Goobergunch Political Report

1 November 2010

Writing Up The House

Goobergunch @ 18:00 PT
Posted in: Dynamic Race Ratings, Election 2010

I’m not going to pretend to have some deep insight into the House that nobody else does. Realistically, I agree with Nate Silver that we won’t have a really good read on what’s going to happen across the House races until polls have closed and results are being counted. That being said, if we combine the general pundit consensus of a net 55 or so seat loss for the Democrats with my House race ranking chart, we (after remembering to add in about four seats for Democratic gains) can envision a Republican wave sweeping down to claim almost every Democrat in a reasonably conservative district, including long–time Representatives like Skelton and Taylor. If there’s an even larger wave, it’ll manifest itself in districts that one really wouldn’t expect to see a Republican win.

Of course, a wave does not break evenly—one interesting thing to watch tomorrow night will be which apparently endangered House seats are saved and what the unexpected victories will be. Should be exciting to watch.

Final Senate Predictions

Goobergunch @ 16:00 PT
Posted in: Dynamic Race Ratings, Election 2010

I’ve posted the final Senate predictions at the usual place. A few comments:

In the last few days, it’s seemed that Joe Manchin’s lead in the West Virginia race has stabilized, while Patty Murray’s lead in Washington has been decreasing. While Washington is mostly vote–by–mail and a lot of the vote there has been already submitted, at this point I’m more comfortable predicting a Manchin victory than a Murray win. Both remain rated at “Tilts DEM”.

Nevada, Colorado, and Illinois remain easily the closest races in the country. Currently I see small leads for Republicans Joe Buck and Mark Kirk, but those could easily be wiped out if the Democrats just do a little better than expected on Election Day. Meanwhile, there are a number of conflicting indicators in Nevada. I’m currently betting that the analysts and the early vote indicators are more accurate than the public polling in the race. If not, then it’ll be another Republican gain.

Pennsylvania is also close, but I’m keeping the race rating at “Leans GOP”. I’ll be very happy if Joe Sestak pulls it out, but I’m not really expecting it to happen.

Finally, Alaska is just completely confusing. I don’t even know the last time when there was a race with both a serious write–in candidate and this level of tactical voting. I’m giving the Republicans a slight edge, but really we’ll know in a couple weeks. (Alaska counts sloooooow… even discounting the legal fun that we’ll probably see here.)

Oh, and my TV needs to stop pretending that Christine O’Donnell has a shot at winning in Delaware. I’ll be surprised if that race isn’t called for Chris Coons by 7:30 Eastern Time.

2010 Gubernatorial Races

While I tend to focus more on federal races than on state–specific contests here, there’s no denying that gubernatorial races are actually fairly important, especially in the last election before a redistricting cycle. So here’s my picks for who will win the governor’s chairs up tomorrow, complete with pithy analysis. If you want something a bit less terse, that’s what the comments are for.

19 October 2010

Two Weeks Out

Goobergunch @ 15:00 PT
Posted in: Dynamic Race Ratings, Election 2010
Tags: ,

There’s only fourteen days left before the 2010 midterm elections, and we still have very little clarity on what will actually happen on Election Night. That being said, these last few weeks have not been devoid of surprises.


In the Senate forecast, one of the biggest surprises has been the continued volatility of the Alaska race. Joe Miller, the Republican nominee, seems to be doing his best to implode, with past misconduct coming to light and bizarre behavior on the campaign trail. Democrat Scott McAdams has been running a good campaign (and heck, I just like long–shot candidates that get a surprise opportunity to win), and has been polling just slightly behind Miller and Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write–in bid. Given that it’s an open question whether the likelihood of Murkowski’s write-in bid isn’t being overstated (the last Senator to be elected via write–in was Strom Thurmond in 1954), at this time I have to consider the race a Toss–Up, with a slight Republican tilt.

The other surprising Toss–Up is West Virginia. Democrat Joe Manchin remains one of the few popular governors in the country. But support for the national Republican Party has made John Raese competitive. While this race has been tilting back towards Manchin in the last few ways, it could certainly go either way.

The three other Toss–Ups—Illinois, Nevada, and Colorado—have been too close to call for a while now, and it’s really hard to detect a distinct advantage for any candidate in these races. In previous Senate elections, all of the close races have tended to break the same way, but any hints at this kind of lean probably won’t be noticeable until the election is upon us.

Finally, it’s worth discussing the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin races. In the former, I had written Democrat Joe Sestak’s candidacy off a while ago, but he seems to be making a late comeback—much as he did in the primary. While Republican Pat Toomey is still favored, Sestak is a lot closer than I had thought he’d be at this point. In the latter, Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold is behind by pretty much every measurement, despite the low profile of his opponent.

House of Representatives

I’m hesitant to express any predictions as to the fate of the House due to the sheer volatility of the environment this year. I can come up with reasonable scenarios for the Democrats losing anywhere from 25 to 70 seats. (The picture is clearer when I turn the board over, with 4 seats that are more likely than not to be Republican losses and an additional 2 or 3 that are still pick–up opportunities.) What I can do, though, is generate a rough ranking of House seats by likelihood for a switch in party control. While this listing should (especially for Democratic seats at risk) be viewed as more of a rough guide than a strict ordering, I believe it still provides useful guidance for how the House is likely to look next year. Like all of my predictions, it is subject to change at any time before Election Day.

14 September 2010

A Castle Falls

DE–SEN (GOP Primary)
Christine O’Donnell 53.7%
Mike Castle 46.3%
86% reporting

I’d like to thank the Delaware Republicans for handing a Senate seat to the Democrats tonight. While it was easy to see how moderate Republican Rep. Castle could win a House seat in Democratic–leaning Delaware, it’s really hard to see how O’Donnell—charitably viewed as “insane” by most observers—can defeat New Castle County Executive Chris Coons. While just last week it looked like Castle was clearly favored to become the next Senator from Delaware, this race now has to be regarded as a likely Democratic hold. I’d feel bad for the NRSC, but the schadenfreude right now is kind of epic.

The Dynamic Race Ratings map will be updated in a couple hours.

UPDATE [22:00 by Goobergunch]: Race Ratings are updated, and there’s now a nice link on the sidebar to view them.

7 September 2010

Senate Race Ratings

Goobergunch @ 01:33 PT
Posted in: Dynamic Race Ratings, Election 2010

Well, it’s Labor Day and as such time for the launch of the Senate 2010 edition of the GPR Dynamic Race Ratings. Unsurprisingly, it’s not good for Democrats. In the graphic below, races are categorized in rough order of competitiveness. The white line indicates what I believe to be the most likely scenario at the end of Election Night, while the light blue and red lines surround races that really could go either way. Meanwhile, the races outside the dark red and blue lines are safe bets for the Republican and Democratic Parties, respectively.

GPR Dynamic Race Ratings - Senate Election, 2010

Analysis below the fold….


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