The pundits say...

I took a journey through punditland this morning for the latest on their forecasts for the GE:

Before getting to the guys who just want to be right, there's:

SSP's prediction that the Democrats will only lose a net of 5 seats for sure, and another 40 Democratic seats are toss-ups-- split those, and you have a projection of losing 25 seats.

Dick Morris is on the other side, predicting that the GOP gain will break the all-time record set back in 1922 when the Democrats gained 74 seats, saying that the Democrats could lose 80 seats.

Nate Silver is riding a bit of a down streak, having bungled the run-up to the MA special Senate election, and his 538 numbers being way off on the UK results. Silver has the Democrats losing a net of 39 seats for sure, and another net of 21 that's even, so that makes 50; then another 17 at about a third, so that puts him at about 55 seats.

Larry Sabato on some Senate/Gov races, and here's their latest on the House predictions. They hae a prediction of 47 House seats being gained by Republicans.

Charlie Cook is likely to update soon, but currently has a GOP gain of 40 seats set (from the middle of Sept).

Stuart Rothenberg:

...for most races, the die will be cast around the beginning of October. Either the early ads changed opinion or they didn’t. And that is why the last month of most campaigns is actually less decisive than you may think it is.

Rhodes Cook:

The [Cuba missle] crisis itself covered much of the latter half of October 1962 and froze the midterm campaign in its tracks as the world’s two superpowers stood eyeball to eyeball. It was the ultimate test of strength and judgment for the young president, John F. Kennedy. And he passed it.

The Soviets backed down. The president’s popularity soared. And his Democratic colleagues in Congress, many of whom were bracing for significant midterm election losses, saw their numbers stay virtually unchanged on Election Day. The Democrats lost only four seats in the House, while gaining a handful of seats in the Senate – a far cry from the heavy losses that the president’s party has usually sustained in midterm elections.


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Nate Silver

His projection is a 45-seat gain, but if you look at who's favored to win, it's about 55 seats.

by esconded 2010-09-30 10:14AM | 0 recs
RE: Nate Silver

That's bizzare, so he doesn't believe his own numbers. I actually think he's probably about right there at 50-55.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-09-30 10:38AM | 0 recs
I dunno

I am an optimist for sure.   But I think that the media is starting to look at a little closer at people on right.    People like O'Donnell, Paladino, etc.  are bad news for the Republicans, and not just in their individual races.   

In places like Ohio, Kentucky, and Pa we see Strickland, Conway, Sestak closing the gap, which I think goes along with what I said above, people aren't sure and are giving Democrats a second look.   I can only assume that the same is happening in House races.

Add to this a generic number that is pretty much tied right now, and the fact that the Republican Party, at least in the last poll I saw, polls at a lower favorable number then the Democrats, and I don't think you see a wave election where they Republican Party takes 50 plus seats.   It might not even take 40.

I think right now I'd say we have a 50-50 shot of keeping the House and if things keep trending our way I like our chances.

I do agree with Rothenberg.  I think that once we see the polling around the 10th of the month we'll know a lot more.

Once last thing, and first I must state, I am a huge believer in polls, and love to read them, but I wonder (I am not making a bold statement here, but merely wondering) might this be the first election were modern polling shows some cracks due to cell phone use and caller I.D.   I wonder because it seems that we have seem some polling in statewide races lately that show some pretty big differences between polls taken relatively close to together.    Not hanging my hat on that or holding out hope for this to happen, I just wonder.

by RichardFlatts 2010-09-30 11:21AM | 0 recs
Experts over estimate Republicans

Think back to 2006.

Right up to the end people like Charlies Cook, despite the polling (double digit generic #'s), was citing the GOP gotv efforts, and political abilities, and suggesting they would hold the House.  

These people consistantly expect Republicans to kick Democrats asses.   .... Probably because for a 10 year period not long ago that seemed to be the norm.

by RichardFlatts 2010-09-30 11:24AM | 0 recs
RE: I dunno

I think the odds the GOP takes the House are more like 3 in 5.  I kinda wish we would lose the Senate and keep the House.  Nancy Pelosi is money.  If we lost the Senate, I'm honestly not sure it'd make that much difference and the GOP would have to come up with at least one idea beyond tax cuts.

by the mollusk 2010-09-30 11:32AM | 0 recs
RE: I dunno

Gotta disagree about losing one or the other.

