Gallup points to 70 plus blowout for now

Shorter Nate Sliver: Between 20 to 80 seats!

A gain of as large as 70-80 seats is not completely out of the question if everything broke right for Republicans. Conversely, if Democrats managed to see a material rebound in their national standing over the final two weeks of the campaign, they could lose as few as 20-30 seats, as relatively few individual districts are certain pickups for Republicans.

haha, that's one way to cover your bases.

The problem with predicting House races is that there are too many to base it on polling because not enough polls are done. I'll predict right now that there will be upsets that very few saw coming, simply due to the lack of any public polling being done.

There are going to be at least 100 races that Democrats either lose, or come within single-digits of losing. In both 2006 and 2008, I went with predicting what the wave looked like, and it turned out that way. If you go with what the wave looks like now, it winds up in Jim Geraghty's lap.

If you look at those Gallup numbers though, in this redistricting decade, you'll see that it does tend to tighten as the election nears during the month of October.

Democrats had a 23 point lead that closed to 7 points in 2006.

Democrats had a 1-3 point lead that closed to a Republican 6 point lead in 2002.

After that 2002 election, the makeup of the House of Representatives was 229 Republican seats and 206 Democratic voting seats.

So, if the Democrats are able to close the current 17 percent difference by about 12 percent, making it 5 percent, a good marker would point toward a swing from the current 255 seats held by Democrats to the 206 seats held after 2002. Which happens to be, at 49, right near the current consensus.

That's not too surprising either-- to see prognosticators gravitate toward the to-date extreme for the current CD makeup to predict the mid-term results when it looks like a blowout is pending (it did get a bit worse for the Democrats after the 2004 GE when the makeup was 232 Republicans to 203 Democratic voting).

A 49 - 52 seat loss (bringing the Dems back to 203 - 206 seats), seems to be as bad as conventional wisdom could imagine.

A 17 point generic Republican lead however, like the current Gallup shows, means that any seat where there's a less than a less than a D+10 makeup is more than on the table. ~70 is just grabbing a higher number. There is no sure way to know. It should close from here I'd imagine, but we'll see.

U.S. voters' preferences for the party they will support in this year's House elections have been quite stable over the past three weeks, with Republicans leading by low single digits among registered voters. They lead by substantially more than that among likely voters, including both high-turnout and typical-turnout scenarios.

It is not clear from the historical record how likely these patterns are to continue through the end of the month. Gallup's pre-election polling in prior midterm years documents that there were some years when the structure of voter preferences by this point in October was generally maintained through the elections (1998 and, to a lesser extent, 1994), but others when it changed substantially (2002 and 2006).

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I like how Jerome attacks Nate for discussing a range of outcomes, and then goes to discuss a range of outcomes.  Better yet is how Jerome pretend the Gallup poll is the only one out there and then goes out on a limb and says the 17 point result will be less, when every other pollster shows a closer election. Even Gallup did just two weeks ago.  

Great job! 

by John DE 2010-10-19 01:38PM | 0 recs

Nah, not an attack, and not the same conclusion.

Gallup did show it closer 3 weeks ago. I don't think its going to swing anywhere near the 20 points it would need to make it 20-30.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-19 02:05PM | 0 recs
muy pessimistic

Does one really think 50% of the voters in this midterm will be Republicans?

I doubt it, and I think the 11% margin in the more normal likely voter model is more likely than 17%.  Still I think the margin is 7-9%, which gives the GOP 60 or so seats.

And posts like this don't contribute to Democratic enthusiam.


by esconded 2010-10-19 01:59PM | 0 recs
RE: muy pessimistic

I couldn't care less about contributing to some silly notion of Democratic enthusiasm as if it were some sort of sports team-- what nonsense.

Anyway, its what Gallup's poll is pointing too. You may not like it, but that doesn't really matter.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-19 02:06PM | 0 recs
RE: muy pessimistic and TPM are using the 11% figure, not 17%.  I think that's more accurate.  No one else has it at double digits, though Ras could in the last two polls they will release.

by esconded 2010-10-19 02:28PM | 0 recs
RE: muy pessimistic

I'll go with what Gallup is using for looking at Gallup; we'll see if they tighten. I know they present two models, but they use the 17% for comparison.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-19 02:41PM | 0 recs
What this implies....

Is that the GOP will have a veto-proof majority in the House by 2012.  Is that really possible?

by esconded 2010-10-19 02:30PM | 0 recs
RE: What this implies....

Not if the Rethuglicans have anything to do with it. If they practice what theyve been preaching they will piss off so many voters We Dems will take back the majority and super majority in 2012. These guys cant pull the "Say one thing to get elected and do another when elected" this time with the Palin Teathuglicans ruling their world with a hatchet. Palin already is threatening a third party if the rethugs do shape up.

by Ed beckmann 2010-10-19 05:07PM | 0 recs
RE: What this implies....

