Democrats & Liberals Archives

Woody’s 2006 Senate Forecast – Mid-October Update

The pieces are now in place for a Democratic takeover.

Predicted Breakdown: 51 D - 49 R

Predicted Democratic Pickups (in order of certainty):

PA – I’m running out of ways to say that Rick Santorum is toast. Hey, “toast” is a new way.

OH – Some polls show this race as close, but no poll since June has actually shown the incumbent Mike Dewine ahead since June.

RI – The GOP spent a pile of money trying to help Linc Chafee beat his primary opponent Steve Laffey, but he is going to lose anyway. (Remember all of that talk about how the Democratic Party was going to waste its resources on intraparty warfare in Connecticut? Right region, wrong party.) It’s hard to survive as a Whatever-In-Name-Only these days.

MT – I’m running out of things to say about this race. Since it’s Montana, the GOP probably still has a chance of pulling this one out. On the paper, though, Jon Tester has maintained a lead of about 6% for quite a while.

MO – This race is close to being a pure toss-up, but I see an edge for McCaskill. The RealClearPolitics Average shows McCaskill ahead by 1.4. A recent poll (10/9-10/11) showed McCaskill up by 9. The betting website intrade.com has McCaskill shares going for 54 cents on the dollar (50 cents being an even bet). Putting it all together, I see McCaskill coming out ahead.

TN – Even conservative Rich Lowry acknowledged that Harold Ford has run a shrewd campaign, setting one of his ads in a church. Will it be enough? I say yes. Ford makes six.

A couple of predictions if Ford manages to pull this one out. First of all, it will be the end of any talk about the “Wilder Effect”, the theory that Black candidates do better in surveys than they do at the ballot box. (Oddly enough, Douglas Wilder won the race and became the Governor of Virginia; he just won by a smaller margin than expected.) If a Black candidate can make it in Tennessee, he can make it anywhere. No offense to my fellow Southerners in TN, but y’all did bring us the Klan. Second prediction: every Democrat running in the Bible belt will have a commercial set in a church. Hallelujah!

Potential Democratic Pickups:

VA – Thanks to the “m-word”, this race is clearly within reach. James Webb really epitomizes what it takes for a Democrat to win in the South. He was Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, a fact that Reaganites would now like expunged from history.

AZ – This is the only other Republican seat the Democrats have a shot at taking. The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Jon Kyl up by 9, but stranger things have happened. There haven’t been any polls yet that were taken completely in the post-Foley period.

Potential Democratic Loss

NJ – It looks like Bob Menendez has weathered the storm over his eyebrow-raising rental arrangment. Fortunately, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine will be able to name his replacement if he ends up stepping down. That would be The Bearded One’s second chance to choose a US Senator.

A proposal: Let’s change the Constitution so that empty Senate seats have to be filled by a special election. That’s how it works for House seats. Since Senators are more powerful, it makes no sense to let them be appointed. Voters should be able to chose their Governor without having to worry about how it could impact the composition of the US Senate.

Summary

For long time the consensus was that Democrats had a chance of taking over the House, but only the slimmest chance of taking over the Senate. Now the conventional wisdom clearly favors a House takeover, with a Senate takeover well within reach.

You can give a certain amount of credit to Mark Foley, but it is really part of larger pattern of the GOP disappointing its base. It’s ironic, really. Democrats think that the Republican Congress has been too conservative and authoritarian. Republicans think they’ve gotten fat and lazy, and sold out. These guys can’t win for losing.

Posted by Woody Mena at October 17, 2006 6:31 AM
Comments
Comment #188531

Good Analysis Woody. I just hope no one thinks that their Senatorial candidate is a shoe-in.
In Michigan Stabenow is up by double digits in all polls but I’m certain it will be a much closer race.

Posted by: mark at October 17, 2006 7:26 AM
Comment #188532

Could someone remind me what the url is for editing posts?

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 17, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #188547

Woody: Good analysis. I would differ with you on TN. The numbers today are more suggestive of a 50-50 split in my opinion.

There has been some regional polling conducted in Missouri and the results suggest McCaskill is going to get enough votes in areas outside of St. Louis & Kansas City to defeat Talent. Long-time, politically active, friends in Missouri tell me the Democratic ground operation in St. Louis City and St. Louis County is extraordinary: they have more bodies and fire in the belly than they’ve seen in 30 years.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at October 17, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #188548

A friend just e-mailed this to me:


5 stages of Republican scandal:

1. “I have not been informed of any investigation or that I am a target”

2. “I am cooperating fully, but this whole thing is a political ploy by the Democrats”

3. “I’m SHOCKED by the mistakes made by my subordinates”

4. “I’m deeply sorry for letting down my friends and family. I now recognize that I am an alcoholic. I will be entering rehab immediately, so I have no time for questions”

5. “Can I serve my time at Eglin Federal Penitentiary (aka Club Fed)?”

