Senate Forecast Update



The latest Senate forecast is up. Unlike last week, there is nothing but good news for Democrats in this one. I have moved by seat projection from a Democratic gain of four seats to a gain of five seats. With McCaskill's gains in Missouri, I was extremely tempted to, for the first time ever, forecast a six seat pickup for Democrats. Here are the seat by seat changes:
  • Ohio moves from "Lean Democratic" to "Likely Democratic." Twenty-point leads and Republicans abandoning a former "firewall" state will cause that sort of thing to happen.
  • Virginia remains a toss-up, but now I project it for Democrats instead of Republicans. Webb is starting to look very good here.
  • Tennessee moves form "Lean Republican" to "Toss-up." Maybe I'm putting too much faith in Ford's internals, but we shall see.
  • New Jersey moves form "Toss-up" to "lean Democratic." Sorry Teagan.
Read the whole forecast here. Basically, Democrats are moving closer, into the lead, or further ahead everywhere. People often say that elections are decided in the last two weeks, and we certainly did well during the first five or six days of that stretch. That is a very good sign.

I plan on making two more Senate forecasts before the election, one on Saturday and one on Monday. I'll have a new House forecast up tomorrow.

Tags: election forecasts, Senate 2006 (all tags)

Comments

24 Comments

Re: Senate Forecast Update

The senate will be decided by MO. That race has been essentially a tie for many weeks.

TN is hard to read. Ford has run a very good campaign. The question is will the south elect a black Dem as a senator.

The polls are trending towards a win in MT,NJ,MD,OH,RI and VA.

Unless McCaskill wins MO then senate control is decided by who wins CT. If Joementum wins CT how far will each party go to court one of the most detestable politcians?

by ab initio 2006-10-31 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

I agree.  I think we win OH, PA, MT, MO, and VA.  We'll keep NJ easier than what the polls say now.  I also call Macaca losing by FIVE points.  I had called Kilgore losing by five last year and look how that turned-out.  I think there's a hidden vote in Northern Virginia that is embarrassed to be associated with the modern day GOP emboddied by people like Kilgore and Allen.

No way an African-American will win TN in my lifetime, unfortunately.  So we lose there.  One prediction:  DeWine loses to Sherrod Brown by more than Santorum loses to Casey.

My upset senate pick of the cycle:  Pederson beats Kyl by 5,000 votes.

I love this time every two years.  It's better for me than Christmas was when I was five.  I have gone into debt giving to candidates and I hope they come through, if John Kerry didn't fuck it up.  

by jgarcia 2006-10-31 08:10PM | 0 recs
NJ

New Jersey is like Carson-Coburn in 2004. The other side looks at the race and goes "HOW ON EARTH CAN THEY VOTE THAT GUY IN", but in the end, it's Jersey in a Dem year and there was never much chance for a GOP takeaway to begin with.

I would say that the RNC is wasting its money here, but to be honest, where else are they going to spend it? They can flood airwaves even more in their firewall, that's about it, and I'm not sure that's productive. Might as well try for the longshot, even if it costs a ton.

Alternatively, and probably far more likely, Liddy Dole's just being her moron self.

by routlaw 2006-10-31 08:20PM | 0 recs
I totally agree

People say they are undecided because they are not crazy about Menendez, but ultimately will break for Dems because it's a blue state and a Democratic year.

For similar reasons, I fear that all the undecideds in TN will break for Corker, though. It's a red state--ultimately, more people will decide that they want a Republican in that job, even if it's a Republican they don't like much.

by desmoinesdem 2006-10-31 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Pederson wins? That's a hell of an upset pick.

I refuse to think about those kinds of races right now...we need to focus on the core group (which is already very large).

by PsiFighter37 2006-10-31 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

I have gone into debt giving to candidates and I hope they come through, if John Kerry didn't fuck it up.  

I appreciate your financial support of Democratic nominees but this is just silly. One garbled sentence from John Kerry doesn't have the power you give it. Kerry is a punching bag for the right-wing and many left-wingers have internalized that by blaming Kerry for the abuse he suffers. The paragraph below is what Kerry believes and there aren't many who doubt these are his true thoughts about our troops:

"If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I'd like to see Democrats stop jumping on the Kerry abuse bandwagon everytime the GOP blows the whistle.

by Curt Matlock 2006-11-01 03:28AM | 0 recs
You are correct sir

When I first read his comments I thought "Why would he say that" it can only hurt. Now I think they may have actually helped. The focus is back on Iraq instead of Bush and his campaign schedule. Kerry also brings up a couple points with those comments. They are KIDS over there and they are STUCK.

