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Grebrook Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-22-06 11:32 PM
Original message
Are election predictors ignoring a dozen more seats Dems may win?
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 12:13 AM by Grebrook
At places like Real Clear Politics, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, Cook Political Report and CQ Politics the conventional wisdom is that the Dems will win big in November. Sabato thinks there will be a wave, as does Cook Political Report - CQ Politics believe they will probably win the 15 seats, but it is skeptical of a "blowout" of any sort higher than 18 seats, and Real Clear Politics, which is a right-wing analyst group, denies it. They're idiots at RCP, who cares.

But here's something I've noticed. There are a lot of races they seem to be ignoring. Take these races, for instance:

Arkansas District 3 John Boozman - Strong Democratic registry state, even though it voted for Bush, Democrats do exceedingly well "down ballot" and at the federal level. Both of its Senators are Democrats (one of whom won re-election alongside of Bush in 04) and 3 of its 4 house seats are controlled by Dems. John Boozman won re-election with only 59% of the vote in 2004. In a year like this, one thing analysts agree on is "Reagan Democrats abandoning Republicans down ballot". This means that, as was the case in 1994, registered Democrats are no longer cross-voting for Republicans, which may have dire consequences in southern states such as Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas that have a lot of conservative and centrist Democrats who have been cross-voting over the years and now are abandoning the GOP in droves. This is exactly what killed Dems in 1994 when Republicans stopped cross-voting. In the Arkansas Gubernatorial race the Democrat is winning by about 10-15% running for the open governor's mansion. The only polls taken in Arkansas were strangely taken for the Democrat in the neigboring district, Vic Snyder, who won 58%-42% and polls those exact numbers over again. Hopefully any Democratic increase in Arkansas will occur in the Republican district.

West Virginia District 2 Shelley Capito - Another Strong Democratic registry state, both of its senators are Dems, 2 of 3 House seats are Democratic, and Capito won re-election with only 58% of the vote. Down ballot Democratic desertion would devastate Capito, especially since Senator Byrd is cruising to re-election by a margin of 2-1 over his opponent, the Democratic governor is the MOST POPULAR governor in the entire country (approval rating at about 75%-80%) and provides a great in-state contrast from popular Democratic senator and governor to unpopular Republican president. Also important to consider is that her opponent is a former head of the West Virginia Democratic Party and is a good fundraiser therefore and an experienced politician and will be able to rally conservative Democratic voters.

Louisiana District 7 Charles Boustany - Louisiana is in political chaos right now. Voters are anti-Bush and angry simultaneously at the Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco, and as is the case in New Jersey, it's going to be a tossup as to whether they take it out on the Democrats or Republicans. Boustany won an open Democratic seat in 2004 with 55% of the vote, which easily puts it in range of a Democratic challenger to retake it. But the political climate in Louisiana is confusing, to say the least. Black voters have been displaced by the hundreds of thousands (although this district was not a part of that, I believe). In a neighboring Dem district, Charles Melancon, who ousted a Republican by less than 1% of the vote is touting internal polling showing him ahead by 32%, which is monumental. The Democratic governor is unpopular, and Bush is also unpopular. What's important to consider, is that Melancon's polls are being taken in a district exactly where the black voters are MISSING. Does this mean that Republicans could face severe backlash over the post-Katrina debacle in Louisiana? I think so. And I think it will be more than enough to oust the marginal Boustany from office.

Idaho 1 Bill Sali - Dkos has been talking about this one but the analysts really haven't. Sali is extraordinarily unpopular trying to fill the seat of an extraordinarily popular Republican. The only poll taken so far has (D) Grant trailing by only 49-43%. This seems like an easily surmountable gap to me. I think he can do it. I easily put this one as a toss up. The special election in Ohio that Jean Schimidt won, but lost 20% of the vote in comparison to the Republican elected just months before her, shows that a district can really change drastically, and Idaho may be no exception to that rule.

Nebraska 1 Jeff Fortenbery - I think this is one of our best shots at a pick up that the analysts have completely ignored. Fortenberry is a very conservative Republican who replaced a moderate who constantly fought with the Religious Right in the GOP caucus. He won the open seat in 2004 after the previous Republican retired, but only won 54%, a decrease of about 12% from previous years. The Dem candidate got 43%, the Green, 3%. With no green candidate this year, and with the Democrats putting up the former Nebraska Lieutenant Governor, as well as (D) Ben Nelson cruising to re-election in the senate, I really think Fortenberry is in store for a Democratic upset. It's a matter of only 5% increase. It can be done. There are no elected Dems in Nebraska's 3 House Seats. What's more, the GOP strength is concentrated solidly in the 3rd District, where the Dem candidate in 2004 literally won only 11% of the vote and the Republican won 87%. I think this is the year the first Dem takes a house seat in Nebraska.

Wyoming At-Large Seat - Barbara Cubin won only 55% of the vote in a state that sent Bush back to the White House with 69% of the vote. She's not very popular, and the Dem running in the governor's race this fall is very popular and is beating his GOP opponent by about 2-1. For some reason he didn't campaign with her Democratic opponent this fall until just recently, and word has it that he changed his mind because he now thinks the Dem candidate has a real shot of ousting her. Rasmussen took out a poll several months ago that had Cubin leading b y only 47-44%, within the margin of error, and I happen to think the numbers are probably better than that, because the governor's numbers have improved since that poll (the poll was on the governor's race and the house race). I think this is another seat that the Democratic candidate can easily win now that the Democratic governor is stumping for him. I'm very optimistic about this race. Popular Dem governors and unpopular Republican presidents always make for great contrasts in marginal districts.

