Thursday, October 28, 2010

Election 2010 Predictions and Preview

So, here we are. Just five nights from now, the results will be pouring in and Republicans appear poised to have a tremendously successful, perhaps historic Election Night, in which just about everyone agrees the GOP will make major gains. Over the past few months, I have predicted every race for Governor, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House. Below are revisions I have made in these predictions and some brief words about the three categories. It is very likely that I will not make any changes from this point on, but reserve the right to do so up through the end of the night on Monday. In words from the Book of Exodus; so let it be written, so let it be done.


CA- Leans D- change from Tossup (D)
CT- Tossup (D)- change from Leans D
FL- Tossup (R)- change from Tossup (D)
HI- Tossup (D)- change from Tossup (R)
NY- Safe D- change from Likely D
PA- Likely R- change from Leans R
TN- Safe R- change from Likely R

Current total: 26 D, 24 R
New totals:
17 D (7 Holder, 1 Safe, 1 Likely, 4 Leans, 4 Tossup)
1 I (1Tossup)
32 R (6 Holdover, 7 Safe, 10 Likely, 6 Leans, 3 Tossup)

Democrat net loss of 9, Republican net gain of 8

The range for the number of Republican Governors after the election should be between 29 and a whopping total of 36 or 37. In a sense, these elections may be the most important of the cycle, with redistricting being upon us in the states over the next two years. Also, having a Governor in place is a great help to the Presidential nominee of the party of the Governor in the various states. Furthermore, most of our recent Presidents have been Governors, and there may be a crop of them among the 50 states.

For a matter of background on my Gubernatorial predictions in the last two cycles:

2006: 35-1 (97%)
2008: 10-1 (91%)

U.S. Senate:

AK- Leans R (change from Likely R)- as a special note on this state, the prediction is for the party the winner will conference with on Capitol Hill. This election is highly unorthodox for reasons known to anyone who would even remotely be reading this with comprehension. If I were forced to pick a winner by candidate, I would say that it is Tossup (Miller). If either Miller or Murkowski win though, I will count this as a correct prediction.
CT- Likely D (change from Leans D)

Current total: 59 D, 41 R
50 D (40 Holdover, 4 Safe, 4 Likely, 2 Tossup)
50 R (23 Holdover, 11 Safe, 6 Likely, 7 Leans, 3 Tossup)

Republican net gain of 9

While I am going with 50/50, which of course would appear to allow the Democrats to maintain a majority through a tie breaker, I would be mildly surprised if I wind up being exact on these. Along with most political watchers, I would be pretty surprised if Republicans win less than 6 seats. In a perfect storm, Republicans could net 11 and finish with a majority of 52 seats. I would say that the Democrats are far more likely to have 51 after this year than Republicans though.

Whatever the ultimate outcome, this will be a major improvement for Republicans, with the possibility of being able to win several more seats in 2012. Of course, as it is, regardless of which party has the majority, neither of them will be close enough to have a filibuster proof 60 seats. If Republicans fall just short of a majority, the implications of the Delaware Republican primary will be talked about for a long time.

2006 U.S. Senate predictions: 31-2 (94%)
2008 U.S. Senate predictions: 34-1 (97 %)

U.S. House:


20. Jim Costa D (Obama 60%)- Tossup (D)- change from Leans D


12. Open (Adam Putnam R)- (McCain 50%)- Likely R- change from Leans R


1. Walt Minnick D (McCain 62%)- Tossup (D)- change from Leans D

New Jersey

6. Frank Pallone D (Obama 61%)- Leans D- change from Likely D

Current total: 256 D, 179 R
204 D (103 Safe, 48 Likely, 34 Leans, 19 Tossup)
231 R (142 Safe, 37 Likely, 26 Leans, 26 Tossup)

Republican net gain of 52

It just so happens that after I predicted each race, I examined the numbers of some professional pundits and found out that I have the exact total of Nate Silver, although we differ on a handful of individual races. That is purely a coincidence as I did not consult his data at all.

Fifty-two is an interesting number for a net gain. It would nearly equal the GOP 1994 Election Night pickup, which was and remains the largest gain for a party in the House in the past 62 years.

In many ways, 52 is a conservative number. I have a fairly large number of races this year I classify as Tossup. If for some reason, there is a serious, systemic error in all polling across the board this cycle, such as a stealth army of cell phone hipsters not being included in surveys, (which many thought would have won the White House for John Kerry in 2004), Republican gains could be held under 30, allowing the Democrats to keep the House, with a few seats to spare. That would be bitterly disappointing to GOP loyalists who have been counting on winning a majority for months now. Do not count on that happening though.

Republicans need 39 seats to make John Boehner the likely next Speaker of the House, and they should get it, with a good deal of room to spare. If it is true, that a political tsunami is a brewin', the Republican gains could pass 70 seats. I will be looking forward to watching the numbers from across the country roll in.

2006 U.S. House predictions: 416-19 (96%)
2008 U.S. House predictions: 418-17 (96%)