Besides .... how many parents have said a similar thing to their own kids.

by Cleveland John 2006-11-01 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

I believe that it was a "botched joke" as Kerry claims, but there were undertones to the joke that no one has mentioned that were really unfair and meant to stir very raw subconscious emotions in much the same way as having the blonde bimbo flirting with Ford in TN.  

This is what I mean.  I think what Kerry meant to imply was "stay in school or you could get DRAFTED into Iraq".  A draft for such an unpopular war would be political suicide for either party, but Kerry and the Dems tried to tie Bush to a possible draft with moderate success in the 04 campaign, and I think Kerry was trying to subconsciously allude to that possibility again.  But, in the same way that Harold Ford isn't actually running around trying to steal all the white women from TN white men, the GOP has never ever even insinuated that a draft was on the table for Iraq, so it's unfair to try to use such hotbutton emotions.  Of course, Kerry can't come out and say "the Neocons will draft you into Iraq", but Corker can't come out and say "Harold Ford is a trying to steal all the white women from you guys" either.  All either can do is try to allude to it in a way that sticks subconsciously, and in both cases, it's the kind of political dirty trick that I despise.  Of course, what Kerry actually said came out so bungled that his point is now lost.

I think Kerry coming out attacking in the aftermath of his gaff instead of just apologizing and letting the issue die is a sign that he is going to try to spin the argument back to Iraq in general, even if it makes him personally look foolish.  He's not going to buy himself any points, but if he refocuses the final weeks discussion on Iraq, it could be a good thing for the Dems.  Of course, at the individual race level, every Dem candidate in the game must be careful to explicitly repudiate what Kerry said.  Braley was smart to take the initiative on this.  If Kerry wants to take one for the team in this cycle and hurt his 08 chances in the process, more power to him.  Two birds, one stone...

by NJIndependent 2006-11-01 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Wish we could have had Kyl. It never seemed that Peterson really wanted the kind of people-powered, tenacious campaign that is working in places like TN and VA. I hope that Mountain West candidates play compare and contrast between what Tester did and what Pederson did, because I want a slam-dunk in that Colorado seat and there is talk that Domenici is going to retire in NM.

It would have been nice to see Santorum and Kyl both get booted out. McConnell would have been looking around trying to figure out minority leadership positions and found the natural successors to those posts to be out of office.

by routlaw 2006-10-31 08:16PM | 0 recs
we could still get lucky in AZ

Napolitano is going to cruise--if we have good GOTV, she may have coattails that pull Pederson over the line.

But I agree, we should have been able to do more with this race.

On the other hand, six years ago we gave Kyl a total free pass. So we are improving.

by desmoinesdem 2006-10-31 08:31PM | 0 recs
is MO really a swing state?

I see the polls, but then I keep thinking about a statistic I read a year or two ago about the proportion of white evangelicals in the population of various states. The percentage in MO was very high--in line with the solid Republican states of the south, rather than the other swing states that had lower percentages of white evangelicals.

I really want to believe McCaskill can pull this off, but i am skeptical.

On the other hand, I'm even more skeptical that a black man can win a statewide election in TN. But I would so love to see the look on Frist's face if it happens!

by desmoinesdem 2006-10-31 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

I think movement is in the right direction to win in MT, NJ, MD, OH, RI VA, and MO. MO will be extremely close, Tradesports odds on MO are now Dem 47.7 GOP 50.00.

I am still not ruling out NV. The lifetime graph of Ensign in this race has shown him to be at or slightly below 50% several times. The massive effort being made by President Carter and his family in this race is similar to what they did when he first ran for Governor of Georgia and in the presidential primaries. If there is an upset for the Dems it could be NV. I think AZ is possible too.

