I (the Watcher) asked our illustrious council members their predictions for Tuesdays elections. Before I go to them, I see that David Bernstein posted his and asked his commenters for theirs. Here are Sabato’s Final Calls (via memeorandum). Here are the latest from 538 (via memeorandum). The latest from Real Clear Politics: House, Senate and Governors. (h/t Right Truth)
Without further ado, here are the results of my polling. I asked for:
How many seats will be gained (or lost) by Republicans in the House? Senate?
Most surprising upset.
Highest ranking politician to lose power. (This would not include the President who might lose a house or two, but won’t lose power this year. And Pelosi ranks higher than Reid who ranks higher, I think, than Hoyer.)
A sentence or two with overall observations.
Here are the results I received.
From Rhymes with Right:
1) US Senate: After the election, the breakdown will be 50 GOP, 47 Democrat, and 3 Independent — GOP GAIN of 9, Dem LOSS of 10, Ind. GAIN of 1
2) US House: I expect a 50 seat GAIN for the GOP, with the configuration of the House of Representatives the next Congress being 229 GOP and 206 Dem.
3) Most surprising upset? Lisa Murkowski wins her write-in candidacy and becomes the third Independent in the US Senate.
4) Highest ranking loser? Harry Reid.
General Observations: As a Republican, I’m expecting this to be a good night for the GOP, as the American public begins to move its voting behavior back in line with its political ideology. Face it — the last 18 months have shown that the results of 2006 and 2008 were less about a shift Leftward than a rejection of a war that was not going well and excessive spending by a Congress that had promised responsibility. Now that the public has seen what the Democrats will do when given total control, the American public is tacking back to the Right — which leads me to think that the 2012 election may, ironically, turn out to be one in which the GOP gains in Congress with a more moderate set of candidates than seen in 2010 while Obama manages to cling to s the presidency by a narrow margin as the American people vote for divided government.
My predictive abilities are so random, I’m loath to try. I can see patterns develop. (I figured out that Saudi Arabia would be forced to develop a limited working, although never friendly, relationship with Israel as Iran went nuclear, or that ObamaCare would raise insurance costs.) I’m lousy at specifics, though. Indeed, a month ago, I would have been aghast to learn how close the Brown/Whitman and Boxer/Fiorina races are. Given California’s disastrous Democrat economy, given the national trends, and given what icky candidates Brown and Boxer are, I would have thought it be a rout, not a race so tight that I’m afraid it will be a Democrat sweep. (Monkey and I clearly are reading the same crystal ball on that one.)
Anyway, in lieu of predictions, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and send up some prayers.
JoshuaPundit with his sidekick, Weekend Monkey:
1) Senate: I see a split senate, 50-48, with a gain of 9. Monkey says 8 seats, Both of us see GOP pickups in Arkansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Indiana
Here’s how we see that stacking up in the competitive contests:
Rob: The rest of the GOP Pickups are in CA, CO, WV, NV, PA. GOP holds KY,OH. Miller wins in Alaska, Rubio in FL. DEM Holds in IL, (Crook County) DE, WA. Senate ends at 50 GOP, 2 IN, 48 Dem.
Monkey: Boxer stays. Trust me, I know these things. Additional ReThug Pickups in CO, WV, NV, PA, and they hold KY,OH. Miller in Alaska(barely), Rubio in FL. Democratic holds in IL, (where the dead will vote for my Democrats) DE (unless O’Donnell really is a witch and casts some kinda spell), CA, WA. Senate ends up at 49 GOP, 2 IN, 49 Dem. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben Nelson and Lieberman go over to the ReThugs afterwards.
2. The House:
Rob: I’d be very surprised to see the GOP end up with less than a 60 seat pickup,and it could easily be higher, so I’ll say between 60 and 70.. Bonanza territory would be a gain of 85 seats – a veto proof majority.That’s possible, especially if Rush’s Reverse Operation Chaos takes off.
Monkey: In yer ear, Rob. 54 seats. But I gotta admit with me giving the ReThugs a 40 odd seat pick up already and 40 toss up seats out there, 60 + seats could happen, and I’m only betting individual seats this year rather than the House composition. And yeah, it could be higher. But 85 seats? Pass that opium pipe around and share, willya?
3. Most surprising upset? Rob: Fiorina over Boxer in Cali. Monkey: Alexi Giannoulias wins in Illinois.Only it ain’t exactly gonna be a surprise in Chicago, if you know what I mean.
4. Highest Ranking loser?: Rob:I’d say Harry Reid Monkey: Ditto.A victim of the Mad Hatter’s GOP Tea Party.
5. General Observations: Both of us are keenly interested in how Obama is going to handle the new reality next year,and what Hillary Clinton might do,and I’m sure both of us will weigh in after the election.
