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2010 Mid Term Election Predictions and Analysi

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Well, time to dust off the ol’ crystal ball and see what’s gonna happen tomorrow. Fear and loathing in the Midwest. One thing I’m pretty sure will happen is I will drown my progressive Green Wobbly sorrows at Drinking Liberally – Kelleher’s Tavern on Water Street in Peoria, 6:30 to?

Let me start locally. Here in Tazewell county, I predict that the incumbent Republican Sheriff will lose to the Democratic challenger. Davis (Dem) over Huston (GOP). Spanos will win a judgeship in the 10th circuit.

I think Mike Smith and Jehan Gordon (both Dems) will survive and retain their seats in the Illinois House.

In Central Illinois U.S. House races, Dems will suffer painful losses. There is very little chance of DK Hirner beating Aaron Schock of the fabulous 6 pack abs. What am I saying? There is no chance. This time. The Green party’s Sheldon Schafer will exceed expectations and get 3 or 4 per cent.

In Illinois 17, I think Debbie Halvorson will be a victim of the Republican wave and lose to whoever the tea baggers are running. Over in Il 19, I think Phil hare will win by a whisker, thanks to superior gotv. Get it? Hare by a whisker. Ha ha. I slay me.

Moving on to U.S Senate, sadly, Lealan Jones will come in third. Giannoulias will be first runner up, and the new Miss Illinois is Mark Kirk. Ptoui.

Pat Quinn will fall victim to the anti-incumbency mood, Blago hangover and his own dithering and hand the Governorship to tea bagger Bill Brady. Illinois is so screwed. Whitney of the Greens has a chance of getting five per cent and keeping his party on the ballot.

One caveat: if the Democratic gotv is really really good, one or both of Giannoulias and Quinn might squeak through.

Shall we look at selected races around the U.S. of A? First, the bad news: Rubio takes the Senate seat in Florida (big surprise,eh?). The good news is that FL’s new Governor will be Democrat Alex Sink.

Up the coast a bit, I am bravely predicting Tom Perriello retains his House seat. Maybe after a recount. Delaware…well, you know. O’Donnell is toast. But we can still feel lust in our hearts for her. maybe she’ll be back on TV with Bill Maher. Oh, and congrats to new Senator Chris Coons.

Joe Sestak will not be so lucky (unless the gotv is spectacular), but Blumenthal in Connecticut and Mancin in WV will be.

In Ohio, Dems reelect Strickland as Governor but lose the open Senate seat big time.

In KY Paul has the jelly. More ptoui.

In Co, Bennett beats buck. I do believe Reid will sneak past Sharon Angle, one of the most repulsive politicians I have ever seen live or on tv.

Good news for the Dems in CA, where Brown and Boxer both prevail.

Way up north in Alaska, I am going to go way out on a limb and predict that Scott Macadam will be the new Senator from the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Those are some cherry picked races to which I have paid enough attention to be able to predict a winner. I don’t really have a system or methodological basis for such predictions. I just soak up whatever info I can find in various media and then let my gut make the call. Accuracy sometimes suffers from wishful thinking. Please do not use these predictions for betting purposes. I couldn’t live with myself if you lost your home because my gut was acting up.

As far as the big picture goes, the Go Teabaggers will have more governorships after tomorrow. The Democrats will still have a Senate majority. In the House, everybody is predicting 50 or so seats lost by theb Dems to the GOP. Some see the possibility of 70 to 77 Dem seats changing hands – or whatever it is that seats change.

Nate Silver is one of those pundits predicting the Democrats will lose 55 or 56 House seats. But silver also sees a possibility that Dem losses might not be so bad. In fact, he says it is possible the Democrats keep their House majority.

I have found it hard to believe that U.S. voters would reward republicans so lavishly for creating the Great Recession and then being obstructionist and completely uninterested in trying to end it. The GOP – and to be fair, the Democrats – have run a pretty vacant campaign. Neither party has had much to say about how to lower unemployment. Yes, the right talks about reducing taxes, government spending and something called the “size and scope of the federal government”. Who cares about such abstractions when people are losing their home.

I also think the Democrats gotv effort could mitigate their losses.

Nate silver also see this as a possibility. In fact, he has a post at 538 today titled 5 Reasons Democrats Could beat the polls and keep the House.

1. The cellphone effect. This one is pretty simple, really: a lot of American adults (now about one-quarter of them) have ditched their landlines and rely exclusively on their mobile phones, and a lot of pollsters don’t call mobile phones. Cellphone-only voters tend to be younger, more urban, and less white — all Democratic demographics — and a study by Pew Research suggests that the failure to include them might bias the polls by about 4 points against Democrats, even after demographic weighting is applied.
2. The ‘robopoll’ effect. Unlike in past years, there are significant differences between the results shown by automated surveys and those which use live human interviewers — the ‘robopolls’ being 3 or 4 points more favorable to Republicans over all, although the effects vary a lot from firm to firm.
3. Some likely voter models, particularly Gallup’s, may “crowd out” Democratic voters. Gallup’s traditional likely voter model has consistently shown terrible results for Democrats this year, having them down by around 15 points on the generic ballot, which could translate into a loss of 70 to 80 House seats, or maybe even more. The Gallup poll and the Gallup poll alone is probably responsible for much of the sense of impending doom that Democrats feel and the (premature for at least 24 more hours) sense of triumphalism that Republicans are experiencing.
4. Democrats probably have better turnout operations. This is always what a party says when it’s about to lose an election: our amazing turnout operation will save us!

Still, Democrats probably do have an edge in this department with the voter lists and infrastructure they built up during Barack Obama’s campaign, and which have been perpetuated to some extent by Organizing For America. John McCain, by contrast, eschewed his ground game, devoting almost all of his money to advertising.

Now, Republicans may not need a terrific turnout operation — their voters are charged up enough, and probably don’t need a lot of glossy fliers and door-knocks.

Nevertheless, Democrats might be able to coax an extra percentage point or two of their vote to the polls, especially in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania where they’ve invested a ton of resources over the years. And in the event where Democratic turnout equaled that of Republicans (it won’t; the point is they might be able to get it a bit closer), they would probably hold the House, even with most independents breaking against them.
5. The consensus view of Democratic doom is not on such sound footing as it seems. When a party is likely to sustain fairly significant losses in a midterm election — and Democrats are going to sustain fairly significant losses tomorrow — there are a lot of things you might expect to see.

This is the optimistic view, and Silver doesn’t see this scenario as probable. But it is not impossible either.

Bottom line, I go along with the consensus that Dems will lose the House, but, I would not be surprised if we are all surprised.

Tomorrow, I will consider what the changed landscape in Congress (whatever it is) might mean.