Friday, November 02, 2012

Election 2012 Predictions and Preview- U.S. Senate

4 Days Until Election Day

Below are the changes I am making since last posting predictions on September 27.

U.S. Senate:

IN- Tossup (R)- change from Leans R
MA- Tossup (D)- change from Tossup (R)
PA- Leans D- change from Likely D

Current totals: 51 D, 49 R

New totals:

50 Democrats (30 Holdover, 8 Safe, 4 Likely, 7 Leans, 1 Tossup)
50 Republicans (37 Holdover, 4 Safe, 2 Likely, 3 Leans, 4 Tossup)

Republican net gain of 1

So, on the surface, if these all fall as I predicted and the Republicans win the White House, the GOP will pickup control of the U.S. Senate. While I would certainly welcome that, at this point, I am primarily focused on the Presidential result, and in any event, even if we win that, I do not think Republicans will be taking over the U.S. Senate at this point. There is certainly a possibility for 51 GOP seats, or maybe even some more based on some electoral surprises, but at this point, it's even more likely the Democrats could win the Tossup races, and increase their majority up to 54 seats. Either way, neither party will be anywhere near to a filibuster proof majority. If Mitt Romney is elected President, the onus would be on Senate Democrats to work with him and the House to try to advance the agenda he would have been elected on.

All things considered, this Senate cycle has to once again be considered frustrating and disappointing for Republicans. Not long ago, there seemed to be genuine opportunity for far more pickups, but as we have seen in just about every recent cycle, Republicans often find a way to blow winnable Senate seats, either by recklessly nominating the wrong candidates in primaries, or seeing nominees commit gaffes, or generally perform poorly down the stretch. There is at least one seat in the Midwest, and perhaps one more, that will haunt Republicans for at least two years. We will see what happens in 2014 as it relates to the makeup of the U.S. Senate.

For a matter of background on my U.S. Senate predictions in the last three cycles:

2006: 31-2 (94%)
2008: 34-1 (97 %)
2010: 34-3 (92%)