Predictions: 56, 8, 7.5



TN 6

LA 3

NY 29

AR 2

MS 1

OH 1

TX 17

KS 3

FL 24

OH 15

FL 2

IN 8

TN 8

IL 11

CO 4

PA 3

FL 8

OH 16

VA 2

MD 1

MI 1

VA 5

WI 8

AR 1

WI 7


NH 1

NM 2

SC 5

GA 8

IL 14

AZ 5

AL 2

AZ 1

WA 3

PA 7

PA 8

IN 9

NY 23


CA 11

CO 3

NJ 3

TN 4

MS 4

NY 20

PA 10

WV 1

NC 7

NH 2

NV 3

NY 19

IL 17

NC 8

FL 22

OH 18

NC 2

CT 4

NM 1

CT 5


LA 2


IL 10

HI 1





















New Mexico









1/2 R loss — I

Rhode Island

Net loss of 7.5.

Mark Hanna’s Senate Projections

So I figure like a lot of you already have, I need to put my ass on the line and make a projection this year. I delayed this as long as I could, wanting to see how things shake out and hoping things got a bit better for Team Blue. They did, and they didn’t: we got Christie O’Donnell, but Russ Feingold is now locked in a tight race.

So here we go. For the record, I have a Republican pickup of six seats right now. Pickups are designated in bold. I have determined for my purposes, its cowardly to call a race a tossup, so I don’t have that category in my rankings. I don’t have the Dems picking up any Republican seats, although I hold out the most hope in Kentucky. I’m going to try to do this for governors races (and if I get really ambitious, the House) at a later date.  

Safe Dem

Oregon – Ron Wyden – D-incumbent

New York A – Chuck Schumer – D-incumbent

Maryland – Barbara Milkulski – D-incumbent

Hawaii – Daniel Inouye – D-incumbent

Vermont – Patrick Leahy – D-incumbent

Safe Republican

Alabama – Richard Shelby – R-incumbent

Arizona – John McCain – R-incumbent

Idaho – Mike Crapo – R-incumbent

South Dakota – John Thune – R-incumbent

Iowa – Chuck Grassley – R-incumbent. I thought this one might have more potential at one point, but I don’t see it now.

Oklahoma – Tom Coburn – R incumbent

South Carolina – Jim DeMint – R incumbent.

Georgia – Johnny Isakson – R incumbent

Kansas – Jerry Moran – Republican challenger

Utah – Mike Lee – Republican challenger

North Dakota – John Hoeven – Republican challenger. Wouldn’t it have been great if Kos had been able to convince the tea partiers to challenge him?

Likely Democrat

Delaware – Chris Coons vs. Christine O’Donnell. If Mike Castle decides to run here, I might revisit this. But for now, I’m assuming he doesn’t do a write in, and Coons wins it pretty big.

New York B – Kirstin Gillibrand v. Joe DioGuardi. It’s possible DioGuardi could pick up some momentum in the next month. Gillibrand is still somewhat unknown downstate, but even thought this might get closer I think DioGuardi is too weak of a candidate

Lean Democrat

California – Barbara Boxer vs. Carly Fiorna. Boxer has never been the most popular politician, but Obama is not as unpopular in California as elsewhere and Fiorna is a very beatable opponent. This might be close, but Boxer will pull it out.

Washington – Patty Murray vs. Dino Rossi. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the way this race is going. I was very worried about Murray a month ago. Not so much now.

Connecticut – Richard Blumenthal vs. Linda McMahon. I worry about this one, but in the end, I just don’t see how McMahon overcomes the anchor that is pro-wrestling in mostly white collar Connecticut. Blumenthal needs to step up his game though. This needs to change to likely Republican.

Nevada – Harry Reid vs. Sharon Angle. The polls have been close, and some might argue Angle has a bit of momentum, but I think Reid pulls it out because minorities in Nevada are consistently underpolled, and the Democratic machine is strong.

West Virginia – Joe Manchin vs. John Raese. I’m actually more worried about this one than any of my other Lean Democrats. This is definitely 1996 Nebraska Senate Race (popular incumbent governor is defeated by underdog Republican) vs. 2010 PA-12 (Democrat wins against business guy in potentially hostile non-urban environment). I think Raese is a weaker candidate than Chuck Hagel in 1996, so I’m still giving this to Manchin. But it’s gonna be close.

Pennsylvania – Joe Sestak vs. Pat Toomey. I know, I know. The polls don’t show this right now. But Sestak should not be underestimated as a campaigner, and I still think once he gets on television he will close just like he did against Specter. Also, I still see Toomey as too conservative for Pennsylvania. I hope so, anyway.

Likely Republican

Arkansas – Blanche Lincoln vs. John Boozeman. I think this one will be closer than anyone predicts. Lincoln has a lot of money, and Boozeman seems to me to be a weak candidate. But I think it’s too large of gap at this point for Blanche to overcome, especially without any union support.

Indiana – Dan Coates vs. Brad Ellsworth I had high hopes for this one a couple of months ago, but Ellsworth isn’t getting the job done, and Coates is proving to be a pretty good fundraiser, and non-crazy. I just don’t see Ellsworth making up lost ground at this point.

North Carolina – Richard Burr vs. Elaine Marshall. Burr was/is definitely vulnerable. But Marshall is the wrong candidate running in the wrong year.

Florida – Charlie Crist vs. Kendrick Meek vs. Marco Rubio. Some people may see this as premature, but unless something happens to change the dynamic (say, Meek endorsing Crist or vice versa), I think Rubio wins this pretty easily.

Louisiana – David Vitter v. Charlie Melancon. For the forseeable future, there is going to be no right year for a Democrat to run for Senate in the Louisiana. Melancon is also hurt by the gulf oil spill fading as an issue.