It is much easier to stop things in the Senate. 

A Dem House could pass legislation, and a GOP Senate could F it up, and then take to committee and who knows what would result.    The other way around we could just kill whacked out shit from the Republicans.

Plus that whacked out shit Republicans would pass in the House will be money in '12.


by RichardFlatts 2010-09-30 11:37AM | 0 recs
RE: I dunno

I guess it's a two-way street, though.  The whacked-out stuff coming out of the Repub committees in the Senate would never get 60 votes - and maybe not 50 votes most of the time.  The real tragedy, I think, is going to be the loss of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.  She's one for the books.

by the mollusk 2010-09-30 12:06PM | 0 recs
Why don't we just talk baseball?

Why don't we just talk baseball, instead?  Kerry lost to GW Bush, Dean was way up in the polls just before the vote, the pundits all said that the Tea Party was fringe and now they've got two senators coming to the table. And that's huge, because there are only two senators from each state.   The senate is a big deal.  The house was working just fine and they did alot of good work. 

So, everything changes in October because it's an off year election and no one really cares.  And they will use the internet to do research - they'll be careful to ignore the first results they see because those are all google bombs.... BUT if the candidates are smart they'll try to google bomb the result set just the same. Hell thats what the Tea party is doing.

But in the end, it will be two teams - and they will meet on the field and one will play better and have their act together. And one won't.  Politics at this level has always been a team sport. 

In baseball, there's a saying. When the team wins, the players win. When the team loses, the Coach loses.

Right now, as we write this, the house and senate are all getting ready to stand by President Obama, and have their picture taken - the economy is recovering more strongly than before - and I have more work on my desk than I'd like to talk about.

So I just use the simple rules. Trying to guess who wins the house, is just a washington, DC parlor game. It's all inside the beltway stuff.  My guy will win.

And My team will win. Those Atlanta Braves are going to beat the Philthydelphia Phillthies this weekend.

And that's the way it is.

by Trey Rentz 2010-09-30 11:39AM | 1 recs
RE: Why don't we just talk baseball?

honestly, though, polls aren't too bad at predicting most of the time.  i agree that it's harder with a house race than a presidential race, but there's something to be said for zeitgeist being picked up in generic polls.

by the mollusk 2010-09-30 12:07PM | 0 recs
Dick Morris

Actually, the all-time record wasn't in 1922, it was the 130 seats the GOP picked up in 1894, when an ineffectual Democratic President governing during one of the most severe depressions in history was swamped by the combination of a resurgent populist movement and a unified GOP.

by Steven Smith 2010-09-30 03:13PM | 0 recs
RE: Dick Morris

You are correct, I even blogged that recently-- should have said from last century. However, I think most put the economy on blame, they had a mini depression, for the loss. I'd like to read more about the era.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-09-30 08:00PM | 0 recs
RE: Dick Morris

That was the second Grover Cleveland midterm.  Things were so bad in 1896 that Cleveland didnt run again.  Hopefully Obama will do the same in 2012.

by Kent 2010-09-30 08:39PM | 0 recs
RE: Dick Morris

Yeah, it would be, like, totally awesome if Obama didn't run in 2012.  Maybe we could dust off Walter Mondale for a run.

by the mollusk 2010-10-01 01:14AM | 1 recs
I think we'll lose

between 40 and 50 seats. The outside groups are going to swamp what Democrats can spend, the DCCC's ads aren't good, Congress didn't handle issues well this fall, the economy sucks and I don't see any outside game-changing event happening.

In IA-01, long considered a safe seat, the 501(c)4 American Future Fund will spend about a million dollars against Bruce Braley. Braley "should" be ok in a D+5 district where he outperformed Obama in 2008, but who knows in this kind of environment with that kind of money spent against him?

by desmoinesdem 2010-10-01 09:44AM | 1 recs
RE: I think we'll lose

about 50 seats is right...

by lori 2010-10-06 09:28PM | 0 recs


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