Senate Forecast Update, July 29th

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 22:00

Current Projection: Democratic Pickup of 6 seats

Republican Held: Democratic Pickups 6
State Type Democratic Republican Dem Cash Margin Polls
Lock D Pickups: 2
New Mexico Open T. Udall Pearce 542% D +26.3 3
Virginia Open Warner Gilmore 4370% D +24.0 2
Likely D Pickups: 1
New Hampshire Freshman Shaheen Sununu 42% D +10.7 3
Lean D Pickups: 2
Alaska Incumbent Begich Stevens 48% D +5.0 2
Colorado Open M. Udall Schaffer 140% D +5.2 4
Lean R Pickups: 1
Kentucky Incumbent Lunsford McConnell 15% R +7.3 3
Minnesota Freshman Franken Coleman 58% R +8.3 3
Mississippi-B Special Musgrove Wicker 24% R +1.0 2
Oregon Incumbent Merkley Smith 13% R +4.0 4
Likely R Pickups: 0
Idaho Open LaRocco Risch 27% R +15.0 3
Maine Incumbent Allen Collins 61% R +14.0 4
North Carolina Freshman Hagen Dole 45% R +11.2 5
Texas Freshman Noriega Cornyn 10% R +10.4 5

Republican Held, Uncompetitive Republican Locks (10): Alabama (Sessions), Georgia (Chambliss), Kansas (Roberts), Mississippi-A (Cochran), Nebraska (Open, Johanns), Oklahoma (Inhofe), South Carolina (Graham), Tennessee (Alexander), Wyoming-1 (Barrasso), Wyoming-2 (Enzi)

Democratic Held: Democratic Losses, 0
State Type Democrat Republican Dem Cash Margin Polls
Lean D Losses: 0
Louisiana Incumbent Landrieu Kennedy 204% D +5.5 2
Likely D Losses: 0
New Jersey Incumbent Lautenberg Zimmer 315% D +12.6 5

Democratic Held, Uncompetitive Democratic Locks (10): Arkansas (Pryor), Delaware (Biden), Illinois (Durbin), Iowa (Harkin), Massachusetts (Kerry), Michigan (Levin), Montana (Baucus), Rhode Island (Reed), South Dakota (Johnson), West Virginia (Rockerfeller)


There are new polls from virtually every single state in this update. Here are the category changes:

  • Alaska upgrades from "Toss-up" to "Lean Democrat"
  • Colorado downgrades from "Likely Democrat" to "Lean Democrat"
  • Mississippi-B downgrades from "Toss-up" to "Lean Republican"

I have also tightened up the forecast a bit, so that I am no longer projecting Democratic pickups in an X-Y format. From now on, I will project an exact number every time. Right now, I project six, as Democrats win all five Republican held seats where they lead, sneak in one where they trail (either Oregon or Mississippi), and lose zero seats. In other words, virtually exactly the same thing as 2006.

* = Stevens now has a self-financing primary challenger. Let's hope that Stevens wins, because after his indictment today, I have no idea how he can catch Begich. Stevens is too old to campaign, isn't really raising any money, and now he is national news for his indictments. If he survives the primary, Alaska becomes the fifth more or less guaranteed Democratic pickup this cycle.

Chris Bowers :: Senate Forecast Update, July 29th

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I don't understand why Allen (0.00 / 0)
is trailing Collins so badly... Maine is a solid blue state, people are very progressive there, and I thought Allen was popular and at least not a bad candidate; I like him a lot.  

Because Maine seems adverse ... (0.00 / 0)
to kicking out incumbents ... it's weird I know .. but Maine has a habit of not kicking people out of office once they get in(and there are no term limits .. like the Senate)

[ Parent ]
Would VP Sebelius help make the Kansas Senate Race more competitive? (0.00 / 0)
A race that has gotten some publicity is the race in Kansas.  If Obama names Sebelius as vice president would that help Slattery make the race more competitive?

I read that Sununu has $5 million (0.00 / 0)
cash on hand and hasn't started spending it yet. Is that true?

I am hoping that Shaheen is so well-known in the state that negative ads couldn't harm her as much as they could harm a challenger with little name recognition.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

Shaheen's opponent (he dropped out) (0.00 / 0)
Dr Jay Buckey was at the Yearly Kos convention last year, and I met him then. I really hoped that he might make a run for it - engineer, physician, astronaut and med school professos - what a combination of interests and achievement. Maybe next time!

[ Parent ]
Money Money Money (0.00 / 0)
Will the Dems' edge in cash be able to overcome some of these odds?  What about Obama's ground game and coattails?

If these three factors do indeed make a difference, I'd expect it to be in NC and OR, maybe MN if McCain doesn't pick Pawlenty.  But much less likely ME. And KY and MS are wildcards; AK will be competitive with Stevens or a largely unknown, even if self-financing, late R addition to the ticket.  So I'd agree right now it looks like 6 with the potential to go up as high as 10.  But KS, NE, and TX, to say nothing of OK, just seem out of reach.  

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

Al Franken gets the prize that Majority Leader Reid offered! (0.00 / 0)
Hooray for Al!

Reid will send an appeal on Al's behalf to his entire mailing list, "Give 'Em Hell, Harry."


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