Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How Likely Is A GOP Tsunami?

When it comes to political predictions, I normally shy away until right before the polls open. Anything, and I mean anything can happen. And in that spirit, Weekend Monkey and I will be doing a joint article a day or two before Election Day with some hard predictions.

But this is going to be a statistical look at what seems to brewing..an overture,if you like.

The conventional wisdom from the usual sources is that the GOP will re-take the House but that the Democrats will likely retain the Senate. Let's examine th eHouse first.

Real Clear politics estimates that 223 seats are already lost to the Democrats with another 34 as toss ups, which translates into a gain of 62 seats, topping the 54 seats the GOP gained in the historic 1994 election - if the Republicans win half of the toss ups.

That in itself would be extraordinary, but what if the numbers were even higher?

Let's look at the generic vote polls released yesterday:


I would also point out that Congress's job approval is around 20% right now. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the face of the Democrat dominated Congress is now historically unpopular. If we extrapolate that into the toss up numbers and give the GOP 70% of them instead of 50%, we get a total gain of 68 seats. And that doesn't factor in any GOP upsets in seats rated 'likely Democrat' in Red States where the Democrat incumbents are polling below 50% and Obama's approval ratings remain strongly negative. In fact Gallup has him at 43%, and the latest Harris Poll has him at 37%. And both these polls oversample Democrats.

In fact, he so radioactive that even many of his fellow Democrats are pulling away and declining to be seen with him.

It took George W. Bush eight years to get to this point. Obama has managed to do it in less than two years.

It's also indicative of how desperate the situation is for the Democrats that Obama and the far more popular ex-President Clinton are spending time campaigning in Blue States like Washington, California, Rhode Island and Illinois, and that Obama's rhetoric has descended to feeble attempts at race baiting and class warfare, rather than trying to defend his record.

Since this is after all a referendum on Obama's presidency, I'd be surprised to see the Republicans wind up with less than 60 seats, and a little voice in my head keeps telling me they could end up with far more. Again, the magic number is 262 seats, a gain of 86 for a veto proof majority in the House.

Even better, the GOP i s poised to grab control of a number of state legislatures, which is going to give the Republicans a major advantage in 2012 when redistricting is done.

The Senate is a different animal. The GOP has 41 seats at present, and they need 10 more in order to have a majority. It's at least possible that they may get there.

None of their present seats is in any danger, and barring something insane happening the Republicans are going to make pick ups in Arkansas, Indiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Based on how things are trending, they will also likely chase Harry Reid out of Washington in Nevada, and Ken Buck looks like winning in Colorado.

The real toss up races are in California, Illinois, Washington and West Virginia.

In Illinois and in West Virginia, Republicans Mark Kirk and John Raese are slightly ahead, and Raese looks like the stronger of the two to win against West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin in spite of some very weird outlier polls. Kirk is running ahead against mobbed up banker and Obama crony Alexi Giannoulias and if this were anywhere but illinois I'd be much more confident of Kirk's chances, especially after Giannoulias funked it badly in the last debate.

In California and Washington, two long time incumbents. Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray are in the fight of their lives against Carly Fiorina and Dino Rossi. Both races will come down to the wire.

As in Delaware and Connecticut, the voters have a choice between continuing on the same path by voting for an an Obama ally or voting for someone who is going to curtail Obama's agenda and get the country headed in a very different direction.

At this point even a pickup of eight or nine seats by the GOP, especially if Harry Reid's is one of them would be a definitely wave worthy result.

Surf's up...and it may be a lot bigger than we think.

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louielouie said...

Weekend Monkey and I will be doing a joint article

that is ff speak for, "after i bail him out, i'll begin pouring coffee down his throat at an alarming rate, while i crank out my usual articulate examination of the political outlook, hiding monkey boy from the occasional bounty hunter that is sure to regularly pass by, and try to get him off to his next arraignment on time, i'll then return to post my comments giving a full half of the credit to chimpy, because if i don't he may disclose to members of joshua's army what he has on me".

Rosey said...

The waiting is the hardest part. Here in sunny OR, we vote via SAT-like fill in the oval ballots. I already filled mine out and turned it in. Based on the flurry of activity, I'm guessing most people leave it to the last minute. I'm hoping Republican newcomer Chris Dudley is elected over re-tread Kitzhaber. If Kitzhaber gets elected, I may have to pack up and head back to Jersey.