Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch Run

The latest update to the Senate forecast is posted. The projection remains unchanged, at 50-48-2 in favor of Republicans. I have made changes to the descriptions and numbers of every race, so I won't summarize them all here. The biggest changes from in Ohio, which I no longer have any problem projecting as "Lean Democratic," and New Jersey, which I have moved from "Toss-up" to "Lean Democratic." I have also moved Maryland from "Lean Democratic" to "Likely Democratic." Here are the latest five poll averages from competitive races, via Pollster.com:
  • Minnesota: Klobuchar (D) 52.0%--39.6% Kennedy (R)
  • Ohio: Brown (D) 51.6%--41.2% DeWine (R)
  • Pennsylvania: Casey (D) 50.0%--39.6% Santorum (R)
  • Washington: Cantwell (D) 50.8%--41.8% McGavick (R)
  • Maryland: Cardin (D) 48.6%--40.2% Steele (R)
  • Montana: Tester (D) 49.4%--42.4% Burns (R)
  • New Jersey: Menendez (D) 46.0%--40.4% Kean (R) (Note: Includes Gallup instead of Strategic Vision poll, even though both were completed on the same day.)
  • Rhode Island: Whitehouse (D) 45.6%--40.0% Chafee (R)
I wanted to separate the above eight polls from the five that follow just so people could get a better sense of how well we are doing in the above eight races. There can be no doubt that we are ahead and favored in all of them. Now, here are the next five:
  • Tennessee: Ford (D) 46.4%--44.1% Corker (R) (Note: Because three polls were released in a two-day span of 9/30-10/1, this is a seven poll average).
  • Missouri: McCaskill (D) 45.8%--43.8% Talent (R)
  • Virginia: Allen (R) 48.6%--43.6% Webb (D)
  • Arizona: Kyl (R) 48.4%--38.8% Pederson (D
  • Connecticut: Lieberman (CfL) 50.0%, Lamont (D) 39.4%, Schlesinger 4.4%
Right now, our chances to win between 4-6 seats look very good. And yes, that is a reality check.

Tags: election forecasts, Senate 2006 (all tags)

Comments

29 Comments

Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

I am but a simple carnival machine,  and have noqualifications for dispensing campaign advice,  but my curiosity is piqued:    Even with a Democratic wave forming, it seems tough sweep all of MO, TN, VA... but that SUSA poll out of AZ makes me wonder:  What is the chance that in the right circumstances the AZ or NV senate races could suddenly become winnable?  

Would it be better to throw everything into OH, NJ, MO, TN, VA,  or would it be worthwhile bet to put $1M each into AZ and NV... "just in case we get lucky" ?    

by LordZoltar 2006-10-18 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R
I'm not sure, but the DSCC has bet against AZ, since they recently cut back ads.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-18 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

Interesting that Pederson is down less than DeWine and Santorum.

I don't know what that means as far as optimal resource allocation but ... interesting. I wish the big boys would put money into that race: bring the numbers up a few percentage points and make the Rs really sweat, and play even -more- defense.

But my command of campaign strategy is not what you'd call advanced.

by BingoL 2006-10-18 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

I'd certainly favor the "all or nothing" strategy.  I believe the Nevada Senate race is winnable.  :)

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-10-18 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

I donated, on the strength of two things.

One: you and your involvement in the blogs.
Two: my thrill at the very notion that the Democrats are playing offense.

We oughtta be dumping money into Nevada and Arizona, I tell you. Millions and millions! (Or, in my case, fifty bucks ...)

by BingoL 2006-10-18 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

Thank you very much!  We really appreciate your support.

I've been having a really great time campaigning here in Nevada (in case you don't know, in my day job, I'm a graduate student in San Francisco, but I've taken off the month of October to campaign full-time).  When I'm not doing anything else, I've been out canvassing shopping centers and other places, and asking people for their votes.  You really learn a lot about people that way.

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-10-18 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

Sarah,

Thank you for keeping us all up to date with your dad's campaign.  You are doing a terrific job!

by wildcat7 2006-10-18 10:04AM | 0 recs
by Alice Marshall 2006-10-18 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Arizona's problem isn't money.  Pedersen has plenty of money. What he doesn't have is traction.

Nevada, on the other hand...$1 million spent in Nevada could go a long way.  Not just for Carter, but for Titus and the challengers in two House races. And control of the State Senate.  And just plain winning the hearts and minds of the electorate in a swing state with a growing population.

