The Midwest, for quite a few years, has been the region of the country that signals which party wins the election. While the Northeast and West Coast have become reliably Democratic and the South and Mountain states are consistently Republican, the Midwestern states ‘loyalties have not been so steady. In this region, which used to be best characterized by the manufacturing industry, has undergone hard times for a few decades now. As the Democratic Party has depended more and more on the largess of New York and west coast interests, its ability to get votes out of the Rust Belt have become more tenuous.

Therefore, a number of Senator and gubernatorial seats are up for grabs in next week’s elections. Polls released today for contests expected to be close follow below:

Michigan: This is one of the more amazing turnarounds in the region since the last cycle. The Republican, Rick Snyder, has an insurmountable18 point lead according to two polls published today, one from the Detroit News and the other from Epic-MCA, over his Democratic opponent, Virg Bernero. Unless Snyder melts down this weekend, this race is done.

Minnesota: Although historically one of the most Democratic states in the nation, that party has not held the statehouse here for nearly two decades. The incumbent, Tim Pawlenty, is not running for re-election, so this is an open seat. The Democrat, ex-Senator Mark Dayton, has had a small but consistent lead since Labor Day. According to the SurveyUSA poll released today, his lead is down to a mere 1 point over Republican Tom Emmer. An Independent, Tom Horner, is expected to get over 10% of the vote and thus holds the balance of power.

Ohio: The governor’s race is one of the best races this cycle. The Republican, John Kasich, probably entered the race with higher name recognition than any other challenger because of his tenure in Congress and on Fox News. He is facing the Democratic incumbent, Ted Strickland. According to the SurveyUSA poll released today, Kasich has a 5 point lead. This race has tightened a lot in the last few weeks, and is close to a tossup.

In the same state, there is an open race for the Senate seat. Rob Portman, the Republican, has a 15 point lead against his Democratic opponent, Lee Fisher, according to SurveyUSA. This race is over.