Senate Forecast, 11/2: 7 Solid, 2 On The Fence

by: Chris Bowers

Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 21:15


Current Projection: Democratic Pickup of 7 seats

Republican Held: Democratic Pickups 7
State Type Democratic Republican D Cash Margin Polls
We're Gonna Win
Virginia Open Warner Gilmore 2713% D +26.3 3
New Mexico Open T. Udall Pearce 542% D +15.5 4
Alaska Incumbent Begich Stevens 63% D +12.3 3
Colorado Open M. Udall Schaffer 364% D +9.5 2
New Hamp. Freshman Shaheen Sununu 49% D +8.4 7
Oregon Incumbent Merkley Smith 51% D +6.0 4
North Carolina Freshman Hagan Dole 51% D +4.5 6
True Toss-ups
Minnesota Freshman Franken Coleman 70% R +1.5 6
Georgia Freshman Martin Chambliss 8% R +3.5* 6
Not This Time
Kentucky Incumbent Lunsford McConnell 22% R +6.3 4
Mississippi-B Special Musgrove Wicker 28% R +9.0 2
* = The Libertarian candidate in the Georgia Senate race averages 4.5% across the six polls. If no candidate reaches 50% on Tuesday, there will be a run-off on December 2nd. Right now, the polling indicates a run-off is the most likely outcome.

Republican Held, Uncompetitive Republican Locks (12): Alabama (Sessions), Idaho (Open, Risch) Kansas (Roberts), Maine (Collins), Mississippi-A (Cochran), Nebraska (Open, Johanns), Oklahoma (Inhofe), South Carolina (Graham), Tennessee (Alexander), Texas (Cornyn), Wyoming-A (Barrasso), Wyoming-B (Enzi)

Democratic Held, Uncompetitive Democratic Locks (12): Arkansas (Pryor), Delaware (Biden), Illinois (Durbin), Iowa (Harkin), Louisiana (Landrieu), Massachusetts (Kerry), Michigan (Levin), Montana (Baucus), Lautenberg (New Jersey), Rhode Island (Reed), South Dakota (Johnson), West Virginia (Rockerfeller)

***

I will continue to monitor incoming Senate polls, but unless one of these seats shifts noticeably, I do not anticipate making another Senate forecast. This is tentatively my final forecast: Democrats gain seven seats.

Methodology and analysis in the extended entry.

Update (11/4):: Final poll numbers added. Nothing changes, really.

Chris Bowers :: Senate Forecast, 11/2: 7 Solid, 2 On The Fence
Methodology
All of the polls included in the averages had all of their interviews conducted in the last eight days of the campaign (October 27th). Campaign-funded and non-random Internet polls are not included. Every pollster only has one poll per average, and all polls are weighted equally. Campaigns in where the incumbent party leads by double digit margins are considered "locks" and not shown in detail.

Analysis
Polling shows that we are going to win Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia. Polling, plus huge early voting numbers, shows that we are going to win North Carolina and Oregon, too. Given that we aren't going to lose any seats, that makes seven pickups. Overall, that gives Democrats 57 seats (with Sanders), plus maybe Lieberman, plus Biden as a tie-breaker. That will be enough to pass Obama's agenda.

However, we do need one more pickup for the Employee Free Choice Act. Since Kentucky and Mississippi-B aren't going to happen, the two remaining options are Georgia and Minnesota. Considering the polling and the early voting, Georgia appears to be narrowly headed for a run-off. Minnesota is a real toss-up, and given the early voting (which favors Franken), polling (which narrowly favors Coleman), and high third-party support, it could easily go either way.

My gut is the same as my numbers: we get the run-off in Georgia, but we lose a squeaker in Minnesota. I don't like our chances in a Georgia run-off, because there won't be the same level of organization to benefit Martin nor third-party candidates to drain support from Chambliss, but it would still be another chance. As one of the positive, progressive feedback loops, passing the Employee Free Choice Act would change the face of American workplaces, and structurally shift the country to the left. We need to get this passed, and we will have another chance to pick up the necessary seat in 2010, but right now our chances do not appear to be favorable.


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But If It's 7 Solid And 2 Tossup, Shouldn't That Be 8??? (0.00 / 0)
Just purely mathematically speaking.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Chris (4.00 / 1)
Kay HagAn. h-a-g-AAAAAA-n. Please!

(Oh, and I think we win Minnesota and Georgia and get to 60 w/Lieberman, but he should be kicked out of the caucus anyway. There's still hope in KY, and I continue to believe we might see one shocker on the Senate side somewhere on Tuesday, hopefully Nebraska or Maine.)


Most recent MN polls... (0.00 / 0)
Have favored Franken... I think the last 3, if I'm not mistaken?

It's still really really close, but I think he'll pull it off.


I'm going out on a limb and predict (0.00 / 0)
Franken the winner .. I got no polling insight, just want to lay a bet that's different than Chris.

Coleman is blaming Franken for the illegal $75,000 payment lawsuit, but he can't prove Franken is behind it. Franken said "Senator Coleman looks the people of Minnesota in the eye and lies." This thing is shaking out still.  


[ Parent ]
Georgia probably isn't really a tossup (0.00 / 0)
I totally agree that it will go to a runoff - any other outcome is unlikely.  But Chambliss should be heavily favored in a runoff.  I don't believe voters are gonna turnout for Martin in a runoff election the way they'll need to, plus most of the 3rd party voters will vote Chambliss.

Martin does have a very slim chance of cracking 50 and that is really the main hope.

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