I agree with Mr. Beckmann. The Republicans are really going to have to recognize and implement what the Tea Party demands. Its a train rolling down the tracks (to the right) and its out of control. I really think that the Tea Party will demand that if the GOP seizes control of the House that they start the Impeachment of Obama. It sound crazy but remember in 1994 how the ultraright wing of the GOP took Newt Gingrich on about impeaching Clinton and prevailed. I don't think any sane Congressional leader i.e. McConnell / Boehner wants to go down that road--any sane person would know that the impeachment of Clinton was a waste/distraction at a time when things were pretty good but now times are terrible. They also recognize that the Democrat leaders brushed off impeaching Bush when most of us thought he should have been. But these Tea Party people as I said are a force that the GOP House leaders will have to deal with and will force the impeachment issue. They have lots of members who are racists and who really believe that Obama was born in Kenya--they want him thrown out of office. I have attended there rallies as a member of the local media and I can tell you that there are wild eyed reactionaries in their ranks. Also, consider that they have decimated the old like GOP House members who worked hard in the trenches for many years, got elected locally, ran for Congress, then got knocked off by a person like Christine O'Donnell. She has no background, she has no life, she is totally a creation of the rightwing money from the TEa Party Express.  She alone probably gives some of the contested seats back to the Democrats in other parts of the country by her antics. But in any case, I would bet that before too much time goes by, the GOP House leaders will have to hire Ken Starr to start the impeachment of Obama or face the music with the Tea Party wing of the party.
The GOP wins this round and the big beneficiary is Jeb Bush and Karl Rove in a setup for 2012.

by hddun2008 2010-10-19 06:09PM | 0 recs
RE: What this implies....

No.  Whatever the GOP gains this year will pretty much be their high watermark.  If they cant pick up a seat in their best year since 1894, they wont be picking it up in 2012 with Democratic turnout higher. 

by Kent 2010-10-19 10:07PM | 0 recs

I'll be the Pollyanna.

Phone contact rates were barely viable in 2008, and the spread of cell-phone only households has accelerated. Pollsters struggled to correct for the conservative bias of landlines in 2008, it wouldn't surprise me if they have lost their grip on the electorate in 2010.

There has been grumbling about the DNC's GOTV contact strategy, arguing that base GOTV is more important than new voter GOTV, but my bet is that OFA is right. There is a lot of evidence that traditional Democratic GOTV contact just turns out people who were going to vote anyway, the OFA new voter strategy has shown more votes per contact. Those voters are screened by likely voter screens, so they shift results away from what the polls show.

The RNC GOTV program has fallen apart under Steele, and they have no money. Outside groups tend to waste money on GOTV without central coordination, so the Republican money advantage is blunted. Tea Partiers alienate many people and their GOTV may suppress more Republican voters than it turns out.

Democratic messaging stinks, and there is an enthusiasm gap, but the situation may not be as dire as it appears.


by tib 2010-10-19 02:48PM | 1 recs
RE: pollyanna

Its a good point, and I know of such work that they are doing, in AZ with Latino voters, for instance. But its guesswork as to how that affects (or is hidden from) the polls.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-19 02:59PM | 0 recs
Speaking as a network engineer

The prevalance of cellphone over landline is a huge factor.  I can think of at least three households now in my immediate neighborhood who have decided to shut down their landline altogether, and at least one commercial building - who had only been keeping one for an alarm system.

Steele has been a lousy leader. TEA doesn't alienate people, from the GOP as much as it draws them away to vote for other candidates.  And I happen to think TEA is a really strong indicator of another party wanting to come up.

Jerome's prediction here is just that. A prediction. Nothing more. He predicted Hillary Clinton would win in 2008.He predicted Dean would win in 2004.

by Trey Rentz 2010-10-19 03:07PM | 1 recs
RE: Speaking as a network engineer

You left out 2006 and 2008 GE predictions for House and Senate.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-19 03:24PM | 0 recs
What about over confidence.

I can recall there was a real worry about people staying home or not voting believing they couldn't lose. Why hasn't that been part of the discourse? Could over confidence depress the repuglican and independent vote? Was this just a wives tale?

by Ed beckmann 2010-10-19 05:13PM | 0 recs
What is your F*cking love affair with Gallup Polling

Since when has Gallup EVER giving a Dem or progressive candidate a spot on chance or good chance to win--usually they have the Dem down by 3-5 points.

by hddun2008 2010-10-24 09:47PM | 0 recs
What is your F*cking love affair with Gallup Polling

Since when has Gallup EVER giving a Dem or progressive candidate a spot on chance or good chance to win--usually they have the Dem down by 3-5 points.

by hddun2008 2010-10-24 09:47PM | 0 recs


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