Final House And Senate Forecasts

At long last, after more than a year of digging through numbers, I have arrived at my final House and Senate forecasts. While it is possible that there will still be some polls released between now and tomorrow morning, I doubt that many will be released, or that they will change this forecast at all. At the very least, I do not intend to make anymore posts on the House and Senate forecasts before the elections actually take place. This is the one for posterity.

My final House forecast shows a Democratic pickup of 23-29 seats, for a majority of 226-232. If you have to push to for a single number, I'll go with 26, and a majority of 229. The only chance I made form yesterday was to move NY-25 from "toss-up" to "lean Democratic." I have to say that one makes me very, very happy.

Note that I do not predict the outcome of individual races. Rather, I have placed seats into probability tiers, and estimated the number of seats Democrats will win within each tier. If I were to pick individual races, I would probably come up with a much higher Democratic gain. This is both because Democrats are leading according to polls in more than 26 Republican-held seats, and because I just don't have the heart to pick individual Democrats to lose. Thus, this system of forecasting saves me from engaging in a sort of wishful thinking bias.

My final house forecast shows a Democratic pickup of five seats. While I do grant either four seats or six seats as quite possible, I just think a five-seat pickup is the most likely outcome. This would lead to a 50-48-2 Senate, where Dick Cheney would cast the tie-breaking vote (provided that Lieberman caucuses with Democrats).

Looking that the five close races we have to win in order to take control, Rhode Island, Maryland, Montana, Missouri and Virginia, things look good for us in all five cases. However, I just have to think that there is going to be that one blemish, the one close race that gets away. I don't know which one it will be, but I feel a lot better about forecasting a five-seat gain where one of our small leads can disappear rather than projecting we take control by sweeping all five. I certainly hope I end up being wrong, and democrats take control.


Well, that's it for me when it comes to election forecasts this year. I am going to make some phone calls to family and friends, get ready for tomorrow, and go to bed early. I will be working my precinct from 7 a.m. until the early afternoon, but I will be back and ready to blog a couple hours before the polls start closing. I am actually kind of glad that it is about to finally reach some sort of resolution. Let's make this happen.

Tags: election forecasts, House 2006, Senate 2006 (all tags)



Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

This is it folks, time to get angry!

by fwiffo 2006-11-06 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Whoa, dark hair. Not used to that.

But then again I was an Angel fan and not a Buffy one!

by MNPundit 2006-11-06 04:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Thanks, Chris, for all your hard work.  Your forecasts have been the best reading, no matter what the final outcome may be.  

by alkatt 2006-11-06 04:05PM | 0 recs
Whatever happens tomorrow Chris

thanks for a hell of ride. But you can only take 2 weeks off. Then there is an election in 2008....

by molly bloom 2006-11-06 04:12PM | 0 recs forgot pennsylvania

nuff said

by lokiloki 2006-11-06 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: forgot pennsylvania

No, Pennsylvania and Ohio aren't close; they're slam-dunk pickups, where the Democrats held leads outside the margin of error and usually  in the double digits for weeks now.  Santorum and DeWine are going DOWN....

by Alex 2006-11-06 05:23PM | 0 recs
Thanks Chris

It's really reassuring to read a house forecast that ignores national factors and still manages to forecast the Democrats easily taking the house.

We didn't expect to be in this situation 6 months ago.  We thought we had a chance, but it would have been like +10 for sure and 5 or 6 others we had hopes - just enough to eke out a majority.  Kind of like what we see in the senate, which we never expected to be in reach.

To have it a statistical likelihood that we take the house easily, and national factors will only increase that majority is wonderful.

Funny note, Novak is crediting Rahm and Schumer and says any Democratic victory will be despite Dean.  Ha ha, yeah Bob, we'll take your oh so helpful "advice" and fire Dean after this.  Good ol Novak, always looking out for the Democrats' best interest!

by scientician 2006-11-06 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks Chris
Yeah, exactly. Do the opposite of whatever Novak advises.
by Chris Bowers 2006-11-06 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks Chris

I love that suddenly Novak feels he has some strange right to lecture Democrats on what to do, when HE never represented us, and HIS strategy has FAILED.

by JewishJake 2006-11-06 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks Chris

Yup, a compass that always points due south is still perfectly reliable, as long as you know how it works.

by Alex 2006-11-06 05:25PM | 0 recs
Thanks From Here, Too

This has grown to be my favorite place to visit for solid insight into practical politics.  My teenage daugther even uses it for her high school government class.  I almost feel as though I should get up in the morning early enough to come vote in "our" precinct.  Having admired your work there -- and here -- vicariously, voting would seem natural, but we'll do that here for Claire.  Good luck tomorrow and then some....

by Arthurkc 2006-11-06 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

I think we are going to know the trends fairly early.  Indiana and Kentucky's polls close at 6pm eastern, I believe.

