01 November 2010

Hedging my bets

I made my House and Senate predictions here, and my Maryland-related predictions here.  I'm going to stick with those predictions, but I want to hedge my bets just a little bit and talk about some things that could happen tomorrow, in order of likelihood:

  • Even more massive House gains.  I predicted a 50-60+ seat gain for the Republicans (even then, I was hedging the high side with the + sign), but we could even see 70+.  As Gallup noted in their final generic congressional ballot poll commentary, "It should be noted, however, that this year's 15-point gap in favor of the Republican candidates among likely voters is unprecedented in Gallup polling and could result in the largest Republican margin in House voting in several generations. This means that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory, in which past relationships between the national two-party vote and the number of seats won may not be maintained."  Generally speaking, I think a 70 seat gain is probably in the order of 40% or so.
  • GOP Senate takeover.  While none of the major prognosticators have predicted this (and to be fair, neither have I), it would not surprise me in the least to see this happen.  I have the GOP picking up at least eight seats: AR, CO, IN, IL, ND, NV (that's right, Harry Reid is going down), PA and WI; that brings the GOP to 49.  Fifty seats would be, technically speaking, a tie, but since the Vice President can break all ties, the GOP effectively needs 51 seats.  Of those additional two seats, they could come from CA, WA, or WV.  The polls show small Democratic advantages in these three seats, but with a "wave election" any or all of these seats could switch.
  • GOP Governor surge.  The RCP Average shows the Republicans picking up a net of six statehouses (gaining 12 and losing 6).  Among those that are leaning Democratic but could go GOP in a huge wave would be CA, CO, MA, MN, and OR.  Again, of these three predictions, this is perhaps the least likely to happen, since all of these races show small but solid leads for the Democratic candidate.
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