Monday, October 25, 2010

The horserace for next Tuesday

Regular readers know that I don't like to spend a lot of time on "horserace" issues in election contests. Our star pundits don't like to spend their time on political reporting on much else, unless of course there's a sex angle to be squeezed out of story.

But elections are horseraces, after all. I'm trying to be optimistic for the Democrats, even though the national Party's message to the base has been mostly, "We can't stand you, now go vote for us." (David Dayen's formulation)

There are clearly bright spots. Early voting trends give some hope for strong Democratic turnout. In California, Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer are running against corporate Republican zombies, and that's strong motivation for the Democrats. Brown, unlike the national Party, has also been willing to come down hard in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, which gives Latino voters incentive to turn out in the state.

But political horserace guru Charlie Cook isn't offering cheery news for Dems nationally. The title of this article of his indicates shows what I mean: Dems' House Losses Likely Enormous, but Senate Hard to Read National Journal 10/25/2010. His House predictions are suitable for Halloween fright:

It's easy to look at what appears to be a gigantic Republican 2010 midterm election wave in the House and feel a little slack-jawed, but not so much surprised. There were plenty signs well over a year ago that Democrats were facing grave danger, but even when expecting an onslaught, one can still be shocked at its size and unrelenting force. It would be a surprise if this wave doesn't match the 52-seat gain on Election Night in 1994, and it could be substantially more.
Yo! That's bad.

In the Senate races, here are some of his key calls as of Monday. It would take a pickup of 10 seats by the Republicans to give them control in the Upper House.

Democratic leads:

CA: Barbara Boxer (D) over Carly Fiorina
WA: Patty Murray (D) over Dino Rossi
W VA: Joe Manchin (D) over John Raese
CN: Richard Blumenthal (D) over Linda McMahon (she's the wrestling exec)

Very close:

NV: Harry Reid (D) over Sharon Angle
CO: Michael Bennett (D) over Ken Buck

Republican leads:

AR: Blanche Lincoln (D; anti-labor Blue Dog) vs. John Boozman
WI: Russ Feingold (D) vs. Ron Johnson
IN: Brad Ellworth (D) vs. Dan Coats
ND: Tracy Potter (D) vs. John Hoeven
PA: Joe Sestak (D) vs. Pat Toomey

It's not over until it's over. Democrats: go vote. Republicans: hey, don't worry about it, you're Party's got it made; stay home, watch FOX News, don't put yourself out.

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