Monday, November 1, 2010

Pencils Down!

Final Projections:
Senate: 51 Democratic Caucus (49 Democrats, 2 Independents), 49 Republican Caucus (48 Republicans, 1 Independent)
House: 237 Republicans, 198 Democrats

Final numbers are in. GOP House numbers have improved at the very end with some strong generic polling to close out the season. No projection changes in the the close races, I still predict the Democrats to hold on in Connecticut, California, West Virginia and Washington and Republican wins in Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Missouri.

Bottom line: I project a strongly GOP House and a narrowly Democratic Senate. The GOP could still possibly win the Senate by taking my projected pick-ups and pulling off upsets in West Virginia and Washington.

Below is a comparison of the close races and House projections versus other major projection sites:

With the exception of Alaska, we are all projecting the same Senate results, but by varying margins, based on the different techniques for generating the averages. In the House, every other site is using a race-by-race analysis, whereas I am relying solely on generic polling, which I believe will produce at least an equally accurate and quite possibly a superior result. We shall see. Again, everyone is projecting the GOP to take the House, but by varying margins.

In the competitive Governor's races, I project:
Safe/Likely Dem: Arkansas, Maryland, New York
California: Brown (D) +7.2%
New Hampshire: Lynch (D) +7.0%
Minnesota: Dayton (D) +6.8%
Colorado: Hickenlooper (D) +5.5%
Hawaii: Abercrombie (D) +5.0%
Massachusetts: Patrick (D) +4.8%
Oregon: Kitzhaber (D) +2.7%
Vermont: Shumlin (D) +2.0%
Florida: SInk (D) +0.4%
Rhode Island: Chaffee (I) +7.0%
Connecticut: Foley (R) +1.8%
Ohio: Kasich (R) +3.6%
Illinois: Brady (R) +4.3%
Pennsylvania: Corbett (R) +7.5%
Georgia: Deal (R) +8.4%
Wisconsin: Walker (R) +8.8%
Safe/Likely GOP: Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah

Total Projection (including incumbents not up): 30 Republicans, 20 Democrats

Things to Watch for Tomorrow
(1) Early Senate Bell Weather
West Virginia is in Eastern time and will be extremely instructive about the course of the rest of the night. If this one goes Republican, Democrats are at real risk of losing the House. If it goes Democratic, it's almost impossible for them to do so.

(2) Early House Bell Weathers
Watch for these key races on the East Coast to see how big the GOP majority is going to be:
Connecticut's 4th
New Jersey's 3rd (my home district)
New York's 24th
North Carolina's 8th and 11th
Delaware's At-Large

If the GOP runs the table in these races, it could be a very, very ugly night for the Dems...they could be reduced to 170 seats or less. If the DEMs run the sweep here, we might be looking at a closely divided House.

(3) THE Key Governor's Race
Florida is probably the closest and among the most important Governorships in the country. Sure, New York, Texas and California also vote, but those outcomes are fairly well known (GOP in Texas, Dems in New York and Cali), plus Florida being a swing state, aren't you interested in knowing who gets to appoint the next Katherine Harris?

(4) Alaska Senate Craziness
Polls close relatively late in Alaska, but let's face it, no one knows what is going to happen in this race. A once-in-a-lifetime write-in victor? An after hours Tea Party? A Democrat splitting the difference? This is one worth watching.

Note that if Murkowski shows as well as she is polling, the result may not be known for days. The write-ins will only be tallied if "write-in" has more votes than the leading named candidate. And you can only imagine the ballot battles that ensue if that happens. Alaska law requires only that the intent of the voter be clear on a write-in. So what does that mean a voter has to write in order for a vote to count for Murkowski? Your guess is as good as mine, but I bet a lot of lawyers will try to figure it out if "write-in" wins tomorrow.

Please Vote
I believe firmly in the statistical techniques that I use here and I'm proud of my results in the past. I try very hard to be accurate on this site. But at the end of the day, polls don't vote, people do. We all have the power to do something completely different than we've been telling pollsters tomorrow.

So, please, vote tomorrow, regardless of your political stripes. Make your voice heard.

Live Blogging Begins Tomorrow Night
I'll be on tomorrow sharing my observations after the polls close.
Thanks for hanging with me this election season and I look forward to some fun tomorrow.

If you like this site, tell all your friends to join us tomorrow. I plan to begin around 7 PM.

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