. Census allowed Republicans to shore up their members in the House, complicating the Democrats’ aspirations to reclaim the majority they lost in the midterm elections two years ago. Republicans appear poised to prevent Democrats from capturing the roughly two dozen seats they need to win back the Speaker’s gavel.

Republicans Reps. Charlie Bass (N.H.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.) and Robert Dold (Ill.) are at risk of losing their seats in November, as are Democratic Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Jim Matheson (Utah) and Larry Kissell (N.C.).