If the three wingnuts in Indiana and Northup in KY-03 are in trouble early, maybe things will be a wave.  Yarmuth seems like a great populist in KY-03.  If he beats that bitch Northup and we know it by 6pm or so tomorrow, that one hundred dollar bottle of champagne I bought for election night will be popped early.  

by jgarcia 2006-11-06 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

I've checked the Tradesports and Iowa markets. For what it's worth, a contract for Republican control of the House is worth 19 cents on Tradesports, 73 cents for GOP to hold the Senate. IEM has GOP Lose House at 80 cents, GOP hold Senate at about 70 cents.

The market has spoken. But, it spoke about, too. Just took a long time and got it wrong a lot along the way.

I hope we win it all, and Bush resigns in shame. Well, okay, maybe Bush just learns how to feel shame. That'll be enough.

by Brian CB 2006-11-06 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Excellent work. Get a good night's rest, I think tomorrow evening is going to be a roller coaster ride. MyDD / the site to be / for election projections / of quality.

by billybob 2006-11-06 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Checked your Website more than once a day for weeks-you are THE grassroots activist of this election.  Thanks for your work.   While it might have made you crazy, it kept lots of us sane.
I have had my recorded call from Bill Clinton so I am really optimistic, soooo.......
Senate: Dems +6
House:  Dems +29
I cheated, I got the numbers from Larry Sabato and I like them.

Favorite '06 Image:
George Allen trying to talk with both feet in his mouth.

by CLK 2006-11-06 04:41PM | 0 recs
Pressuring Lieberman

I think democrats in the SENATE need to make it plain that if he switches caucuses he will NEVER GET ANOTHER BILL PASSED.  He will get no pork, he will get no bases saved, he will not even get a postoffice named after George Washington - nothing.

All bills with his name on it will be pocketed or held or filibustered or whatever it takes.

No.  Bills.  Ever.

by Robert P 2006-11-06 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Pressuring Lieberman

They can't make that threat stick unless they pick up seven seats -- and then there'd be no reason for him to switch.  Why would you bolt the majority party for the minority if it's still going to be the minority after you bolt?

by Alex 2006-11-06 05:29PM | 0 recs

If the Democrats do well tomorrow, it won't be long before we hear pleas for 'cilility' and 'cooperation' from the Republicans.  They will be making nice big-time.  Well, fuck them.

by global yokel 2006-11-06 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

I don't know about other states, but Virginia's Senate race is suffering some outrageously dirty tricks from the Allen campaign in the last 36 hours.

Tons of voter suppression, see here
A particularly good final ad, see here (John Warner is a grandfather-figure in Virginia, and elicits good feelings across partisan lines. Also, two particularly effective strawmen rephrased to make them sound new.)

I'm a huge Webb fan, but I'm feeling really nervous about this one. I've done all I can, let's hope and pray for the best.

by Matt in VA 2006-11-06 05:49PM | 0 recs
Slightly different from one C-SPAN forecast

A cranky old caller Monday morning during open phones said he bet his friend $20 Republicans would gain at least 2 House seats and at least one senate seat. I fell back asleep, and dreamed I jumped in on the other side, at slightly elevated risk.:)

One overlooked delight, almost never mentioned on progressive sites, is there are Republicans in total denial, comparing this cycle to 2002 and 2004 and insisting those were projected losses, and no difference tomorrow. It's been evident in PEW polling all year, Democrats optimistic compared to recent cycles while a majority of Republicans think the results will be familiar. I've met that type all year and I'm telling you they will tune in anticipating a break even year in both chambers. What I wouldn't do for a few thousand video cameras.

by Gary Kilbride 2006-11-06 06:00PM | 0 recs
I know this is anecdotal, but I drove up from school today to work for IL-11's Dem candidate, John Pavich who interned for over the summer. This could have been like Walz in MN-01 but we got no party support, but no worries. We're fighting it to the death here to be Bush rubberstamp and Guatmalen citizen, Jerry Weller. There is just so much energy and excitement on our side, and so much subdued reluctance on the GOP side who knows what can happen!
My point is this: Get. Out. The. Fucking. Vote. As if I needed to tell this bunch. But seriously, tommorow is going to be one of those crazy, rare days where no matter what state anyone is in, Democrats have to show up everywhere, because anything can happen. Lets not win 15 or 20 House seats, lets win 40 or 50. To quote Obama, YES WE CAN!
by AC4508 2006-11-06 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts
Hey, Chris! Go for the whole enchilada.. go for the six Senate seats. Larry Sabato did today.
Thanks for your work.
by cmpnwtr 2006-11-06 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Great job, Chris.

Since there seemed to be some question about Julia Carson in Indiana, she always polls only slightly ahead going into an election and then always pulls out a 12 point victory on election day.  I suspect this would be no different -- especially since her opponent is considerably weaker than in past years.

by chadconfetti 2006-11-06 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Unlikely.  Chaffee was the softest.  I don't think either of the ladies from Maine will jump.  Hagel still has ambitions.   DeWine, an occasional maverick and part of the GOP 7 of the Gang of 14 is going down as well.  Lindsey Graham is staying GOP.  

