03 November 2010

Quick and dirty election postmortem (Congress)

Projections vs. results for U.S. Congress:
...Translation: unless these numbers change dramatically toward the Democrats in the next week (and there isn't any indication to suggest they will), next Tuesday will be an electoral bloodbath for Democrats; on the order of 50-60+ seats in the House of Representatives (+39 would take control), and 8+ seats in the Senate.  Republicans will regain control of the House and will probably end up with 49 or even 50 seats in the Senate (they'd need 51 to control the Senate since the Vice President could break a tie); although a majority in the Senate is not out of the question.
In regards to the House of Representatives, there are some numbers left to count, but it appears that the Republicans will exceed 60 seats and end up somewhere around 65.  To put this in perspective, it will be the most seats won by either party since the 1940s.  Bob Beckel and Doug Schoen (both Democrats) were on FOX last night trying to argue that the Republicans should have won 90 seats, and thus 65 would be somewhat disappointing all things considered.  Seriously!  I caveated this prediction with the possibility of even 70 seats, and the GOP came pretty close to that, outperforming expectations (but just slightly so).  This is doubly interesting because most prognosticators (Cook, Sabato, Silver, et al) largely and accurately predicted the wave and its size.  In other words, the news is more about results versus mostly accurate expectations, and lacking much difference, the newsworthiness doesn't seem to have as much impact.

In the Senate, the Republicans have picked up 6 seats with two yet to be undecided (CO and WA).  The press is trying to spin this as disappointing results for the Republicans, but even if both of those seats end up in Democratic hands, the +6 will be nearly double the average gain of seats in a mid-term election.  The Nevada Senate seat (Harry Reid) was really the only race where the GOP showed a lead and lost.  CO would be the next closest.  Manchin's win in WV is only remarkable because he ran so far away from Obama and literally fired a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill.  Seats in CO and WA would bring us to eight, but it seems like getting both of those is unlikely.  So Democrats outperformed expectations slightly here.  NV goes down as incorrect with the possibility that CO could as well (I had CA, WA and WV already in the Dem column).
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