Ohio – Lee Fisher vs. Rob Portman. Like Florida, some people may say this is premature, but Fisher is fading fast, with no money to make up lost ground. I expect the DSCC to abandon this race just as the Republicans abandoned Mike DeWine in 2006.

Lean Republican

Kentucky – Rand Paul vs. Jack Conaway. I do think this is still a race, but Paul is still a couple of gaffes away from losing. The debate next week will be crucial.

Alaska – Joe Miller vs. Lisa Murkowski vs. Scott McAdams. I go back and forth on whether this is lean or likely Republican, but I do think Murkowski’s write in campaign will hurt Miller more than McAdams (as opposed to if she were on the ballot). Still, I don’t see this as a genuine tossup yet.

New Hampshire – Kelly Ayotte vs. Paul Hodes. I’ve always thought Hodes is a weak campaigner, and Ayotte has got a united Republican party on her side. New Hampshire is moving rapidly to blue, but I’m not sure it’s rapidly enough to save Hodes, although Palin’s endoresement of Ayotte will hurt her from this point forward.

Missouri – Robin Carnahan vs. Roy Blunt. Actually, this should be Robin Carnahan vs. the national environment, because in the 2006 or 2008 she would have probably beat Blunt easily. Not this year, though, and Obama is very unpopular in Missouri. This is tossup, but favors the Republican at this point.

Colorado – Ken Buck v. Michael Bennett I think Buck is a stronger candidate than people give him credit for, stronger than Angle and Paul certainly. This is one race that I expect to trend against the Democrats as time goes on, although Bennett will be helped by the clusterf*ck for the Republicans in the governors race.

Illinois – Mark Kirk vs. Alexi Giannoulias This one may surpise some people, and it’s the pursest tossup of any race I have on my list. What makes me think Kirk wins: there’s a lot of unhappiness with Democrats in Illinois right now, Kirk is moderate, Kirk gets the benefit of Brady’s downstate pull and Pat Quinn is turning out to be a disaster of a candidate. Kirk is so far the luckiest Republican of this cycle – if the Illinois primary had been a couple of months later, he would have been tea-partied out of existence.

Wisconin – Russ Feingold vs. Ron Johnson This one breaks my heart, because I love Russ Feingold as a Senator. But I don’t think anyone can doubt he’s behind at this point, though by how much is debatable. He needs to change the momentum here, fast.  

House-10: Where The Pain Is

The Heart of This Year’s Darkness: The Deep South

There are seven Southern House seats that are, in my opinion, absolutely gone: the two open Arkansas seats, the Louisana 3rd, Tennessee 6th, Florida 2nd, and the Virginia 2nd and 5th. I still think we have a ghost of a chance in the Tennessee 8th, but that one is likely toast too.

If its any consolation, I think that the Arkansas 2nd and Tennessee 8th are long term pains in the neck for the GOP. The bright spot in the Deep South is the Louisana 2nd, which we should get back, so that effectively cancels out our loss of the 3rd district, which disappears in redistricting anyways.

I’m actually optimistic when it comes to pretty much every Deep South incumbent except for Allan Boyd. If my memory serves me right, the last one of those to lose under non flukey circumstances was Max Burns in the Georgia 12th in ’04. So I have Bright, Childers, Barrow, Spratt, Edwards, Ciro Rodriguez, and Marshall hanging on.

In the upper South and border states, things are a bit better. I think the North Carolina delegation is in relatively good shape, and that we hold onto the Virginia 11th as well. Kentucky is fine. In Florida south of the I-4 corridor, Kosmas and Grayson are far from gone (pure tossups, though I like Grayson’s chances better), Klein’s challenger in the 22nd is insane, and we could actually come out of Florida in better shape, if the only loss is Boyd and Garcia picks up the 25th. The GOP has yet to nail down Florida 12 as well.  

The Other Pain Center: The Industrial Midwest

Our incumbents in Missouri are in pretty good shape; I’m firmly convinced that Ike Skelton is too much of a fixture to lose and Russ Carnahan’s seat is too Democratic. Roy Blunt isn’t exactly setting the world on fire either on the Senate side, which is a plus. In Illiois, we should break even; minus Halvorson but plus Seals; Foster is a likely winner as well. I can live with that. I think Brad Ellsworth’s seat is a likely loss, but Donnelly and Hill narrowly hold on. The success of the auto bailout saves Gary Peters in the 9th District, but Mark Schauer is in trouble in the 7th. In Ohio, Kilroy isn’t strong enough, and Driehaus’s district is too polarized this year for him to survive; he’s not going to get the AA turnout he needs there. Boccieri should be okay in the 16th.

The Mid Atlantic

In the Mid Atlantic region, there are two seats that are currently very far gone: Pennsylvania 11th and New York 29th. Neither of those should be a long term hold for the GOP (PA-11 is too Dem, NY-29 goes in redistricting). There are a large number of seats I’m very concerned about here: the New York 24th (though I feel better seeing some positive numbers for Arcuri there), John Adler in the New Jersey 2nd, the Maryland 1st, and the Pennsylvania 3rd, 7th, and 10th; though Carney’s opposition seems sub-par. I particularly feel very queasy about the open 7th in Pennsylvania. Altmire, Murphy, and Holden should be okay,. Against this, we will pick up the open seat in Delaware.

New England

In all of New England, I think our only problems lay in the New Hampshire seats; my best guess is that we hold the 1st, and lose the open 2nd District. There are some who think MA-10 is in play, but I have my doubts, and even if it is, guess who gets screwed over in redidtricting….

