Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Welcome to our new sponsor, and my former employer / political trainer, the AFL-CIO! They will be appearing on both the Senate and House forecast pages. I will have a new House forecast tomorrow. Please, take part in their fabulous Had Enough? program. Labor is our GOTV--Chris

The new Senate Forecast is up. The forecast has shifted from a 4-6 seat Democratic pickup to a 3-5 seat Democratic pickup. My specific forecast has shifted from a five seat pickup to a four seat pickup. Here are the major changes:
  • Minnesota upgraded from "Likely Democratic" to off the board entirely
  • Washington upgraded from "Likely Democratic" to off the board entirely
  • Pennsylvania upgraded from "Lean Democratic" to "Likely Democratic"
  • Maryland downgraded from "Likely Democratic" to "Lean Democratic"
  • New Jersey downgraded from "Lean Democratic" to "Toss-up"
  • Virginia upgraded from "Lean Republican" to "Toss-up"
  • Tennessee downgraded from "Toss-up" to "Lean Republican"
Check out the whole forecast. I will have a new House forecast up tomorrow, but I am so very, very tired. I wonder again if I have the endurance to be a major political operative. I have always made up for my lack of energy and speed in my work with an intense, single-minded focus. This time of the year, you need all of those attributes. But I intend to keep fighting until I pass out.

Tags: election forecasts, Senate 2006 (all tags)



Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Thanks for all you are doing. Take care of yourself.

by ATL Dem 2006-10-25 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Great work, Chris.  I think a strong case could be made for keeping TN in the toss-up column, but you really know your stuff.

by TommyBoy 2006-10-25 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left
Harold Ford is getting Swift Boated, but possibly even worse. It will be ahrd to survive now. I still hold out hopes for his victory, but the mo is all the other way.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-25 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

I've thought Ford was dead and buried before, and I don't even like the guys' views.  But he's done a remarkable job with message and delivery, especially his TV ads.

I'd feel much better if I could trust him to be more a Ben Nelson than a Joe Lieberman Democrat, but I wouldn't count him out just yet.

Ford has got one or two cards left to toss.  And so far he's played his hand remarkably well.

by palamedes 2006-10-25 07:59PM | 0 recs
couldn't disagree with VA/MO more

"This see-saw, nip and tuck race has once again swung back slightly toward Talent."

Talent can't break more than a 3pt lead, and McCaskill was leading Talent by 3 in the more trusted MD poll

Where do you really think the Race stands, I'd say its near exactly tied, with 4-5%, in this democratic wave year, who do you think they are gonna go for? McCaskill

In VA, its either Webb leading in LAT or Webb within 1 on Rasmussen or whatever, but again, remember 2005 and how that race ended, the GOP sent in their shock troops for GOTV and instead of losing by 1 or more, the Dem won by 6, again

Is that how its gonna turn out? I can't say, but its a DISTINCT POSSIBILITY, infact I'd say its PROBABLE

So I'd go with a 4-6 gain, not 4-5...4-5 you are counting out Webb or McCaskill

Whats with NJ? Menendez got back the lead, and when Corzine got a small lead, what did he do? Dominated by 12pts, same is gonna happen here

Ford has gone down though, but he could win on the back of a wave AND the governors race minus no controversial amendments, however I think its unlikely because he's black

In AZ, its 6pt race, with 2 weeks and a popular governor with not only a national race but the chance of THREE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS going blue, almost all those voters are gonna vote Pederson

I still see the chance for an 8 seat pickup, and im not being delusional...follow the wave

In 86 and 02 you had tight races and the experts were cautious and predicted like you did, they didn't anticipate the last day wave that followed, don't make that same mistake

by thorgrim 2006-10-25 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: couldn't disagree with VA/MO more

Your last sentence is spot on.

by beeswax49 2006-10-25 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: couldn't disagree with VA/MO more
I dont think Pederson is going to pull out the race in AZ, but this one is going to wind up a lot closer than everone thinks.
Quietly, Pederson has closed the gap in this race, and Napolitano atop the ticket will only help. Plus, pissed-off Latinos are going to come out in full force to vote against Kyl. This one has a faint pulse yet.
by AC4508 2006-10-25 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Really stop and take care of yourself.  What is will not change by you killing yourself. We need you for the long run and the short run will take care of itself.

I do not know you, but you are more important to me than any prediction.

by HCLiberal 2006-10-25 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Agreed....I've had to start taking medication due to  stress-induced hypertension.  Sleep and diet are reversing things, and I'm still working like a banshee, but I'm accepting my limits. the same, Chris.  We need you to kick the appropiate asses in 2007, 2008, 2009... ;-)

by palamedes 2006-10-25 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left
Yeah, you've got to take it easy once in a while.  Speaking from experience, you won't be productive if you're exhausted.  Plus it's not healthy.
Besides, I saw you running around like crazy the night of the CT one doubts your work ethic.
by Karatist Preacher 2006-10-25 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

I think of the things you are doing- the most important is the googlebomb and the use or lose, so if you need to drop something- and this is just my opinion- it should be the random polls- enough people are doing this that it's not needed, but the other two things- I believe you will help in a lot of races with what you came up with.

by bruh21 2006-10-25 07:29PM | 0 recs
Amazing amount of analysis

I have difficulty keeping up with just a couple of states--your summary poll analysis across the board is amazing.  And then there are your other efforts...