Rob: One of the most interesting factors here is not just the Republicans winning but the type of Republicans…mostly real conservatives who are being elected precisely because they promise to take the country back and end Obama’s ruinous policies. If they fail to deliver, they’ll get voted out as quickly as they got in, and the GOP will go the way of the Whigs. The day of the RINO is over. 2012 could be the real start of a new period of conservative dominance, especially if the GOP successfully runs someone like Sarah Palin or Mike Pence.
Monkey: Eh! DC changes everybody. The ReThugs are gonna screw it up just like last time. I think the odds are at least 50-50 that Hillary runs in 2012, especially if Obama’s poll numbers continue to slide and the economy stays in the crapper, as it likely will.
House: GOP +47Senate: GOP +9In other words GOP takes control of the House, Democrats retain control of the Senate,small margins.Upset: Russ Feingold defeated in WisconsinHighest ranking loser: most of the high ranking are losers
House: GOP +53Senate: GOP +8Upset: Murkowski wins in AK.
Highest Ranking Loser: Harry Reid.
I see the GOP +8 overall. A few weeks ago, WV was a Dem stronghold, which shows you how rapidly things can turn around. The real balance of power will be for the I’s to decide. If the House goes to Republicans (and it will) this will influence the decision of the Independents as far as who they caucus with. In this age of “spotlight on the pork”, I really don’t see much for either side to offer other than committee assignments and such. Even with 9 GOP pickups the fight for control of the Senate will be interesting. A pickup of 10 seats by the GOP is outside of the realm of possibilities.
I am going with 59 GOP seats gained. There are so many toss ups and sure to be a number of GOP pickups that are not on anyone’s radar. I realize 59 is on the high side, according to most, but it is still a sane bet.
Barney Frank. He is scared. This tells me it is much closer than we may think. I admit this one falls in the wishful thinking category, but someone has to say Barney, so I just did.
Highest Ranking Loser:
Harry Reid. I think this makes it a consensus, right?
A few thoughts:
I have seen a reliance this year on Real Clear Politics by almost everyone. The problem I have with RCP or averages in general is you cannot compare apples and apples by averaging. There are some really big problems with some of the polls. PPP is weighting polls as if a greater number of Democrats will turn out than in 2008 in some states. With the enthusiasm gap as high as it is in favor of Republicans, I believe some of these polls are more propaganda and spin than an actual measure of voter intent. If both Republicans and Democrats were spin polling, then averaging things out would probably work. But I have not seen nearly as many Republican spin polls as Democrat.
Another concern is that these polls in heavily Democratic areas have no real model based on previous years. In my home state of Virginia, which has been Red for a long time, most of the polls in 2006 and 2008 seemed to overestimate Republican voters, As a result, there were a number of surprises. But the only surprise was the polls failed to properly weight the data because they underestimated the voter anger with Republicans.
We may very well see this same thing again this year, only in reverse. How do you properly poll a CA, WA, and OR race in a Republican trending year like we have now? The Democrats are not very interested in supporting Obama, and the Conservatives are chomping at the bit to delete the 2006 and 2008 “mistakes”.
We should know early how things are going to go on election night. As the polls in the east close, the number of shockers will speak volumes. Very few early, the House ends up as predicted – 45 – 55 on average. Several “off the radar” pickups for the GOP, and a 100 seat tsunami is not impossible.
We will learn a lot about polls this year. That much is for sure.
I also heed the wisdom of the greatest American Zen master, Roshi Yogi Berra, who taught “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Ohmmmmmm
As for me I’ve read too much and know too little right now. I’ll go with the emerging consensus that the Republicans will turn the House but not the Senate. I assume that the highest ranking Democrat to fall will be Harry Reid. But that’s not so much because of the polling of his race, but because he’s had absolutely no coattails for his son to glide on. I’d have to rank the defeat of Barney Frank as the most surprising upset.
Last week the President said:
My name may not be on the ballot, but our agenda for moving forward is on the ballot, and I need everybody to turn out …
I don’t understand this at all. His party is headed for a historic defeat, by making this claim he is tying his agenda to the likely disaster. In Baltimore, near where I live, (in Maryland, one of the few states impervious to Democratic overreach) signs with the famous Obama logo of two years ago are going up. This is a very risky strategy.
There’s one other implication to the President’s tying the election to his agenda. Democratic pollsters Patrick Cadell and Douglas Schoen write:
President Obama’s post-partisan America has disappeared, replaced by the politics of polarization, resentment and division.
In a Univision interview on Monday, the president, who campaigned in 2008 by referring not to a “Red America” or a “Blue America” but a United States of America, urged Hispanic listeners to vote in this spirit: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”
Recently, Obama suggested that if Republicans gain control of the House and/or Senate as forecast, he expects not reconciliation and unity but “hand-to-hand combat” on Capitol Hill.
What a change two years can bring.
We can think of only one other recent president who would display such indifference to the majesty of his office: Richard Nixon.