Kansas 2 Jim Ryun - Ryun won 56% of the vote in 04', and the Dem candidate, Boyda, won 41%. This year things are looking good in Kansas. The Democratic governor's numbers, previously ahead by a shaky 10%, are now evening out to 15%. Boyda says that her recent internal polling has her ahead by a few points. I don't know if I believe that it's accurate, but it means that she either is, she's tied or she's behind by only a few. This race is a little harder to analyze because it's hard to discern where the Republican strength is spread out in the Kansas district. Needless to say, Bush has a surprisingly low approval rating of only 41% and 57% disaproval in Kansas. There is 1 Dem elected out of 4 seats, and if West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas have tought us anything, it's that Democrats always find a way to slug it out down-ballot even when the GOP slaughters us up-ballot. I think this kind of a marginal seat is ready to fall to the Dems if the polls hold the way they are, and Boyda, who is challenging Ryun again and is independently well-funded. I think she'll pull this one off if the political environment remains this way till election day.

New Jersey 7 - Mike Fergusson has four problems. The first is that in Democratic New Jersey, he won only 57% of the vote in 2004. The second is that New Jersey is becoming increasingly socially liberal, which is a big statement, since it's already probably the second or third most socially liberal in the country, and Fergusson is very conservative, and opposes the morning after pill, which is going to become an issue after social conservatism has been raging in Washington over abortion, gay marriage and Terri Schiavo for the last two years, and he won't be able to avoid it. The third problem he has is that recent polling puts his opponent only two points behind him, 48-46%. Apparently Democratic fears that voters would take their anger out on Democrats over Corzine's screw ups with the government shut down are wrong. They just seemed to intensify people who are already pissed off and didn't really re-direct that anger at Democrats, not at the federal level anyway. Menendez is now pulling ahead of Kean by 10%, which is huge, because Bob Menendez has so many problems with ethics swirling about him that I personally guarantee that there will be a lot of independent and Democratic voters cross-voting for Tom Kean Jr. but who will be voting for Dems down-ballot. Make no mistake. Whatever margin Menendez wins by will be 5-10% less than what the Democrats earn down-ballot in the house races, since Kean is the son of a popular governor and doesn't really do anything that particularly pisses people off. Partisanship alone is getting Menendez elected to the Senate. It'll be even more intense down-ballot at Republcan House members. The fourth problem, of course, is the local controversy about Fergusson feeling up some woman in a bar drunkely outside of some college, with a ton of witnesses. The woman took his name tag or something and threatened to call the cops. He hasn't denied anything except that he was "drunk". This took place AFTER that recent polling, by the way. Doesn't look good for a guy in a marginal district. I think the Dems will knock him off. If any NJ GOP representatives are knocked off, he'll be the first. And the GOP has 6 out of 13 seats in NJ. NJ is only slight gerrymandered, much less than most states. It's a state that is fairly distributed, which is bad news for the GOP in a year like this. New Jersey is one of those states that can really turn on the GOP when things get bad. It's a moderate suburb state. Socially liberal all around, kind of like the Philadelphia suburbs, which are proving to be disastrous for about 4 Pennsylvania GOP incumbent right now (Weldon, Sherwood, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach). I think you will see a recriprocation of socially liberal Republicans in the suburbs abandoning the GOP down-ballot in New Jersey the way you're seeing it in Pennsylvania. If anything it'll be worse here, because we have a lot more damned suburbs. In fact, that's ALL New Jersey has. Suburbs.


I'll write in a few more I think are being ignored in a few minutes. Want to see if I get any feedback on this.
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-22-06 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fascinating thread
and a thoughtful analysis. Keep 'em coming!

K & R!

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Cheney Killed Bambi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-22-06 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. Great analysis
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-22-06 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
3. WV 2 is not in play
the party wrote this seat off before the primary

if the party had sunk some bucks into this race, it would be in play but it's not

Capito will win by 10 points
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Daylin Byak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-22-06 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I totally agree with Nebraska and Idaho
GOP and indie voters in CD-1 are pissed with the GOP candidate Bill cause well he's a disgrace and he's too far to the right, Larry Grant looks promising every day.
Same with NE, the Dems got a credible candidate in former Lt.Governor Maxime Moul and could give Fortenberry a run for his money

Also the 3rd District is Nebraska is looking promising to(this is Tom Osborne's open seat) Scott Kleeb is running a good candidate and the GOP candidate State Rep Adrian Smith isn't appealing to his base in the District, this went so far to the point that the major paper in Ohama(I think it's the Ohama world Herald)endorsed Kleeb which is fucked up cause that paper is a deep conservative paper who hasn't endorsed any Democrat in years.
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-22-06 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. heard mention in the last couple days extra seats are now in play...
the environ is in flux & there remains firm, steady work going forward; ty for your post here :patriot:
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-22-06 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. At current projections, Dems will win 20 seats in the House, not 15 /

House: 227 Democrats 207 Republicans 1 Tie

However, these are projections. Conditions change between now and Nov. 7. Take it with a grain of salt.
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Grebrook Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
7. Updated a few more
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justice1 Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
8. There is a possibility of a sweep in Nebraska.
We should retain the Senate seat, and all three Democrats running for congress are confident they are within striking distance, but nobody has done any polls.
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Grebrook Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. kick
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
10. If the election were held now, it looks like 228 Dems, 206 Repubs, 1 tied.
If this keeps up, the 15 win margin would appear conservative.

228 Democrats 206 Republicans 1 Tie
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