Election cycles are a wonderful time of anticipation and finally this year will begin to make up for the disappointments of 2000, 2002, and 2004. A fellow campaign worker and I lamented after 2004 that not a politician we supported won an election that year. Our state house guy this year is in a tough race; the outcome is uncertain but I'm glad that there will be a lot of happy Dems across the nation in 2006. Your analysis helps provide a sense of solidarity.

by sawgrass727 2006-10-25 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

I would've left Tennessee as toss-up.  It's still extremely close even if a few polls have shown Corker slightly ahead by a razor thin margin.  Plus, the mo' might be tilting back to Ford as the RNC ad has backfired...

by beeswax49 2006-10-25 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Get some rest Chris.

by Daniel Jimenez 2006-10-25 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

I did field work when I was young and single.  Definitely a young man's (or woman's) game.  At 35 you're a greybeard/walrus.  I'd say that age 25-30 is probably peak for fieldwork.  The 12- to 16-hour days take a toll.  And once you have a family, fugghedaboutit.

by InigoMontoya 2006-10-25 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

The Senate races are the most interesting because they are so close.

Ford is not going to overcome a racist south. The south cannot break out of their Repub ways and will not be part of Dem wave for a while. At least in TN with a Dem governor hopefully winning efforts can be  made to build a better ground operation. Note that Clinton won TN twice although Gore lost his home state.

NJ, MD, PA will turn out blue. Its part of the realigning north east, mid west and west. I am more cautious about RI since Chafee is well liked although RI is quite blue.

The real races are in MO, VA, CT, MT. Joementum is a Repub. He may caucus with the Dems but will undermine them at every chance. Lamont will do better than the polls as it comes down to the wire as more Dems vote their party's nominee. Webb is being hammered on the sexist issue and the Allen/NRC/NRSC ads are very effective. However, Allen will not be able to easily pick up the women vote as he does not come across as "women friendly". With Warner and Kaine campaigning aggressively for Webb and their GOTV operations in place, Webb could squeak through. Webb would be a tremendous asset for progressives in the senate. He is his own man and is not going to fall for triangulation and appeasement. MO is a bellwether state. McCaskill has run a good campaign. Talent is not very talented but the Repubs have a good organization and MO has a large Repub base. With Danforth speaking for stem cell reserach and stem cells on the ballot there is a possibility that could swing this very close race. Although Burns is close in MT, Tester will win. MT has elected Dems and the new Dem party there has a good reputation, so it is not as red as one would expect.

Bottom line IMO is that the Senate will hinge on the outcome in MO, VA, CT.

by ab initio 2006-10-25 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

I consider Chris Bowers a national treasure. Sorta like Ben Franklin. As soon as this election is over, let's get this fellow on a health regimen that can balance out the energy strains. Meanwhile, make time  for rest and eat superfoods.

by Katewyn 2006-10-25 07:58PM | 0 recs
Let me say this about the TN-Sen race...
Yes, the momentum has swung in the other direction and no black candidate has been elected to the Senate in the south since Reconstruction. All that being said, do NOT count out Ford.
First of all, I think Ford might be slightly helped by this disgusting ad. The attack ad went so over the top that every newspaper and tv station is playing this as a despicable piece of negative ad, and my feeling is that its generating symapthy for Ford and making Corker look like a scumbag.
Also, its not like Corker is polling ahead by a lot. I just saw a SUSA poll today that had this thing notted at 48. Plus, Gov. Bredesen is barnstorming with Ford and thats bound to help.
Finally, I've heard a lot of people saw Ford cant win simply becuase he's black and this is the racist south. Again, do NOT underestimate the power of blacks in this election. They know this is really an historic run by Ford, and they are going to turn out in enormous numbers. Also, recall the generic ballot question a few weeks ago had the Dem up 9 for TN-Sen, and all Senate races fade back to the national scene (thats why MT-Sen is unsurprisingly getting tighter).
I dont know if Ford will pull it off, but he isnt even close to life support yet.
by AC4508 2006-10-25 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

I think you're pretty offbase about the Democrats' falling chances.  Steele has very little chance in Maryland.  Cardin's in, I don't see how you can justify moving that race into more competitive territory.  Same with Menendez, he's got more momentum now than Kean.  Ford's faltering slightly now, but better now than in a week and a half.  I think he's still got a fair shot.  And don't forget about Arizona.  I think MJFox's gonna have a good impact in Missouri, possibly carrying McCaskill over the top.  I say 4-6 is a better estimate than 3-5; 3 assumes we lose RI or MT, which is quite pessimistic indeed.

by umcpgreg 2006-10-25 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Cardin's in, I don't see how you can justify moving that race into more competitive territory.

