(CNN) - With two days to go before Election Day, a panel on CNN's "State of the Union" with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley gave its final analysis Sunday on who would win the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.
Joining the panel was former deputy campaign manager of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, Steve Elmendorf, CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash, and PBS's Gwen Ifill.
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Elmendorf said the hurricane made President Obama look presidential and it gave Romney "nothing to do." Bash agreed that it took Romney off course, pointing to Romney's Ohio rally during the storm being turned into a relief effort for hurricane victims. Ifill said the juxtaposition of Obama getting off Air Force One in his presidential jacket to Romney speaking from a teleprompter at a campaign rally was also helpful to Obama.
Former Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, also on the panel, said tHurricane Sandy had "broken [Governor Mitt] Romney's momentum," as it had taken the media's attention away from jobs and the economy with the election only one week away.
Barbour also dismissed Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's recent praise of Obama's handling of the storm, saying Christie would have been a "fool" to attack Obama when New Jersey needed federal help for the storm. Said Barbour, "you praise in public and criticize in private."
The panel also discussed the significance of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's endorsement of Obama. Barbour called it "no endorsement," pointing to Bloomberg's criticism of Obama's partisanship and economic polices, and said those reasons were why independents were breaking for Romney.
However, Elemendorf pointed to Bloomberg's criticism of Romney and believed the hurricane convinced Bloomberg to support the president. The endorsement, said Elmendorf, along with former Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent endorsement and praise from Christie, showed support for Obama outside the "mainstream Democratic Party."
Bash also raised Bloomberg's concern about climate change in light of the hurricane as a major reason for the endorsement. Ifill said she believed Bloomberg was trying to increase his influence nationally and to shore up his legacy, as his term as mayor ends next year.
Everyone on the panel also named what their indicators for which way the election was going. Bash and Elemendorf said their indication would be the winner of Ohio, Barbour said his indication would be if either candidate wins both Ohio and Pennsylvania, and Ifill said she would be looking at Colorado, Arizona, and the Hispanic vote.
Looking at down-ballot races, no one on the panel believed that the Democrats would take back the House, although Elmendorf said to "not underestimate [Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi." Bash said Democrats even believe it's possible the party would not get a net gain of seats. Bash also said it was likely that the House would become even more partisan than in the current session.
Regarding the Senate, Ifill expressed surprised at how Democratic candidates in key races like those in Virginia and Massachusetts benefited from the comments regarding rape by Republican candidates Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana. Elmendorf expressed surprise by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown's lead in Ohio despite the millions in outside money being spent against him, and Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin's lead over former Gov. Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin.
Barbour thought it was interesting how states where the presidential race was not close, like in Connecticut and Montana, had very competitive Senate races.
Bash said 16 of the 33 Senate races this cycle could be considered competitive, and many of them are "too close to call." She pointed to Montana's race between Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg as an example.
All told, Ifill and Elmendorf said they believed the Democrats would hold the Senate, while Barbour and Bash were not confident enough to make a call either way.
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