Election 2010 Predictions

UPDATED October 26, 2010

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This will be my final prediction page, with 1 week to go.  No more tossups. We shall see how useless my predictions really are.  Bold in the body of the piece are addended results from election day, not predictions.

Senate

Arkansas – Blanche Lincoln is toast, trailing Rep. John Boozman (R) 65-27.  This may be one of the ugliest blowouts in history.

PREDICTION:  Republican pickup.  REPUBLICAN PICKUP, CORRECT

California – Boxer leads by 1 in the most recent poll average.  I just don’t have the will power to believe Fiorina will pull it off.  But hope is everlasting, and during a wave election…anything can happen.

PREDICTION:  Democrat hold.  DEMOCRAT HOLD, CORRECT

Colorado – Buck (R) now leads Bennet by 2 points according to Rasmussen.  True tossup.

PREDICTION:  Republican pickup.  PENDING

Connecticut – Attorney General Blumenthal seems to be pulling away from Republican Linda McMahon.

PREDICTION: Democrat hold.  DEMOCRAT HOLD, CORRECT

Delaware – Christine O’Donnell simply does not  have enough to beat Coons.  He leads by double digits in almost every poll.

PREDICTION:  Democrat Hold.  DEMOCRAT HOLD, CORRECT

Florida – Rubio leads Crist by 12.  Crist and Meeks are falling back.  Republicans have stopped spending in the state.  That speaks volumes.

PREDICTION:  Republican hold.  REPUBLICAN HOLD, CORRECT

Illinois – Kirk has shown a slim, albeit sustainable, lead for the past few weeks.  I think he stuns Democrats and steals Obama’s seat.

PREDICTION:  Republic pickup (purely based on turnout).  REPUBLICAN PICKUP, CORRECT

Indiana – Dan Coats led Brad Ellsworth by double digits in the conservative state.

PREDICTION:  Republican Pickup.  REPUBLICAN PICKUP, CORRECT

Kentucky – Rand Paul leads by 4, with his lead narrowing.  Still, Republicans have a big edge.

PREDICTION:  Republican hold.  REPUBLICAN HOLD, CORRECT

Missouri – Roy Blunt is up double digits on Robin Carnahan.

PREDICTION:  Republican hold.  REPUBLICAN HOLD, CORRECT

Nevada – Sharon Angle barely leads.  Reid hasn’t been above 50% in a year…terrible predictor for an incumbent.

PREDICTION:  Republican Pickup.  DEMOCRAT HOLD, INCORRECT

New Hampshire – Republican Kelly Ayotte leads Democrat Paul Hodes by 13 points in the most recent look at New Hampshire’s 2010 race for the U.S. Senate.  Judd Gregg’s retirement likely won’t  hurt at all.

PREDICTION:  Republican hold.  REPUBLICAN HOLD, CORRECT

New York – Kirsten Gillibrand is up by 10.  Unlikely to close in the next month.

PREDICTION:  Democrat Hold.  DEMOCRAT HOLD, CORRECT

North Dakota – Governor John Hoeven is a lock.

PREDICTION:  Republican Pickup.  REPUBLICAN PICKUP, CORRECT

Ohio – Rob Portman is pulling ahead…and pulling away.

PREDICTION:  Republican hold.  REPUBLICAN HOLD, CORRECT

Pennsylvania – Pat Toomey leads Joe Sestak by 5 points in recent polling.  Sestak has been closing.  But if there is a wave, there simply no way Sestak can close the gap late.