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at October 17, 2006 10:20 AM
Comment #188552

Is there a site where people can go see political ads from all over the country? In ‘04 there were hardly any presidential ads in MA since it was a foregone conclusion who would get our electoral votes. I was shocked when I visited my mom in Florida to see the crap on the airwaves, but I would like to see it this cycle.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 17, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #188557

Dave: It is my understanding that many political ads have been uploaded to YouTube.com.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at October 17, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #188563

Just remember who the 2004 polls (even Zogby) picked to win the Presidency. Polls can be overly-optimistic and dependent on who’s paying for them. Over the last 30 years of voting, I have never been polled so I question them; 1000 “random” voters may be mathmatically correct, but rarely accurate. Races always tighten up in the stretch. The only ones who pay attention now are the political junkies.

Living in Ohio, I predict that Mike DeWine will close the gap and the only way he will lose is if the Conservatives stay home…which I don’t expect.

If Republicans maintain control after Nov 7th, let’s debate the accuracy of Polls and their relevance.

Posted by: mac6115cd at October 17, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #188565

mac,

The major polls, including Zogby, picked Bush.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 17, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #188575

It is so nice to know that election day is only a few weeks away.The Democrats Honestly beleive tha they have a chance at picking up seats in both houses.My veiw is that the media and the pollsters have mis-read the American People once again.How will the Liberal Democrats and the Liberal Media spin the fact that not only will they not pick up seats but will lose seats of high ranking Democrats?To beleive The Republicans will lose seats you also have to beleive that the Majority of Americans want Nancy Polosi to be House Speaker and Harry Reid to be Majority Leader in the Senate.You have to beleive that the Majority Of Americans Want Al Sharpton And Jesse Jackson To be Involved in making hard Decissions About the Future Of this Country.Imagine Bill Clinton,Wesly Clarke,John Murtha and John Kerry setting National Policy.You have to beleive that at least 51% of the American people are Mentally Retarded to think this will happen.In the words of Ted turner you have the true feelings of the Liberal Democrat Party.Ted says he is not sure which side he is on.He is not sure who are the evil people in this War on Terrorism.The Democrats have one thing in common They All Blame George Bush For 9-11 they all blame G.W. for the problems in Iraq,Iran and North Korea.I Say to those who think the Democrat Party will sweep the House And Senate You better go back to bed and dream where you are Safe as November the 8th will be a Night Mare For You.

Posted by: PETRO at October 17, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #188574

It is so nice to know that election day is only a few weeks away.The Democrats Honestly beleive tha they have a chance at picking up seats in both houses.My veiw is that the media and the pollsters have mis-read the American People once again.How will the Liberal Democrats and the Liberal Media spin the fact that not only will they not pick up seats but will lose seats of high ranking Democrats?To beleive The Republicans will lose seats you also have to beleive that the Majority of Americans want Nancy Polosi to be House Speaker and Harry Reid to be Majority Leader in the Senate.You have to beleive that the Majority Of Americans Want Al Sharpton And Jesse Jackson To be Involved in making hard Decissions About the Future Of this Country.Imagine Bill Clinton,Wesly Clarke,John Murtha and John Kerry setting National Policy.You have to beleive that at least 51% of the American people are Mentally Retarded to think this will happen.In the words of Ted turner you have the true feelings of the Liberal Democrat Party.Ted says he is not sure which side he is on.He is not sure who are the evil people in this War on Terrorism.The Democrats have one thing in common They All Blame George Bush For 9-11 they all blame G.W. for the problems in Iraq,Iran and North Korea.I Say to those who think the Democrat Party will sweep the House And Senate You better go back to bed and dream where you are Safe as November the 8th will be a Night Mare For You.

Posted by: PETRO at October 17, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #188577

It is so nice to know that election day is only a few weeks away.The Democrats Honestly beleive tha they have a chance at picking up seats in both houses.My veiw is that the media and the pollsters have mis-read the American People once again.How will the Liberal Democrats and the Liberal Media spin the fact that not only will they not pick up seats but will lose seats of high ranking Democrats?To beleive The Republicans will lose seats you also have to beleive that the Majority of Americans want Nancy Polosi to be House Speaker and Harry Reid to be Majority Leader in the Senate.You have to beleive that the Majority Of Americans Want Al Sharpton And Jesse Jackson To be Involved in making hard Decissions About the Future Of this Country.Imagine Bill Clinton,Wesly Clarke,John Murtha and John Kerry setting National Policy.You have to beleive that at least 51% of the American people are Mentally Retarded to think this will happen.In the words of Ted turner you have the true feelings of the Liberal Democrat Party.Ted says he is not sure which side he is on.He is not sure who are the evil people in this War on Terrorism.The Democrats have one thing in common They All Blame George Bush For 9-11 they all blame G.W. for the problems in Iraq,Iran and North Korea.I Say to those who think the Democrat Party will sweep the House And Senate You better go back to bed and dream where you are Safe as November the 8th will be a Night Mare For You.

