Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are the Dems Rallying Late?, Some Perspective on November 3rd

Projection Totals
Senate: 51 Democratic Caucus (49 Dems, 2 Ind), 49 Republican Caucus (48 Reps, 1 Ind)
House: 233 Republicans, 202 Democrats

The full court push is officially on. President Obama did the Daily Show, President Clinton is out hard on the campaign trail and both sides are spending ad money at a rate that makes us all want to TiVo programs rather than watch them live. But are the numbers moving at all?

Maybe a little in the final days. Don't get me wrong, the GOP is going to make huge gains, no question about it. And a lot of the races are starting to cement and clarify. But where there is movement late, at least on the Senate side, it seems to be modestly pro-Democrat.

We are probably down to about 7 races where the outcome is truly in doubt. It's tough to close a 5 point gap in less than a week, barring a big surprise and it's rare that my projections are off by 5%.

So let's run those down:
Alaska -- I don't know what the heck is going to happen in this race. The newest poll, from the Hay Research Group, vaults incumbent Republican running as a write-in Lisa Murkowski into the lead, with Joe Miller plummeting all the way to third place. This leaves us with three completely viable outcomes: #1 That Murkowski does in fact win via write-in, #2 That Miller picks up the Murkowski voters who don't want to bother with the write-in or forget when they get to the polls or #3 That the Dems eke one out in a three-way race, in the same manner as they stole a New York Congressional special election last year. I view #3 as a real possibility for the first time this year, which would be a disaster for GOP hopes in the Senate and would leave me laughing about the Tea Party and its influence on the GOP.

West Virginia -- apparently shooting cap and trade is working in coal country as conservative Democrat Manchin vaults back into a narrow lead. This one is still too close to call, but definitely trending blue.

Washington -- this one has seesawed a lot, but appears to be trending red at the moment. Murray is holding on barely, but Dino Rossi is nipping at her heels.

Colorado -- this race seemed almost dead to the Dems but has become close again. Hard not to still have the GOP favored, as Buck has had a lead for months, but if there is a blue surge late, this is one that is ripe for the taking.

Illinois -- this race has consistently stayed close. The GOP was wise to nominate a true moderate in this race in Mark Kirk. It's not 100% over, but this one may be out of reach for the Dems.

Nevada -- will a fringe candidate like Sharron Angle really unseat Harry Reid in purple Nevada? It appears so at the moment. Frankly a case of two horrible candidates and the voters picking the lesser evil. Angle's lead has stabilized and Reid will have to find a bag of tricks late to pull this one out.

Pennsylvania -- Sestak had been surging for about a week but that appears to have abated and Toomey is reestablishing his lead. Funny how the guy who couldn't beat Arlen Specter in a primary may beat the guy who did.

What Happens on November 3rd?
One thing I know is that the Presidential race unofficially starts right after this election. Think I'm jumping the gun? We'll be about 14 months from the first primary. The GOP candidates will need to start lining up donors and support now or they will start to drop off. Expect Palin, Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich and company to start gearing up big time. Also expect a tough ride in Washington with an almost certainly divided government AND a Presidential campaign starting. You think the rhetoric is tough now? You haven't seen anything yet. Of course, my coverage of the 2012 election will begin next week as well, sizing up the electoral map and the GOP field.

I was sent an interesting link from, a site that basically aggregates clips from a variety of news sources to show multiple perspectives on a story. It shows a compilation of views on how the President might deal with a soon-to-be-divided government.

The link to the clip is here. It's worth a watch.

Note: As always, I've received no compensation of any form for this link. The folks at newsy sent it to me and I thought you might find it interesting.

More updates over the weekend and, of course, my final projections on Monday night. And, as always, I'll be live-blogging on Tuesday as the results unfold.

Another Note: Some of you have commented on how I have not provided updated graphs on President Obama's approval in quite some time. This has been in order to prioritize content related to the upcoming election. I will provide a full update in a week or so, once we've had a chance to get through the mid-terms and digest the results. For now, suffice it to say that the President's numbers haven't moved a ton...his disapproves still exceed his approves but not by a huge margin.

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