The Upper Midwest and Plains

Our incumbents in Minnesota and Wisconsin seem to be in relatively good shape; Kagan could lose, but I honestly think he’ll be okay, and Julie Lassa’s opposition doesn’t seem to be that strong. Sadly, Michele Bachmann isn’t going anywhere though. In the Dakotas, I think we’ve been seeing too much Rasmussen and too little of anything else. I’m more worried about Pomeroy than Herseth-Sandlin because of Hoeven at the top of the ticket, but I think those are both holds at the end of the day.

I think that Dennis Moore’s seat in suburban Kansas City is a likely loss; the only incumbent in the region I have any reservations about is Leonard Boswell in the Iowa 3rd; he was in trouble even in the wave year of ’06. Why he didn’t get out of dodge in ’08 is beyond me…..

The West

This is the region where we’ve gotten the most help from the GOP. The top of the ticket for the GOP in Colorado is a godsend, which will give Markey a fighting chance, which is all you can ask for in this year’s environment. The spillover effects from Sharon Angle likewise help Dina Titus in suburban Las Vegas, and Jan Brewer doens’t look so hot in Arizona which helps out Harry Mitchell.

I’m guessing that we lose the open Washington 3rd, along with the Colorado 4th. Mitchell has a strong enough brand name in Tempe that he narrowly holds the Arizona 5th, and Titus’s seat could go either way. Somehow, I think Walt Minnick holds on, as does Harry Teague. We are plus one in Hawaii.

So, here’s the Dem lost causes (15):

-Arkansas 1st

-Arkansas 2nd

-Florida 2nd

-Louisana 3rd

-Kansas 3rd

-Illinois 11th

-New Hampshire 2nd

-New York 29th

-Ohio 1st

-Ohio 15th

-Pennsylvania 11th

-Tennessee 6th

-Virginia 2nd

-Virginia 5th

-Washington 3rd

GOP Goners (5)

+Delaware AL

+Florida 25th

+Hawaii 2nd

+Illinois 10th

+Louisana 2nd

Dem “It’s Not Looking Good” Seats (11)

-Colorado 4th

-Florida 24th

-Indiana 8th

-New York 24th

-Maryland 1st

-Michigan 7th

-Nevada 3rd

-New Jersey 2nd

-Pennsylvania 3rd

-Pennsylvania 7th

-Tennessee 8th

Dem Watch List

-Arizona 5th

-Florida 8th

-Iowa 3rd

-Illinois 15th

-Indiana 2nd

-Indiana 9th

-Michigan 9th

-Missouri 4th

-New York 20th

-New York 23rd

-Ohio 16th

-Pennsylvania 10th

-Virginia 11th

GOP Watch List

+Arizona 3rd (nothing but a gut feeling here)

+Florida 12th

+Minnesota 6th

Overall Guess: ~R + 29 seats

As a note feel free to comment about any of these races, and I’ll give you my thoughts

Ryan_in_DelCo’s 2010 US Senate Predictions – August 30, 2010

After completing my US House analysis a few days ago, I figured it was time to post my US Senate analysis.  

Some basic background:

1)  On paper, the Republicans should be able to take the Senate, but they really only have a 20% chance of doing so due to some candidate issues, specifically in Nevada and Kentucky.  

2)  Right now, I estimate that the Republicans will gain 6 seats (winning 25 out of the 37) seats at play.  This involves me breaking all the tossups for the Republicans except Kentucky and Wisconsin.

3)  Democratic majority will remain intact with a 53 to 47 partisan breakdown in the Senate.

Safe Democratic (7)



New York

New York



West Virginia

Likely Democratic (1)


Leans Democratic (3)




Tossup (6)







Leans Republican (3)


New Hampshire


Likely Republican (6)






North Carolina

Safe Republican (11)







North Dakota


South Carolina

South Dakota


Ryan_in_DelCo’s 2010 US House Predictions – August 29, 2010

A few posters asked me for the basis of my prediction that the Republicans would probably gain between 40 and 60 seats.  While I lean closer to a number in the low 40s, I break down every seat that I could consider possibly at play in this environment based on the following factors:

1) Open Seat or Not

2) Seat that has been held by a Republican since 2003, but flipped to the Democrats since 2003

3) Seats that are represented by a Democrat, but voted for Bush and/or McCain

Here is how I break down the race per seat.  I have this in a chart, but have had problems uploading it to the site.  To view it in chart form click here.

Safe Democratic:  





















Likely Democratic: 






























Lean Democratic:











































Lean Republican:


























Likely Republican:










Safe Republican:











Merlin’s Take on the 2010 AL Races

Here’s my predictions on how my homestate’s races will go:

Governor: Incumbent GOP Governor Bob Riley is term-limited, thus setting up a free-for-all on both sides. On the GOP side, State Representative Robert Bentley, former State Community College System Chancellor Bradley Byrne, State Treasurer Kay Ivey, Real Estate Developer Tim James, former State Economic Development Director Bill Johnson, former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, and Financial Analyst James Potts are in the running. On the Democratic side, Congressman Artur Davis, State Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries Ron Sparks, and Inventor Sam Franklin Thomas are in the running. The Primary will be a tossup between James, Byrne, and Moore. Methinks Davis wins the Primary. This race will be a Tossup until the end. TOSSUP.

Lieutenant Governor: Incumbent Democratic Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom Jr. is running for re-election. On the GOP side, State Finance Department Official Young Boozer, State Senator Hank Erwin, Teacher Gene Ponder, and Homebuilder Dean Young are in the running. The Democrats have unified behind Folsom Jr. The GOP Primary will be a tossup between Boozer and Erwin. Whoever wins will get crushed by Folsom Jr. DEM HOLD.

Attorney General: Scandal-mired Incumbent GOP Attorney General Troy King is running for re-election. On the GOP side, King and Attorney Luther Strange are in the running. On the Democratic side, Attorneys James Anderson and Michel Nicrosi and former State Democratic Party Chairman Giles Perkins are in the running. I expect King to defeat Strange 54-46 and Perkins to defeat Nicrosi 63-37. In the end, King narrowly wins 51-49. GOP HOLD.