A full court press in this crucial Rocky Mountain State would be a very wise use of party funds.

by admiralnaismith 2006-10-18 01:04PM | 0 recs
Nevada

Remember: just because there's not much polling in the Nevada race doesn't mean that there's no race here.  I've been frustrated that the last poll on our race came out on Sept. 25.  There's been a lot going on on the ground here in the past couple of weeks, and the "five poll" moving average from Pollster.com stretches over about two months.

Sarah

by Sarah R Carter 2006-10-18 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Nevada

Oh, and why is the Abramoff effect not having much impact on Ensign? Didn't he take $15k of Abramoff money? Or was that a rare example of a Republican taking legal Abramoff money?

by BingoL 2006-10-18 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Nevada

15K?  That would be your answer.  

Unfortunately, Abramoff didn't nationalize the election, and isn't hurting nearly as many Republicans as we hoped.  Burns in MT, sure, but he's already unlikeable.

I suspect it would have to be a lot more than 15K to really hurt him.

by scientician 2006-10-18 10:42AM | 0 recs
September 25 was a long time ago

I am sure much has changed since then. I read Jack's  remarks in the debate and I don't think anyone has done a better job of summarizing the Republican record of misleaderhip.

I have had a lot of fun following the Nevada race on the Nevada blogs. Obviously a lot of energy on the ground.

Anyone who lives in Nevada and doens't volunteer for this campaign is missing the opportunity of a lifetime.

by Alice Marshall 2006-10-18 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

I think Arizona is still just barely out of reach. If you look at the SurveyUSA figures, the election is now polarized; Pedersen now pulls 78% of Democrats and the majority of independents. But Republicans make up 42% of the electorate. He has 10% of Republicans currently; he needs another 10% to be competitive. That's going to be tough.

When/if Napolitano runs in '12 or when McCain retires, I think she will win. But it will be a few cycles before Arizona truly turns blue.

by niq 2006-10-18 10:04AM | 0 recs
The greatest candidate EVER worse than Ricky?

Poor Mark Kennedy... so, does this mean Santorum -- smug, nasty little creature that he is -- is no longer the worst candidate ever?

Or is that Burns?

by jcjcjc 2006-10-18 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The greatest candidate EVER worse than Ricky?

Worst candidates, this cycle, are Katherine Harris, Curt Weldon, Raj Bhakta, KT McFarland, Jeannine Pirro and -- if I have to pick one from our side -- ostensibly, Andy Warren.

Kennedy and Santorum aren't running bad campaigns -- it's just that the electorate refuses to buy what they're committed to sell.

by Adam B 2006-10-18 10:42AM | 0 recs
Good point

It's hard to compare to a full implosion like Harris who magically seems to never run out of time, energy or material to continue imploding.

What I'll say about Santorum is that he is a person who generates a very strong antipathy just being who he is -- I live in PA and a lot of people just plain don't like the man, without any regard to issues.

I don't think how you run a campaign means much in comparison to how the candidate connects.

Santorum comes off as that kid who told everyone in high school he was going to be big shit and then set about doing it without serious regard to what the point of it in fact was.

In that respect, I'm not sold that you can build a good campaign around Santorum.

by jcjcjc 2006-10-18 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Rassmussen has Casey up 54-41
The latest Rassmussen poll has Casey ahead 54-41,
55-43 with leaners. You can stick a fork in Santorum because he's done.
by phillydem 2006-10-19 01:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Good point

Yeah, the question is how Santorum could have done any better, given how people feel about him.  I know they're runnng a non-quiet campaign to try to peel off Jewish voters based on His Steadfast Support Of Israel, but if I were him I'd go big: If You Support The Sanctity Of Human Life, I'm Your Only Choice -- because how can Casey respond without alienating either pro-lifers or pro-choice Dems?

He's also playing the My Parents Were Immigrants/He's Descended From Royalty, but when it's Scranton royalty you're talking about and dad died from Appalachian familiar amyloidosis, that's not going to stick.

by Adam B 2006-10-19 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

Now is the time to help the ground games state wide. Where is the best place to get invovled right now?

Who is coordinating the field reports from the 50 disctricts of interest to the blogs?

How can I help.

Campaign money is nice, but closing is what matters.

Matt, Chris, Jerome. Let's get some posts and contact numbers going.

by smacfarl 2006-10-18 10:32AM | 0 recs
Steele = Dead Dogcatcher Walking

or is that "puppycatcher"?