Who's left?

by InigoMontoya 2006-11-06 07:28PM | 0 recs
give me a break

Specter, Snowe, Warner and Hagel? None of them would possibly entertain the thought of switching.

No one saw Campbell coming (he'd only just been elected in 1992), but I think Shelby was less surprising.

by desmoinesdem 2006-11-06 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Wake Me When It's Over

by Joshua Frank

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has promised there will not be a change of course in Iraq if the Democrats take back Congress. Potential House leader Nancy Pelosi has assured voters that impeachment is not in the cards for Bush, either. Yet the liberal establishment is beckoning antiwar voters to clamor for the Democratic Party today. It seems like 2004 all over again.

I recently disparaged the positions of progressive media critic Jeff Cohen and The Nation magazine for not supporting independent antiwar candidates, and instead calling for more of the same: i.e., voting for the Democrats even though we disagree with them on the war and a host of other issues. If we want to take on Bush, they argue, the Democrats have to take back Congress, and only then can we start to build a genuine movement against the neocons.

In the meantime, however, the war will rage on and Bush will remain at the helm of Empire with Congress' blessing. As the Washington Post reported on Aug. 27, of the 46 Democratic candidates in tight House races this year, 29 "oppose a date-certain to begin withdrawing troops." That's a whopping 63 percent of Democrats in hotly contested races who have exactly the same position on the war as our liar in chief, George W. Bush.

Even so, Howard Dean offers up his own deceptive promise: "[W]e will put some pressure on him [Bush] to have some benchmarks, some timetables, and a real plan other than stay the course."

What? Who is going to do that? The 63 percent who oppose a timetable? And what plan are the Democrats going to offer up? They openly refuse to back Rep. Jack Murtha's call for redeployment, and they won't even acknowledge Rep. Jim McGovern's half-baked plea to replace U.S. forces with another international occupation cartel.

Besides, even if a withdrawal plan made its way past the House, would the Senate, even if controlled by Democrats, ever consider putting forward an alternative agenda? It sure doesn't look that way. There is not one Democratic senator who wants an immediate, unconditional end to this war.

Perhaps even more discouraging this election season is the way that the media and the mainstream antiwar movement have collaborated. They have both willfully ignored candidates running against war supporters from outside the Democratic Party.

Peace Action, the self-proclaimed largest grass roots peace organization in the U.S., has refused to supply antiwar activists with a guide to the midterm elections. They claim to not have the funds to print them, but still won't put a voting pamphlet on their Web site to inform voters that they indeed have options on Nov. 7.

The Nation magazine, despite an editorial last year that claimed they would not support pro-war Democrats, has provided virtually no coverage of third-party antiwar campaigns. After an editorial staff meeting with Sen. Hillary Clinton's antiwar challenger Howie Hawkins, The Nation still wouldn't write a word about his campaign, even though a recent Zogby poll shows that he is receiving over 20 percent of the independent vote in New York.

Predictably, and liberal bloggers like DailyKos would never engage in a debate about the legitimacy of building an independent antiwar movement, let alone a third party. Instead they'd rather throw their energy into campaigns like Ned Lamont's disaster in Connecticut. Since Ned defeated Sen. Joe Lieberman in the primary, he has changed his tune on Iraq from reasonable opposition to all-out war hawk. But that's where working within the Democratic Party will get you.

So perhaps it is not "why" Peace Now and others in the liberal establishment have silenced antiwar candidates, but "how." We know why: they are professional liberals who see the Democratic Party as an indispensable ally in the quest for grants, careers, and cocktail party networking.

Every election season is the same. In order to get what we want, we have to vote for what we don't want. Well, that kind of thinking will never end a war.

by mdf1960 2006-11-06 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Of course Dumbya is going to stay in Iraq through the 2008 election which will guaranty a big Democratic win in 2008.If thats the only way we can beat McCain,so be it.

by Litvak36 2006-11-07 02:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

for things to change you have to get mad.
 i am mad as hell A4

by GregoryOfManhattan 2006-11-06 09:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

Okey doky, Gregory, hope you don't go postal with that assault rifle in the closet!

by billybob 2006-11-07 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: switchers
I don't think Specter would switch, but then he did
switch earlier in his career from Democrat to the Republican he is now. He's an interesting case, though, because he and Rendell are still very close
friends. I don't think Arlen's all that happy with
direction Bush and co are taking the country or all the hoops he had to jump through to get the Judiciary Cmte chairmanship. I think if Dems needed one seat, they might ask Rendell, who's an amazingly
persuasive, to work on Specter. Arlen would love the attention and it could work. Perhaps Arlen wouldn't
become a Dem, but maybe an Independent who'd caucus
with the Dems.
by phillydem 2006-11-07 01:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Final House And Senate Forecasts

as with much else, it's all fictional.

by GregoryOfManhattan 2006-11-07 03:19AM | 0 recs


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