My best guess for TN would be that Ford is going back and forth between the low 40s and mid 40s which would be in line with the CNN poll yesterday. I do not think race is the major factor in the race despite the national media avalanche saying that. Ford has so far done better than any previous Democratic nominees the problem is that TN is a state that historically votes 60% or more GOP and add to that the Ford family problems, problems with Ford's base, gaffes, backlash and counter backlash factors, etc. that make it hard to see how he can close the gap.

by robliberal 2006-10-31 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Which of the close races do we have to win to gain a majority assuming that Joe wins CT and will caucus with the Repubs?

by ab initio 2006-10-31 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

we have to run the table if Joe defects.

VA, TN, and MO have to flip. Instead of two out of 3.

My prediction, we get it, 6 seats.
VA-Webb 51-48
MO-McCaskill 50-49 (under 1,000 vote differential)
TN-Corker 51-47

The others we win are OH, PA, RI, and MT and that will be the order of largest gap of win to smallest.

Also, Joe will not defect so long as he gets to keep seniority and a committee chair (he's in line for one I believe).

That's my predictions

by Trowaman 2006-10-31 08:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

If the Dems get the 6 seat win, then they don't need Joe nor do they have to give him any committee chairs. That will be an interesting situation but knowing our fearless senate caucus leaders they'll be kowtowing to holy joe.

by ab initio 2006-10-31 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Joe won't defect.  Ned Lamont is clearly a better person to have in the Senate for Dems, but this seat is Democratic either way.  Joe gives the GOP ONE issue.  I'm still really surprised that they have thrown their own candidate under the bus in this one to back a guy with a 90% rating from the ACLU.  I would have thought that with two Dems in the race and the Dems and liberals split evenly between them, it would have been a great Blue State pickup opportunity for them, especially with a GOP Governor at the top of the ticket with a 25% lead.  But whatever, if they want to give this one away, that's their problem.

by NJIndependent 2006-11-01 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

I'm going to jump on the Senator Pederson bandwagon.  AZ has been completely off the radar.  The NRCC moved out when Graf won the primary, Napolitano is expected to win big, and the Dems are mounting serious challenges to two other Arizona congressmen.

Arizona could net us a surprise senate seat and 3 House seats.

by MyDD Fan 2006-10-31 08:56PM | 0 recs
by rbottoms 2006-10-31 10:14PM | 0 recs
My thoughts

Senator Harry Reid, today -  Cover of time magazine, tomorrow.

Get out the vote, people!

by heyAnita 2006-11-01 03:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Here's my prediction on Connecticut.  Schlesinger will take about 15%.  Enough right wingers will see Republican after his name and vote for him.  That means the well-funded Democratic nominee in a Democratic state in a Democratic year needs 43% to win.  Ned Lamont will pull it off!

Overall, I agree with others here; MO decides the Seante as a whole.

by CLLGADEM 2006-11-01 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Been following them religiously like you, Chris. I agree with every assessment but with three qualifiers:

1) I worry about Tester some. Burns has closed and final week ads and GOTV  could rob us yet. I'm confident, but just an edge of nervousness.

2) I don't like a Rep governor and SoS in MD. If mischief occurs, this is one of the two states that could be the next OH/FL. (The other, for different reasons, is MO).

3) I'm a party pooper on CT. I want it bad and if it comes, it'll be the mark signalling the tidal wave we all want. But the GOTV machine is targeting CT races across the board, so I'd rate it with TN.

by KevinHayden 2006-11-01 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update

Btw, you haven't rated the Third House of Congress.

by KevinHayden 2006-11-01 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: latest Casey-Santorum poll

http://edisk.fandm.edu/FLI/keystone/pdf/ KeyOct06_sum.pdf

Keystone Poll has Casey up 53-38 and 55-38 w/leaners, IIRC.

by phillydem 2006-11-01 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Forecast Update: Update Cash on Hand

Chris,

You might update your $$ numbers.  Reports have been filed through 10/18.  Here is COH as of 10/18 (in thousands).

PA  R  2,315
     D  2,682

OH  R  2,842
     D    837  

RI  R    151
     D    984

MT  R  1,705
     D    648  

MO  R  2,604
     D    648

VA  R  2,337
    D  1,764

TN  R    973
     D    771

NJ  R  1,721
     D  3,157

MD  R    902
     D  1,565

BTW, Thanks for really great work on both forcasts.  

by hilltopper 2006-11-01 09:48AM | 0 recs

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