The White House, Senate and the House are up for grabs with 180 days to go before the election.

The tightness of races up and down the ballot suggest the party that avoids major missteps, turns out its base and wins the battle for independent voters could control both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue in 2013.

The presidential election has drawn to a dead heat, with the Real Clear Politics average of recent national polls showing President Obama leading Mitt Romney by fractions of a percent. Although the president continues to hold leads in key battleground states — including Ohio, Virginia, and Iowa — his Republican opponent is within clear striking distance in each, and has seen his poll numbers on the rise after escaping a bruising primary.