Secretary of State: Incumbent GOP Secretary of State Beth Chapman is running for re-election. The GOP has unified behind Chapman. There are no announced Democratic Candidates, but potential candidates are Secretary of State’s Office Administrator Ed Packard and former Secretary of State Nancy Worely. Chapman will defeat whoever the Democrats nominate, if anybody. GOP HOLD.

State Auditor: Incumbent GOP State Auditor Samantha Shaw is running for re-election. The GOP has unified behind Shaw. The Democrats have unified behind Accountant Miranda Joseph. Shaw crushes Joseph in the neighborhood of 67-33. GOP HOLD.

State Treasurer: Incumbent GOP State Treasurer Kay Ivey is running for Governor. The GOP has unified behind former State Treasurer and former State PSC Commissioner George Wallace Jr. On the Democratic side, former State Conservation Commissioner Charles Grimsley and Attorney Jeremy Shearer are in the running. Grimsley will win 73-27 over Shearer. Wallace Jr. will defeat Grimsley 58-42. GOP HOLD.

State Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries: Incumbent Democratic State Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries Ron Sparks is running for Governor. The Democrats have unified behind Deputy State Agriculture Glen Zorn. On the GOP side, Walker County Economic Development Chair Dorman Grace, former State Conservation Commissioner John McMillan, and Businessman Dale Peterson are in the running. I expect McMillan to win 59-32-9 over Grace and Peterson. Zorn will narrowly defeat McMillan 53-47. DEM HOLD.

US Senate: Incumbent GOP US Senator Richard Shelby is running for re-election. The GOP has unified behind Shelby. The Democrats have unified behind Attorney William Barnes. Shelby devours Barnes 77-23. GOP HOLD.

AL-01: Incumbent GOP Congressman Jo Bonner is running for re-election. On the GOP side, Bonner, Real Estate Developer Peter Gounares, and Business Consultant Clint Moser are in the running. The Constitution Party has unified behind Artificial Reef Contractor David Walter. Bonner defeats Gounares and Moser 79-14-7, and destroys Walter 96-4. GOP HOLD.

AL-02: Incumbent Democratic Congressman Bobby Bright is running for re-election. On the GOP side, Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby and Businessman Rick Barber are in the running. The Democrats have, reluctantly, unified behind Bright. I expect Roby to beat Barber 54-46. Roby will defeat Bright 53-47. GOP PICKUP.

AL-03: Incumbent GOP Congressman Mike Rogers is running for re-election. The Gop has unified behind Rogers the Democrats have unified behind Attorney Josh Segall, and the Independents have unified behind Real Estate Broker Mark Layfield. Rogers will defeat Segall and Layfield 52-46-2. GOP HOLD.

AL-04: Incumbent GOP Congressman Robert Aderholt is running for re-election. The GOP has unified behind Aderholt. The Democrats have nobody. GOP HOLD.

AL-05: Incumbent GOP Congressman Parker Griffifth is running for re-election. On the GOP side, Griffifth, Madison County Commissioner Morris Brooks, and Businessman Les Phillip are in the running. On the Democratic side, Attorney Mitchell Howie, former Congressional Aide Steve Raby, and former State Board of Education Member Taze Shepard. I think Brooks defeats Griffifth and Phillip 51-45-4. Shepard will defeat Howie and Raby 56-35-9. Brooks will defeat Shepard 52-48. GOP HOLD.

AL-06: Incumbent GOP Congressman Spencer Bachus is running for re-election. On the GOP side, Bachus, Pastor Stan Cooke, and TV Show Producer Paul Lambert are in the running. The Democrats have nobody. Bachus will defeat Lambert and Cooke 76-19-5. GOP HOLD.

AL-07: Incumbent Democratic Congressman Artur Davis is running for Governor. On the Democratic side, Attorney Martha Bozeman, State Representative Earl Hilliard Jr., Frank Lankster, former Radio Journalist Patricia Evans Mokolo, Attorney Terri Sewell, Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Smoot, and Mortgage Broker Eddison Walters are in the running. The GOP is unified behind Tea Party Activist Michele Waller. I expect a Runoff between Hilliard Jr. and Smoot, with Hilliard Jr. winning 51-49. Hilliard Jr. handily defeats Waller 74-26. DEM HOLD

MI-07: What To Watch For

It promises to be a tough Election Night for me and my Michigan 7th. If I had my way, I’d be sitting in front of the computer with a bag of popcorn from about noon until 3:00am. I really get into elections. And I’m ready to be done with the Mark Schauer versus Tim Walberg race. But sadly, I won’t be able to watch the beginning of the drama I’ve waited so long to see.

From 7:00pm to 9:00pm, I'm going to be away from a computer– and, in fact, away from any televisions, radios, or other devices which report election results. During arguably the most exciting portion of the night, when Virginia may be called for Obama, or when the returns start coming in for the Georgia Senate race, or when our own district begins reporting, I won't be able to be a part of it.

For a political junkie like me, that's like missing the World Series, the Rose Bowl (Go 'Cats! I believe in you!), and the World Cup all at once, which, by the way, are also on Christmas. Tomorrow could be a really amazing day, and I’m disappointed that I’ll be missing a big part of it.

But when I do get to a computer, I’ll be looking for a few things. I don’t claim to have a secret formula or know which tiny town will be the bellwether, and I’m definitely not a Grebner-like expert. But I can tell you what I think a Schauer victory might look like, and where I’ll be looking for it.

