At long last, after more than a year of digging through numbers, I have arrived at my final House
and Senate forecasts
. While it is possible that there will still be some polls released between now and tomorrow morning, I doubt that many will be released, or that they will change this forecast at all. At the very least, I do not intend to make anymore posts on the House and Senate forecasts before the elections actually take place. This is the one for posterity.House
My final House forecast shows a Democratic pickup of 23-29 seats, for a majority of 226-232. If you have to push to for a single number, I'll go with 26, and a majority of 229. The only chance I made form yesterday was to move NY-25 from "toss-up" to "lean Democratic." I have to say that one makes me very, very happy.
Note that I do not predict the outcome of individual races. Rather, I have placed seats into probability tiers, and estimated the number of seats Democrats will win within each tier. If I were to pick individual races, I would probably come up with a much higher Democratic gain. This is both because Democrats are leading according to polls in more than 26 Republican-held seats, and because I just don't have the heart to pick individual Democrats to lose. Thus, this system of forecasting saves me from engaging in a sort of wishful thinking bias.Senate
My final house forecast shows a Democratic pickup of five seats. While I do grant either four seats or six seats as quite possible, I just think a five-seat pickup is the most likely outcome. This would lead to a 50-48-2 Senate, where Dick Cheney would cast the tie-breaking vote (provided that Lieberman caucuses with Democrats).
Looking that the five close races we have to win in order to take control, Rhode Island, Maryland, Montana, Missouri and Virginia, things look good for us in all five cases. However, I just have to think that there is going to be that one blemish, the one close race that gets away. I don't know which one it will be, but I feel a lot better about forecasting a five-seat gain where one of our small leads can disappear rather than projecting we take control by sweeping all five. I certainly hope I end up being wrong, and democrats take control.
Well, that's it for me when it comes to election forecasts this year. I am going to make some phone calls to family and friends, get ready for tomorrow, and go to bed early. I will be working my precinct from 7 a.m. until the early afternoon, but I will be back and ready to blog a couple hours before the polls start closing. I am actually kind of glad that it is about to finally reach some sort of resolution. Let's make this happen.