Posted by: PETRO at October 17, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #188579

Ah yes, and here comes the denial, the unnecessary attacks and the arrogant ignorance from the republican straight ticket voters. Right on cue.

REALITY CHECK:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/17/opinion/17stein.html?th&emc=th

In the last 6 months or so I’ve read a mutitude of articles and books from highly credible people who are all saying the same thing. Washington officials have their heads buried so far up each others asses that they have completely ignored their purpose. All the demonizing of democrats in the world isn’t going to change the simple fact that a vital job is not being done in Washington. That vital job should begin with at least trying to know more than the general public.

Desperate posts like the one from PETRO above give me great hope. After all, desperation is a stinky cologne. So anyone who loves the status quo, keep spraying yourselves. Maybe you’ll eventually cover up the smell of the shittiest job ever done by an administration with the more pleasant smell of doing ANYTHING to stay in power. Boy that’ll sure show those libs whose boss.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 17, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #188591

Woody,

All indicators point to the you being correct. What if it turns out different and the Republicans maintain control of congress? What would that mean? What would happen to the democrats?

Posted by: Cliff at October 17, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #188601

Cliff:
Even such notable conservatives as Bill Buckley have stated the Congress needs to change to enable true two party governance (checks and balances). The question is not what would happen to the democrats, the question is what would happen to our beloved country. I seriously fear that if Bush/Cheney are not checked by a strong House/Senate, our country will be permanently damaged by a white house gone berserk.
Steve

Posted by: Steve at October 17, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #188606

Nice Woody

We should all be prepared for the current regime to act as morally and ethically as a wounded and cornered beast. Bare in mind they are not just looking at losing power but many are looking at jail time if either house of congress actually starts investigating. They will do anything. Voter fraud,assasination or even outright coup. In the last event our job will be to make enough unrest to make it difficult for them to solidify their power until the military steps in to insure (hopefully) civilian control.Keep your running shoes and gas-mask handy.We will not just roll-over like we did in 2000. We have seen the results. Bushco will burn the Rieschstag,given a chance.

Posted by: BillS at October 17, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #188623

Woody, I again raise the issue that what pollees say to pollsters and what they do in the ballot box is divergent to varying degrees in any election cycle.

It is a toss up at this point in my view due to this simple historical fact.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 17, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #188626

I think you’re a little optimistic in some of those races, but even if you’re right, there’s one thing you’ve forgotten.

Assuming you’re correct, wouldn’t the real breakdown be 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats and 2 Independents—with Lieberman now an Independent?

Now, I’m not saying that Lieberman would choose to caucus with the GOP, but one thing is for certain: he is definitely going to make (and get) some very stiff demands and make the Democrats sweat bullets.

If the Dems tried anything like impeachment proceedings (if only in the House) or tried to change the course of the war in Iraq in a way not to his liking, they can never be sure that Lieberman won’t flop and throw control to the GOP.

In trying to axe Lieberman, the left created a situation which is going to come back and bite them.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 17, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #188631

Rhode Island’s Linc Chaffee is very popular with voters, more popular than Sheldon Whitehouse, but Chaffee will lose because the voters of R.I. know we need to shift power from the republicans in Washington. I think almost everyone in this country realizes the mess we are in now and will vote accordinly.

Posted by: G.W. Rove at October 17, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #188634

avid,

It is true that the situation could be worse for the Democrats than polls indicate. But it could be BETTER too. What we know favors the Democrats. It is only toss-up if you assume complete ignorance.

Neo-Con Pilsner,

I’ve forgotten nothing. Lieberman said that he would caucus with Democrats. I take him at his word. If he breaks his promise, he’ll just prove his critics right and show that he only cares about #1.

It is true that Lieberman would have the power to block a lot of things in the scenario you envision, but so could any other senator out of a hundred. Do you lose sleep worrying about Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins wreaking havoc in a 50-50 Senate?

Speaking of unstated assumptions, what makes you so sure Lieberman will get re-elected? He’s ahead in the polls, but that assumes that he can get Republicans to come out and vote for him. It will be an interesting experiment.