Turnout in Calhoun, Eaton, and Jackson Counties

With 98 percent of Michigan’s voting population registered, there are a lot of people who could show up to vote. That’s got to worry Tim Walberg, whose victory in the 2006 GOP primary was thanks to what former Congressman Joe Schwarz called a “motivated minority” of 7.8 percent in a low-turnout primary. (Schwarz also called them “quasi-theocrats… infiltrating the party power structure”). Granted, a general election is very different from a primary, but a Walberg victory will depend on certain people not showing up, namely in Calhoun County, where Mark Schauer could run up the margin.

But Walberg has someone working against him: Barack Obama. The Obama campaign has done a phenomenal job of registering new voters who are trending Democratic. But they didn’t ask prospective voters for a partisan affiliation before they registered them, nor should they have. In a Republican-leaning district, is it possible that the Obama campaign might have just registered a bunch of new Republicans?

Maybe, but judging from where the new voters are coming from, probably not. With help from the Detroit Free Press (who got the data from the Michigan Secretary of State), here’s a fun table:

County Reg. Voters New Voters % Change (Jan. – Oct.)

Branch 31,805 683 +2%

Calhoun* 103,707 3,950 +4%

Eaton 80,023 2,781 +4%

Hillsdale 33,327 724 +2%

Jackson 115,357 4,672 +4%

Lenawee 71,552 2,170 +3%

Washtenaw* 273,955 24,962 +10%

Note that both Calhoun and Washtenaw Counties have portions not in the 7th District. This is especially important in Washtenaw County, where Ann Arbor (and the University of Michigan) probably accounts for most of the voters and most of the growth. However, Battle Creek, which is in the district, is the major population center for Calhoun County, and is probably responsible for most of that growth. So for our simplified purposes here, let’s ignore Washtenaw County but keep Calhoun County.

As you can see, the most new voters were added in Calhoun, Eaton, and Jackson Counties (both in absolute number of voters and in proportion to their populations). Calhoun County is generally considered safe territory for Mark Schauer, who has represented the voters there in the state House and Senate since 1996 and is generally very popular. Jackson and Eaton Counties, meanwhile, are the major “battlegrounds.” Not only are they vote-rich, but they were divided pretty evenly in the 2006 election (Eaton: Renier 50 Walberg 48; Jackson: Walberg 51 Renier 46). Although Schauer currently represents much of Jackson County in the state Senate, I’m expecting it to be a major battleground again. Neglected in the voter registration drives were the Walberg strongholds of Branch and Hillsdale Counties, and to a lesser degree, Lenawee County (more on it in a minute).

I don’t have solid data behind me, but I’m going to guess that if they turn out to vote, the new voters in Calhoun, Eaton, and Jackson Counties will break Democratic. If they were registered by the Obama folks, they were probably targeted as students or underrepresented populations, which is probably good news for Mark Schauer. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

In 2006, Calhoun County had 47.5 percent turnout, Eaton County had 59.9 percent turnout, and Jackson County had 51.8 percent turnout (data here and here). If turnout is higher than that in those three counties (and especially Calhoun County), new voters and Schauer loyalists could run up enough of a margin to offset losses in the southern part of the district. If the turnout is really big in Calhoun County, that might be the whole ball game.

Is that a possibility? Could central-west Michigan see a massive surge in turnout? I don’t know, but it sounds like Kalamazoo County (one west from Calhoun County) is getting ready for one:

KALAMAZOO — Bracing for a very long and very busy Tuesday, area election officials say they're "as ready as we'll ever be" for the 2008 presidential election.

"We're in good shape," Kalamazoo County Clerk Tim Snow said. "We've been preparing for this all year. We knew this was going to be big."

A surge in voter registrations and predictions of a higher rate of participation means the county could have as many as 144,000 voters this year, compared to the 120,000 who cast ballots four years ago.

The city of Kalamazoo, in particular, has taken steps to avoid long lines Tuesday, putting in a minimum of 14 voting stations at each precinct and substantially increasing the staffing.  


On Tuesday, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. People who are in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote. The forecast calls for sunny skies and a high near 70 degrees.


Lenawee County

This is where Tim Walberg should win. He represented Lenawee County for 16 years in the state House of Representatives, and the mostly rural county is famous (or infamous) for its conservative politics and sometimes frightening tendencies. (Anyone else remember “Radio Free Lenawee”?) This is where I’m from, and I can say that it is a conservative place.

At the same time, though, people don’t really like Tim Walberg all that much. Oh, sure, some do. Whenever I was canvassing, I was bound to run into someone who would say, “I plan to vote for Tim, I’ve known him for years” or something like that. But I’d also meet someone who’d say, “Walberg? I can’t believe we keep electing that guy!” The solidly-Republican state House seat Walberg vacated has been in Democratic hands (albeit moderate ones) for ten years. With state Representative Dudley Spade basically guaranteed reelection, it’ll stay that way for at least two more years.

Meanwhile, the county is changing. Before the economy got really bad, a lot of people were moving out to Clinton or Tecumseh from Ann Arbor or metro Detroit for the cheaper properties, willing to put up with the couple-hour commute. They don’t have a relationship with Tim Walberg, and some of them are even (gasp) Democrats.

And the Schauer campaign has taken the county seriously, opening an office in downtown Adrian and hiring a full-time field organizer to staff it and coordinate with the Obama and Spade campaigns. Whenever he’s in the county, Mark Schauer is certain to mention his great relationship with Doug and Dudley Spade, both of whom carry a lot of weight. (Side note: Their secret to success? They’re actually really good representatives. If you go to Dudley Spade with a problem, he’ll do everything he can to solve it.) Throw in the Obama organizers, and you’ve got a real chance for 2008 to be a year of Democratic revival in Lenawee County.