That the top-of-the-ticket has spent so much time shoring up base support in Baltimore City and Prince George's is probably enough reason to question Cardin's shoe-in status.

by dblhelix 2006-10-25 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

You might find this funny in the way the media hates a blow out, but CNN was analyzing MN-Sen, and saying that because voters can register on the spot, the polls can't be counted on and Kennedy could still win.  He's down double digits, but apparently because Jesse Ventura managed it, that dynamo of charisma, Mark Kennedy will somehow drive out tens of thousands of unregistered voters to vote for him.

In an anti-republican year.  In a blue state.


by scientician 2006-10-25 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

I saw that too and rolled my eyes.  It was that CNN chick who had spent like a week with Kennedy and interviewed him multiple times out on the campaign trail.  She just wants to suck his cock is all.  She was doing his bidding.

by jgarcia 2006-10-25 08:55PM | 0 recs
Two New CT Polls Since SUSA

Quinnipiac by 17, ARG by 12. You'd need to check the exact survey dates but they are both post SUSA.

BTW, Rasmussen is no more a republican pollster than Zogby is a democratic one.

by Davidsfr 2006-10-25 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

I heard on MSNBC that the LATimes/Bloomberg poll had  Webb ahead of Allen in VA.

by adaplant 2006-10-25 09:30PM | 0 recs
The Incumbent Rule

Chris, you were the one who first brought the "Incumben Rule" to my attention -- that in a typical legislative election, undecided voters tend to break about 2-1 in favor of the challenger.  The reason seems to be that the undecideds are undecided because they're unhappy with the incumbent, but don't know enough about the challenger to decide in his or her favor -- but in the last few days of the race, they either take the trouble to learn something that makes them choose the challenger, or they just go into the voting booth and vote against the incumbent.

Could it be that what truly makes a wave election is an enhancement in this general anti-incumbent bias against whichever party has earned the electorate's disfavor?  In that case, we might expect to see the undecided voters break 3-1, 4-1, even 5-1 against their sitting Senators and representatives.  Such a break would almost certainly mean defeat for Talent and Allen, and perhaps even Kyl, if Pederson can narrow the gap by another point or two -- and would probably bring down nearly all the representatives in tiers 0-1.5 of the House Forecast, for a pickup of as many as forty seats.  Hey, I can dream, can't I?

by Alex 2006-10-25 10:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Missouri is the Republican Jersey?  Maybe it has its own Tennesse factor.  Time after time, Democrats run good women candidates for state-wide office in Missouri and time after time they lose heartbrakingly close elections.  Just from  memory we have Claire McCaskill (2004), Jean Carnahan, and a couple of runs by Harriet Woods.

FWIW, Menendez not only was beating Kean in the lawn sign game but he was just about shutting him out until about a week ago.  Both of these candidates use royal blue backgrounds with white lettering.  Kean's few signs appeared on the lawns of a couple of million dollar plus McMansions.  He's not drawing the traditional placement from the local blue collar anti-tax Republicans.  This is a good thing.

The one area around northern Jersey that seems to be showing real enthusiasm for the Rs is lightly populated Sussex County (becoming both a small exurb and the home of the biggest wingnuts in the state).  I'm hoping it snows a lot up in those hills on November 7.

by David Kowalski 2006-10-25 10:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

When did Allen say that he won't run in 2008?  I totally missed that.

Good analysis of the races.  Keep up the great work!

by Suebonnet 2006-10-25 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

No one knows, but I think if only one of the two Dems win in Maryland, it will be Cardin.

I thought the opposite two weeks ago, so don't quote me.

by howie14 2006-10-26 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

Yo!  Chris!

I just re-read your post.  You need to take a day or two off, get away from your computer and politics and either sleep or do something fun not related to your blog.  Recharge your batteries/psyche.  It's going to be a looong twelve days and your health is more important than adhereing to any self-imposed forecast update schedule.

We'll all be here when you get back.


by adaplant 2006-10-26 07:38AM | 0 recs
Should I help out in VA or MD?

I've finally got some free time coming up, on the last weekend before the election, Nov. 3-5.  I live in southern Maryland these days, but I'd lived in Virginia for decades before moving across the Potomac, and still know the territory pretty well.  I can be anywhere in Virginia along an arc from Alexandria to the Northern Neck in an hour's drive.

So, should I use that weekend to volunteer for Webb in VA, or for Cardin and O'Malley in MD?  Any thoughts, anyone?  Or should I just flip a coin?

by RT 2006-10-26 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Thirteen Days Left

In case you missed it=Former Governor Doug Wilder endorsed Webb yesterday.  Nobody knows Virginia Politics like Governor's getting interesting here in VA.......

by mustang 2006-10-26 09:11AM | 0 recs


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