PREDICTION:  Republican Pickup.  REPUBLICAN HOLD, CORRECT

Washington – Patti Murray leads Dino Rossi by a couple points.  I predict this will be the closest election of the Senate races, and may go late into the night.  Every poll shows Murray barely leading, and Rossi trailing.  I just don’t know.  All logic says Murray pulls this off.  But, who ever said I was logical?  Just a gut feeling…

PREDICTION:  Republican pickup.  PENDING

West Virginia – No idea.  Manchin and Raese have both been shown to be leading by 6-7 points lately.  Polling in this state is notoriously bad.  Again, I think this is mostly a pure guess, but West Virginia could be trending a little purplish to red right now.  And you have to wonder, with Manchin basically abandoning Obama and the Democrats, as well as now against Obamacare, you have to think about what his internal polls are telling him…and with that kind of last minute flip flopping, the numbers can’t be good.

PREDICTION:  Republican pickup.  DEMOCRAT HOLD, INCORRECT

Wisconsin – Republican nominee Ron Johnson wins this…no one would have predicted that in January.  Feingold, a true diehard liberal, but an honest man, goes down because of the conservative wave.

PREDICTION:  Republican Pickup.  REPUBLICAN PICKUP, CORRECT

Others: Virtually uncontested Republican seats in Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, South Dakota and Utah.  Virtually uncontested Democratic seats in Hawaii, Maryland, New York (Schumer), Oregon, and Vermont.

House of Representatives

Here is my basic breakdown of the election over the majority of the year:

The House is always more difficult, because the issues are largely more local in nature.  Small local policy issues can be the difference between life and death for a candidate.  Usually, these are not national campaigns, though in recent history the exceptions were 1994 and 2006.  But we can make some wild predictions based on past results.

Democrats were in a similar position electorally in 1994.  Based on the 1992 results, 79 Democrats were in districts with Republican were favored, while 46 Democrats were in districts that Bush 41 actually carried in 1992.  Today, there are 66 Democrats in Republican-leaning districts based on the 2008 results, and 65 based on the 2004 results.

However today, there are virtually no Republicans in vulnerable districts.  The only seats the Republicans would have a chance to lose are those vacated by politicians looking for higher office.  Thus, they have very few districts to defend.

O.K., fine.  That is what I thought in January, and today, and basically nothing has really changed.  There are extensive district-by-district breakdowns, the best being from the Club for Growth.  So what does this all mean?  Well, this is what I think:

Senate Prediction: No Democrat pickups.  Republican pickups in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.   The two I am least confident about is Washington and West Virginia.  If I am right, that is a 50/50 split…with Uncle Joe Biden providing the advantage to Democrats.  That is the upside prediction.  On the low side would mean that West Virginia, Washington, Nevada (ugh!), Illinois and Colorado went blue, in which case Republicans would only have 45 seats.  But, I am going to be an optimist.

PREDICTED OUTCOME:  Republican +10.  50/50 split in the Senate, Democrats hold majority via Vice President Biden.  REPUBLICAN PICKUP AS OF 11/3/2010 – +6 SEATS, 2 PENDING (ALASKA NOT COUNTED)

House Prediction:  Right now, there are 40 seats or so that appear to be headed to the Republicans.  We only need 39 to take the House.  I am comfortable in saying we are going to unseat Nancy Pelosi, and that is enough reason to party.

That said, how big a majority will we have?  If you assume we will safely pick up 40 seats, that leaves 33 seats that are true tossups.  Experts like Charlie Cook have made the case that during wave elections, usually about 2/3 of tossup seats break to the majority.  I think that is about right, which would mean 22 seats would break for the GOP.

PREDICTED OUTCOME:  Republican +62.  John Boehner becomes Speaker of the House.  REPUBLICAN PICKUP AS OF 11/3/2010 – 60 SEATS, SOME PENDING

Governors:  I did not follow individual governors races through out the year, so this is actually my first prediction on the topic.  I believe Republicans will take the seats in Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan,  Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Democrats will take Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

The seats that are most contested, and that could be nailbiters, include Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and Rhode Island.

PREDICTED OUTCOME: Republicans 31 Governors seats, versus 19 to the Democrats. REPUBLICAN PICKUP AS OF 11/3/2010 – +8 SEATS,  5 PENDING