Will Mark Schauer win it? … No. It just won’t happen. But he can keep it close. Governor Jennifer Granholm managed to take 47 percent of the vote in 2006, and if Schauer can get a similar share of the vote and hold Walberg to 51 or 52 percent, it could mean a lot. If Schauer opens up a big lead in Calhoun County and Washtenaw County, then there just aren’t enough voters in Branch and Hillsdale Counties to make up for it. Walberg needs to win Lenawee County convincingly. If Lenawee County is as tight as the other “battlegrounds,” it’s going to be a rough night for Tim Walberg.

And what if Mark Schauer wins Lenawee County? Then short of something really unexpected happening, Schauer will win the district. But like I said, Schauer won’t win Lenawee County. I’m not going to let my hopes get that high.


Barack Obama is going to win the state of Michigan. The only question left is “How big?” Since John McCain pulled out of Michigan, it’s started to look pretty big. Here’s the chart for Michigan:

That’s quite a sight, isn’t it? The final Pollster average puts it at Obama +16, which would be a bigger margin than Bill Clinton’s +13 win in 1996. That year, with the help of Ross Perot, Bill Clinton carried four of the counties that currently make up the 7th District: Calhoun, Washtenaw, Lenawee, and Branch. Calhoun and Washtenaw are to be expected, but Lenawee and Branch surprised me when I looked back at them. After all, these are supposed to be the conservative parts of the district.

Supposing Obama has similar success, picking up Calhoun, western Washtenaw, and at least one other county, is there any way Mark Schauer can lose? I’m not sure what the Obama-Walberg voter looks like, and I’d be shocked to see Obama carrying Jackson County by a wide margin but Schauer losing it. Maybe it’s possible, but Mark Schauer has done a good job presenting himself as a moderate and a hard-working, dependable public servant. If Obama wins big, I can’t imagine any reason for the Obama voter to choose “more of the same” and Tim Walberg.


Upon re-reading all of that, I’m worried that I’m being too optimistic and tempting fate for another disappointing election night. It’s possible. Even so, and despite not having any idea of what I’m doing, I think that most of my reasoning has some foundation to it. I think one of the three factors above (if not all of them) could contribute to a Schauer victory.

That’s what I’ll be looking for, sometime around 9:15pm Eastern Time. It’s possible that there will be a clear leader by the time I arrive on the scene. We’ll see soon enough if any of this is right.

Cross-posted from Walberg Watch

GMH’s Predictions, Part 2: Mississippi through Wyoming (in alphabetical order of abbreviation)

And here’s part 2.

By the way, the results of my predictions are:

Senate: +8

House: +35 (+38-3)

Governorships: +1 (Missouri)

President EV: 252 + 9(CO) + 27(FL) + 7(IA) + 11(MO) + 15(NC) + 5(NM) + 5(NV) + 20(OH) + 13(VA) = 364 EV

These predictions do NOT count the LA-04 general election, the projected GA-Sen runoff, or a legislature-decided Vermont governorship.  (Thus, there is a possible +9 Senate, +37 House, and +2 governorships if you count Pollina as a Democrat (or Symington if she actually wins by legislature).)

PART TWO: Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming

MS-Pres: down-dash, lean R, R keep

MS-Sen*: down-dash, lean R, R keep (OH HOW I WISH AND HOPE I AM WRONG ABOUT THIS)

MS-01: up-dash, likely D, D keep

MS-03: down, likely R, R keep

MT-Pres: down-dash, lean R, R keep

NC-Pres: dash, tossup, D gain (+15 EV)

NC-Sen: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 Senate) (widest margin of NC-Pres, NC-Sen, NC-Gov)

NC-05: down-dash, lean R, R keep (though once again, I’d love to be wrong about this)

NC-08: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

NC-10: down-dash, lean R, R keep (same comment as for NC-05)

NC-Gov: dash, tossup, D hold (closest of NC-Pres, NC-Sen, and NC-Gov)

ND-Pres: down-dash, lean R, R keep

NE-Sen: down, likely R, R keep (aww…Kleeb should have run again in NE-03)

NE-02Pres: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 EV)

NE-02: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

NH-Pres: up-dash, likely D, D keep

NH-Sen: up-dash, likely D, D gain (+1 Senate)

NH-01: up-dash, lean D, D keep

NH-02: up, likely D, D keep

NJ-Sen: up, safe D, D keep

NJ-03: up-dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

NJ-04: down-dash, lean R, R keep

NJ-05: down-dash, tossup, R keep

NJ-07: up-dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

NM-Pres: up-dash, likely D, D gain (+5 EV)

NM-Sen: up, likely D, D gain (+1 Senate)

NM-01: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

NM-02: up-dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

NM-03: up, safe D, D keep

NV-Pres: dash, lean D, D gain (+5 EV)

NV-02: down-dash, leans R, R keep (unfortunately, though of course I’d love to be wrong)

NV-03: dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

NY-13: (double?) up, safe D, D gain (+1 House)

NY-19: up, likely D, D keep

NY-20: up, likely D, D keep

NY-24: up, safe D, D keep

NY-25: up, likely D, D gain (+1 House)

NY-26: down-dash, lean R, R keep

NY-29: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

OH-Pres: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+20 EV)

OH-01: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

OH-02: down-dash, lean R, R keep

OH-03: down-dash, tossup, R keep (this might be a dark horse, and I hope I’m wrong!)

OH-07: dash, tossup, R keep (same comment as for OH-03)

OH-12: down, lean R, R keep

OH-14: down-dash, lean R, R keep (same comment as for OH-03)

OH-15: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

OH-16: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

OK-Sen: down, likely R, R keep (DAMN YOU INHOFE)

OK-01: down, likely R, R keep (sorry)

OR-Pres: up, safe D, D keep

OR-Sen: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 Senate)

OR-05: up, safe D, D keep

PA-Pres: up, likely D, D keep

PA-03: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

PA-04: up, likely D, D keep

PA-05: down-dash, tossup, R keep

PA-06: down, likely R, R keep

PA-07: up, likely D, D keep

PA-08: up, safe D, D keep

PA-10: up-dash, likely D, D keep

PA-11: down-dash, lean R, R gain (-1 House)

PA-12: up-dash, lean D, D keep (whew?)