The picture of Mike Tyson embracing Steele and Republican identity is priceless.  Just the thing to get small business semi-Republican swing voters to pull for Cardin.

Cardin has this sort of Eisenhower-esque anti-charisma: "I promise not to thrill you nor ruin your life or the country."  He isn't slick enough to threaten people and his Baltimore accent is thicker than Bob Ehrlich's.  (O'Malley, a non-Baltimore native, has no Baltimore accent; he could have been dropped here by parachute from Seattle.)

by Bruce Godfrey 2006-10-18 10:44AM | 0 recs
Entering the Stretch Run

I have a hard time believing those CT numbers-
(Lieberschnitzel 50%, Lamont 39%, Schlesinger 4%)

No way does Schlesinger get as little as 4% while running on the Republican line.  And my gut says that Lieberman is not 11 points up on Lamont.

I can't support my position with hard data, I've only got the acculumated wisdom and political savvy that one acquires by living on a steady diet of MYDD.

by global yokel 2006-10-18 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R

I have to imagine you're closer to projecting Missouri as a pickup after the latest SUSA and internal Dem poll?  They could both be outliers, but they could also be showing some serious momentum finally picking up for McCaskill.  This one will be up until the air until election night i'm sure, but I have to say we should all feel better about it now then we did in september...

by blueryan 2006-10-18 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Entering the Stretch R
Closer I am. I would like to see a couple more polls int hat range before making hte call, however.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-18 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Voter Purge

People who have voted in the primaries have been purged and won't have votes counted on election day in at least 4 states.

How does that factor in?

by liberal elite 2006-10-18 11:18AM | 0 recs
Terminology

I'm a little confused about the forecast in one respect: you list Tennessee and Missouri as "toss-ups," and yet in your analysis you project the Dems to take Tennessee and your "best guess" is that the Republicans will take Missouri, and you've assigned them that way in your final count of 50R - 48D - 2I.

But, to me, a toss-up state is one that cannot be assigned to either party on the basis of the current information available and whatever methods of projection are being used.  So, shouldn't you either move MO and TN into "lean" or create new categories ("edge", perhaps?) for them, or list your current projection as 49R - 47D - 2I + 2 toss-up?

My specific question has to do with how to list you in the survey of election projections I've been assembling, similar to the one I did for the electoral college back in 2004.  With the listing of states you've provided (and assuming the two independents would caucus with the Dems -- and I know what a perilous assumption that might be), I'd put you down as 49Dem - 49Rep - 2Toss-up(MO, TN), but with your specific projection, it would be 50/50.

Which more accurately captures your thinking?

by Ed Fitzgerald 2006-10-18 12:48PM | 0 recs
Blocking and tackling AZ & NV

It would be fantastic if AZ and NV really were in play. Taking one or both would surely help us build a Lieberman-proof majority (Lamont may yet pull that one out).

I remember reading once on Kos that Pederson was basically all air war with no ground game. Is that still the case?

I once volunteered on a house campaign in Hawaii for Neil Abercrombie (He lost the Dem primary in '86 to machine thug Mufi Hanneman, who then lost a safe Dem seat badly as a result of his primary tactics. Neil did win an all-comers special election to serve for three months or so. 4 years later he finally won a full term. Now he's something of an elder statesman in the Progressive Caucus, though my friends in Hawaii say he's sold out to machine kingpin Dan Inouye, in the hopes of someday replacing him or Akaka. Sorry, I digress.).

Neil used to talk all the time about "blocking and tackling". He was referring of course to canvassing and GOTV and all the other little things that win close races. Are Pederson and Carter able to block and tackle? If so, the Dem wave may yet be a '94 style tsunami. Weren't there races that year that defied the pre-election polls?

by farrellsports 2006-10-18 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Quick question: Can you move Connecticut to the Democratic targets list since it is, in fact, a target? It would help drive home this "Control of the Senate" meme you've had latley.

by mlangenmayr 2006-10-18 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast

Chris,

Great work as always. One small point - I've tried to email a couple times about the fact that Craig Thomas (R-WY) is running this year, NOT Larry Craig (R-ID). Obviously this has taken on new significance recently.

(btw - does the Dem running for Governor in Idaho have any chance at all? the new governor there may end up appointing Larry Craig's successor, if the allegations prove true.)

sorry to nag - think of it as being like a teacher trying to push the A student to an A+.

by farrellsports 2006-10-18 03:38PM | 0 recs

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