Sunday, October 31, 2010

Latest House and Senate Updates, What You Need to Know About Governor's Races

Projection Totals
Senate: 51 Democratic Caucus (49 Dems, 2 Ind), 49 Republican Caucus (48 Reps, 1 Ind)
House: 231 Republicans, 204 Democrats

A lot of new polls since Thursday, but absolutely no rating changes in any of the Senate races. Of note...Washington seems to be getting even closer, which may be a very important race the way this is shaping up. Basically, to win control of the Senate, the GOP needs to hold all the seats that I have in their column ("leans" included) and take both West Virginia and Washington. In my approximation, this still makes Washington approximately "Seat #51".

In the House, we have tightened ever-so-slightly, but the GOP is still projected to win back the House by a wide majority. It's hard to imagine a scenario where they hold on to the House, although stranger things have happened.

The State Houses
I have not been keeping a statistical projection of all the Governor's races in the country as this site mostly focuses on national politics, but they bear a mention as the parties in power after this election will have significant control of the redistricting process after the 2010 census results are released at the end of the year. Every state (except for the ones with only 1 House seat) will be drawing new districts and control of the legislature and the Governor's mansion means the ability to gerrymander for your party.

Here is the landscape for Governor's races:
There are several states that do not have Governor's races this year. New Jersey and Virginia have "odd-year" governor's races, which the GOP won last year. Several other states have even-year elections that match the Presidential calendar. These are:
Washington, Montana, South Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina and West Virginia.

Arkansas has sort of an odd system where the Governor is on 2-year terms, so the race is up this year and in 2012.

All of the rest are up for 4 year terms this time.

The Democrats have 7 seats not up for re-election and 3 that are not particularly competitive.
The GOP have 6 seats not up and 14 that are not particularly competitive.

This leaves 20 basically locked in for the GOP and 10 for the DEMs.

Of the remaining seats, here is how they break down:
Dems Lead: California, Colorado, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota
Polls Split/Very Close: Connecticut, Florida, Oregon, Vermont
GOP Leads: Illinois, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin
Independent Leads: Rhode Island

Of the 4 very close races, here are my current statistical projections:
Connecticut: Malloy (D) +2.6%
Florida: Scott (R) +1.2%
Oregon: Dudley (R) +0.8%
Vermont: Shamlin (D) +3.2%

So at this point, I project:
US Governors: 31 Republicans, 18 Democrats, 1 Independent
It isn't quite as bad as it looks for the Democrats, since they will control some very big states with a lot of congressional seats, including New York, likely California and still possibly Florida (although they trail in my numbers narrowly there.) Still, this gives the GOP 30-some Presidential candidates in 2012 and a lot of clout in the states.

Tomorrow I will do my final projections and a full run down / watching guide to the mid-terms. I will be live-blogging on Tuesday after the polls start to close.

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