PA-15: down-dash, tossup, R keep (but what if I’m wrong? 🙂 )

PA-18: down, lean R, R keep

RI-none: (sorry, no competitive federal-level or gubernatorial races in Rhode Island)

SC-Pres: down, likely R, R keep

SC-Sen: down, lean R, R keep (if Conley wins, something strange will have happened)

SC-01: down-dash, tossup, R keep (I really hope I’m wrong about this one too!  Politics1 predicts that I will be!)

SC-02: down-dash, lean R, R keep

SD-Pres: down, likely R, R keep

TX-Pres: down-dash, likely R, R keep

TX-Sen: down-dash, lean R, R keep (disappointing…)

TX-07: down-dash, tossup, R keep (I wish otherwise)

TX-10: down-dash, tossup, R keep (I wish otherwise too, and this might be more likely to flip than TX-07)

TX-22: down-dash, tossup, R gain (-1 House) (I REALY HOPE I’M WRONG-GO LAMPSON!!!)

TX-23: up, safe D, D keep

UT-02: up, safe D, D keep

VA-Pres: up-dash, likely D, D gain (+13 EV)

VA-Sen: double up, safe D, D gain (+1 Senate)

VA-02: dash, tossup, R keep (I hope otherwise!)

VA-05: down-dash, tossup, R keep (same comment as for VA-02)

VA-10: dash, tossup, R keep (same comment as for VA-10, and I can’t rank these three either)

VA-11: up-dash, likely D, D gain (+1 House)

VT-Gov: down, likely R, R keep? (based on whether Douglas gets over 50% and if not the leg. decides)

WA-Pres: up, safe D, D keep

WA-02: up, safe D, D keep

WA-04: down, likely R, R keep

WA-08: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

WA-Gov: dash, lean D, D keep

WI-Pres: up, safe D, D keep

WI-08: up, likely D, D keep

WV-Pres: down-dash, likely R, R keep

WV-02: down-dash, lean R, R keep (again, I’d love to be wrong!)

WY-Sen: (double?) down, safe R, R keep

WY-AL: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House) (this is a hard one to predict, and I think it’ll be a small margin for either D or R…and I’m gonna guess D)

GMH’s Predictions, Part 1: Alaska through Missouri (in alphabetical order of abbreviation)

I put my predictions in the following format:

State-race (# of EV if presidential): margin, chance, result (change from Democratic perspective) (comments, if any)

Margin terms: up, up-dash, dash, down-dash, down.  These reflect my written shorthand.  An up-arrow (“up”) refers to a margin of 8 points or more for the Democrat.  An up-arrow with a dash through the tail (“up-dash”) means a margin of about 2-7 points in the Democrat’s favor.  A dash (“dash”) means a margin closer than that, or basically a toss-up.  (Substitute “Republican” for “Democrat” when you see “down” instead of “up”).

Chance terms: I use the same terms as SSP: “safe” means I can’t see a reasonable chance for the other party to win (barring something really crazy happening, basically); “likely” means that I feel I can safely predict that outcome but would be vulnerable to a strong challenge from the other side; “lean” means I feel that that side has only a narrow advantage; “tossup” means I think both sides are about evenly matched.

Result: “keep” means the incumbent party retains the seat; “gain” means the winning party wins the seat from the other side.  “change from Democratic perspective” means that “+1 House” refers to a gain of one Democratic House seat while “-1 House” refers to the loss of one Democratic House seat.

And before I begin: Be sure to join me (and hopefully other SSP people!) on IRC on election night!  Once again, our chat room is #swingstateproject on the Chat4All network (  Hope to see you there!

Edit: Added LA-02.

Now, here we go!  (below the fold)  Part 2 coming soon, before the end of the day!

PART ONE: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri

AK-Pres: down, safe R, R keep

AK-Sen: up, likely D, D gain (+1 Senate)

AK-AL: up-dash, likely D, D gain (+1 House)

AL-02: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

AL-03: down-dash, lean R, R keep

AL-05: up-dash, lean D, D keep

AR-Pres: down, likely R, R keep

AZ-Pres: down-dash, lean D, R keep

AZ-01: up, lean D, D gain (+1 House) (where are the polls?)

AZ-03: down-dash, lean R, R keep

AZ-05: up, safe D, D keep

AZ-08: up, safe D, D keep

CA-03: down-dash, lean R, R keep

CA-04: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House) (You’ll be a winning candidate, Charlie Brown!)

CA-11: up, safe D, D keep

CA-26: down-dash, likely R, R keep

CA-42: down, safe R, R keep

CA-44: down, safe R, R keep

CA-45: down, safe R, R keep

CA-46: dash, lean R, R keep (sorry, but I think it’s unlikely.  but I’d LOVE to be wrong about this!)

CA-50: down-dash, lean R, R keep

CO-Pres: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+9 EV)

CO-Sen: up, likely D, D gain (+1 Senate)

CO-04: up-dash, likely D, D gain (+1 House)

CO-05: down-dash, likely R, R keep

CO-06: down-dash, safe R, R keep

CT-02: up, safe D, D keep

CT-04: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

CT-05: up, likely D, D keep

CT-GA-014: down, likely R, R keep (this is my state house district!  I’m voting for Kathy Hale!  I have no polling data so this is just a basic guess, but I hope I’m wrong!)

