With the election tomorrow, I thought it was high time to offer up my own election predictions.
I have carefully and scientifically evaluated each and every House and Senate race, taking into account length of incumbency, previous voting trends for each district and state, fund-raising advantage, the most recent polls, and the fact that every preceding clause in this sentence prior to this one has been a complete and utter lie.
I have looked at a lot of polls and data but damn, there are only so many hours in the day. My predictions are based on general national mood, gut-feeling, and detailed looks at trends for select races.
This is going to be worse for the Democrats than 1994. The rise of the Netroots and the overwhelming support among the traditional news media dangerously blinded liberal insiders from how badly out-of-sync with the rest of the country they had become, and their insistence to push onward with ObamaCare despite widespread opposition and a lousy economy turned what was already going to be a bad year for them into a once-in-a-lifetime political slaughter.
I predict that the Democrats will lose 67 House seats.
As I admitted above, that’s not a wild-assed guess, but a guestimate based on current polling data and news on individual races. I don’t see Republicans gaining less than 50 seats, and there’s an outside possibility they could get 100. To my mind, it’s much more likely they’ll gain more than 67 than less than 50.
Among the individual House races, I predict all the Stupak-bloc flippers except Marcy Kaptur (who had the luck to draw Nazi Uniform Guy as her opponent) and Jerry Costello (much as I appreciate GOP candidate Teri Newman popping in to say the race is tied, I just don’t see any traction at all in a 54% Obama district; I’d love to be surprised) will lose, including:
- Rep. Joseph Donnelly of Indiana
- Indiana’s open 8th congressional district (formerly held by Brad Ellsworth)
- Michigan’s open 1st congressional seat (formerly held by Bart Stupak)
- James Oberstar of Minnesota
- Steve Driehaus of Ohio
- Charles Wilson of Ohio
- Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania
- Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania
- Solomon Ortiz of Texas
Additionally, I’m predicting that all of the following Democrats representing districts that voted for McCain in 2008 lose their jobs:
- Bobby Bright of Alabama
- Arkansas’ open 1st congressional district (formerly held by Marion Barry (AKA “the other Marion Barry”))
- Arkansas’ open 2nd congressional district (formerly held by Vic Snyder)
- Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona
- Harry Mitchell of Arizona
- Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona
- John Salazar of Colorado
- Betsy Markey of Colorado
- Allen Boyd of Florida
- Suzanne Kosmas of Florida
- Jim Marshall of Georgia
- Baron Hill of Indiana
- Ben Chandler of Kentucky
- Louisiana’s open 3rd congressional district (formerly held by Charlie Melancon)
- Frank Kratovil of Maryland
- Ike Skelton of Missouri
- Travis Childers of Mississippi
- Gene Taylor of Mississippi
- Mike McIntyre of North Carolina
- Heath Schuler of North Carolina
- Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota
- Harry Teague of New Mexico
- Michael McMahon of New York
- New York’s open 29th congressional district (formerly held by Eric Massa)
- John Boccieri of Ohio
- Zack Space of Ohio
- Christopher Carney of Pennsylvania
- Mark Critz of Pennsylvania (serving the remainder of the late John P. Murtha’s term)
- John Spratt of South Carolina
- Stephanie Sandlin of South Dakota
- Lincoln Davis of Tennessee
- Tennessee’s open 6th congressional district (formerly held by Bart Gordon)
- Tennessee’s open 8th congressional district (formerly held by John Tanner)
- Chet Edwards of Texas
- Tom Perriello of Virginia
- Rick Boucher of Virginia
- West Virgina’s first district (held by Allan Mollohan, who was defeated in the Democratic primaries)
That’s 46 seats right there, and I think there’s easily another 21 seats to be had in districts that went narrowly for Obama in 2008 to provide the final margin of victory.
I predict that the Democrats will lose 10 Senate seats.
The Senate is a tougher nut to flip this year, and as I set down to gauge Republican chances, I was shocked to find that, despite insider predictions, I actually had them winning ten seats to take control of the Senate. Running down the Senate races that Real Clear Politics shows as tossups I was only getting nine seats, but then I remembered that Blanche Lincoln is losing so badly in Arkansas that they had that down as a safe Republican flip.
Republicans should take over the following ten Senate seats:
- West Virginia
Much as I’d like to see an upset in California, I don’t see Carly Fiorina getting any traction in an overwhelmingly blue state; I think the out-migration of California’s best and brightest due to the high tax rates, crummy economy, the overwhelmingly powerful public sector unions and a near-bankrupt government (all related phenomena) has, ironically, made Californian even bluer.
The two races of the ten that will be most difficult for Republicans to pull off are Washington and West Virginia. Washington may be the tightest, simply because the Left Coast is so blue, but Rossi has been steadily gaining on Murray, and actually pulled ahead in the latest PPP poll. And PPP usually has a Democratic bias, so in a wave election, you have to give it to the Republican if polling is within the margin of error.
In West Virginia, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict a victory for Republican John Raese even though Joe Manchin is up four points in the most recent poll, for the following reasons:
- McCain won West Virginia by 13.1 points in 2008, which was four points above the poll RCP average. Asking Manchin to run 14 points better in 2010 than Obama did in 2008 is a pretty tall order.
- The state has been trending Republican for years. It went for Clinton over both Bush41 and Dole, but for Bush43 over Gore by 6.3%, and Bush43 over Kerry by 12.9%.
- West Virginia fits the classic demographic pattern for “Reagan Democrats”: It’s 94.4% white, and is relatively rural and blue collar, and with a household income significantly below the national average. Those are the very voters that are abandoning Democrats this year.
- Along those same lines, Hillary Clinton beat Obama handily here in 2008, even though Obama had all but clinched the nomination at the time. West Virginia voters fit the classic “Jacksonian” profile, the portions of the Democratic base that has been most alienated by Obama’s policies.
- Say what you will about the late Senator Robert Byrd, but he was extraordinarily popular in his home state right up to the end. But his name isn’t on the top of the ballot this time around, and without that reminder of their old “born and bred” Democratic allegiance to remind them, 2010 may finally be the year when remaining West Virginia conservative Democrats make the switch to the GOP.
- The areas that have been most fruitful for Democratic fraud efforts in the past have been urban enclaves with strong Democratic minority machine politics, which are pretty much absent here.
- Logic dictates that if that this truly is a nationalized “wave” election, it will show up strongly here.
Honestly, I think the Democrats taking the Washington senate seat is more likely that West Virginia.
So the Republicans take both House and Senate in an electoral slaughter unprecedented in modern times. So I have foretold, and so it shall be!
And if you disagree, post your own predictions below.