DE-AL: down, safe R, R keep (nope, not this year)

DE-Gov: up, safe D, D keep

FL-Pres: dash, toss-up, D gain (+27 EV)

FL-05: down, safe R, R keep

FL-06: down, safe R, R keep

FL-07: down-dash, safe R, R keep

FL-08: dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

FL-09: down, safe R, R keep

FL-10: down, safe R, R keep

FL-12: down-dash, safe R, R keep

FL-13: down-dash, likely R, R keep

FL-15: down, likely R, R keep

FL-16: double down, safe R, R gain (-1 House)

FL-18: down-dash, tossup, R keep (again, I’d love to be wrong!)

FL-21: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

FL-24: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

FL-25: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

GA-Pres: down-dash, lean R, R keep

GA-Sen: dash, tossup, runoff (I’m not predicting runoff results at this time)

GA-01: down-dash, lean R, R keep (again, I’d love to be wrong!)

GA-03: down, likely R, R keep (so much for Mr. “Uppity”‘s come-uppance)

GA-06: down-dash, likely R, R keep

GA-08: up-dash, likely D, D keep

GA-12: up, likely D, D keep

HI-none: (sorry, no competitive federal-level or gubernatorial races in Hawaii)

IA-Pres: up, safe D, D gain (+7 EV)

IA-04: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

IA-05: dash, lean R, R keep

ID-Sen: down, likely R, R keep

ID-01: up-dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

IL-06: down-dash, lean R, R keep

IL-08: up, likely D, D keep

IL-10: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

IL-11: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

IL-13: down-dash, likely R, R keep

IL-14: up-dash, likely D, D keep

IL-18: down, likely R, R keep

IN-Pres: down-dash, tossup, R keep

IN-02: up, safe D, D keep

IN-03: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

IN-04: down-dash, lean R, R keep

IN-06: down-dash, lean R, R keep

IN-07: up, safe D, D keep

IN-08: up, safe D, D keep

IN-09: up, likely D, D keep

IN-Gov: down-dash, likely R, R keep

KS-Sen: down, likely R, R keep

KS-02: up-dash, lean D, D keep

KS-03: up-dash, likely D, D keep

KY-Sen: down-dash, lean R, R keep (OH HOW I’D LOVE TO BE WRONG)

KY-01: down-dash, likely R, R keep

KY-02: down-dash, lean R, R keep

KY-03: up, likely D, D keep

KY-04: down, likely R, R keep

LA-Sen: up, likely D, D keep

LA-01: down-dash, lean R, R keep (and I’d love to be wrong here too!)

LA-02: up, safe D, D keep (the point of this race is whether Moreno can succeed in defeating the indicted Jefferson; Jefferson seems likely to win at this point, unfortunately)

LA-04: general election occurs later

LA-06: up-dash, likely D, D keep

LA-07: down-dash, tossup, R keep (I have no polling on this race…)

MA-Sen: double up, safe D, D keep

MD-01: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

ME-Sen: down, likely R, R keep

ME-01: up, likely D, D keep

MI-Pres: up, likely D, D keep

MI-07: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

MI-08: down, likely R, R keep

MI-09: up-dash, lean D, D gain (+1 House)

MN-Pres: up, likely D, D keep

MN-Sen: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 Senate)

MN-01: up, likely D, D keep

MN-02: down-dash, lean R, R keep

MN-03: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

MN-06: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

MO-Pres: dash, tossup, D gain (+11 EV)

MO-06: down-dash, likely R, R keep

MO-09: dash, tossup, D gain (+1 House)

Larry Sabato updates his House ratings

Larry Sabato, professor of Political Science at the University of Virginia and director of the Center for Politics has updated his U.S. House predictions.  

Overall, it is very good news for as.  More over the flip.

Here are today’s changes:

AL-02 OPEN Leans R to Toss-up

AZ-03 Shadegg Likely R to Leans R

CA-04 OPEN Likely R to Toss-up

CA-50 Bilbray Likely R to Leans R

CT-04 Shays Leans R to Leans D

FL-08 Keller Toss-up to Leans D

FL-16 Mahoney Leans R to Likely R

FL-24 Feeney Toss-up to Leans D

FL-25 M. Diaz-Balart Leans R to Toss-up

ID-01 Sali Likely R to Leans R

IL-10 Kirk Leans R to Toss-up

IN-03 Souder Safe R to Leans R

KS-02 Boyda Leans D to Toss-up

KY-02 OPEN Leans R to Toss-up

LA-06 Cazayoux Toss-up to Leans D

MD-01 OPEN Leans R to Toss-up

MI-07 Walberg Toss-up to Leans D

MI-09 Knollenberg Leans R to Toss-up

MN-03 OPEN Toss-up to Leans D

MN-06 Bachmann Safe R to Toss-up

MO-06 Graves Likely R to Leans R

NE-02 Terry Likely R to Leans R

NJ-05 Garrett Likely R to Leans R

NM-01 OPEN Toss-up to Leans D

NM-02 OPEN Toss-up to Leans D

NY-26 OPEN Leans R to Toss-up

NC-08 Hayes Toss-up to Leans D

OH-16 OPEN Toss-up to Leans D

PA-03 English Leans R to Toss-up

SC-01 Brown Safe R to Likely R

TX-07 Culberson Likely R to Leans R

WV-02 Capito Likely R to Leans R

WY-AL OPEN Leans R to Toss-up

Things are looking for good for us.  With today’s changes, Sabato is now predicting us to pick off 17 Republican seats.  And that doesn’t include toss ups and upsets from the “likely Republican” and “leans Republican” columns.  Nine Republican seats have moved to “leans Democratic” today alone.

Another eleven Republican seats have been moved to tossup status.  In all, 30 Republican seats were moved in our direction.  Addtionally, Don Cazayoux’s race has been upgraded to “leans Democratic.”

The only sour notes for us is that Tim Mahoney’s race was further downgraded to “likely Republican” and Nancy Boyda is now a tossup.