Cliff,

I suppose there would be a lot of finger-pointing and recrimination. But why worry about hypotheticals?

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 17, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #188637

Woody,

It is all hypothetical until after the election.

Posted by: Cliff at October 17, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #188655

No, Woody, complete ignorance leads to the assumption that the polls are an accurate predictor of what voters will do in the ballot box. That is ignorance, for history demonstrates time and again the ignorance and folly which such predictions are often made of.

Also, do not discount the anti-incumbent ousting of Democrats partially levelling the field with ousted Republican incumbents.

It is still a toss up as to whether Dem’s will take the Senate or the House majority. I hope you are right and the voters oust a large number of incumbents from both parties. The politicians who replace them will think twice before putting the nation’s needs in the back seat to make room for wealthy campaign donor’s, lobbyists, and personal gain. Which would be a good think, wouldn’t you agree?

Or are you still praying Jefferson will remain?

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 17, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #188673

David,

I don’t think any Democratic incumbents will be ousted in the Senate (barring perhaps Joe Lieberman), and I doubt very many will be kicked out in the House. Certainly, it could happen, but I don’t see any evidence.

Punishing each party equally wouldn’t change anything. It would be taken by the Republicans as vindication for their policies.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 17, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #188680

David: I often agree with you, as you know. However, I must disagree with you now. While polling can be problematic when one is looking at races in isolation or when polling on a group of races yields mixed results, a meta analysis of polling data over the past 6 months demonstrates there is a strong trend (I use the word trend in its statistical sense) which can be measured and tested statistically.

What meta analysis of the polling shows is that we are, indeed, in the middle of the once-or-twice-in-a-generation type of election cycle where there is a major shift in political power occurring — it is a nationalized election. What we are witnessing in 2006 is on a par with 1950, 1974, & 1994, and to a lesser degree, 1980.

Also, the history of anti-incumbent voting has always gone primarily against one of the parties, not both, as it is actually a vote against the party that is in power. There are excellent data (both polling & electoral) available from the 1974 and 1994 election cycles that illustrate this.

While events could change things over the next three weeks, it is doubtful. Now, the questions are: How large will the Democractic majority be in the House? How many seats will the Republicans lose in the Senate?

Another thing to consider: the White House is already engaged in pre-election damage control in anticipation of the GOP’s losses on Nov. 7. This is especially telling as the White House political operation is top notch. Also, the degree of consensus among serious political analysts is simply overwhelming. When Charlie Cook is warning us that he never rates a race where the incumbent in unindicted lower than a “toss up,” he is telling us that these “toss up” incumbents (Republicans) are in trouble. Could the analysts, could I, be wrong. Absolutely. However, that is not probable.

I am not suggesting, here, that polling cannot be in error. The question is how to analyze the polling data such that one can arrive at predictions with a high degree of statistical confidence. Predictions are predictions. However, when rigorous methodologies are applied to the collection and analysis of polling data, there is the better than 50-50 chance that the prediction is correct. BTW, the outcome of the 2004 elections were not inconsistent with the analysis of polling data collected 30 days out from the election. Every major analyst was suspicious of the polls showing Kerry with a narrow lead and said so….

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at October 17, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #188749

Dr. Poshek, I still think you are ignoring the hard evidence. The polls demonstrate more an anti-incumbent sentiment, than a pro Democrat sentiment. Which explains the real world situation of Democrats lacking the contributions and donations needed to stay level with Republicans.

If this was a pro-Democrat phenomena, Democrat donations would be commensurate with their lead in the polls. But, it’s not.

The FEC reports Republicans raising more money than Democrats too. This points to the potential discrepency between pollees being politically correct in opposing Republicans, while not climbing on the Democrat’s bandwagon either in financial support or in the ballot booth. If the pollee’s were going to support the Democrats in record numbers in the ballot booth’s, their wallet’s would reflect that motivation, and all real world evidence indicates that is not the case.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 18, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #188753

David,

What do the unscaled contribution numbers say? Are the Dems getting more $$$ in absolute terms than before? Are the ubberwealthy forking up more in absolute terms in order to maintain their tax advantaged status under the GOP? On a personal note, I gave more this cycle than last cycle, and last time was was the first time i ever made a political donation.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 18, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #188784

David Remer,

You and I most be looking at different polls. On the generic ballot question, most people prefer a Democratic house. How many House seats that translates into I don’t know, but you can’t say there isn’t a preference.

The Republicans, as a group, ALWAYS raise more money. The fact that they are the incumbents this time just reinforces the fact. Fortunately, money doesn’t decide elections (influences? yes, decides? no).

Frankly, I am surprised that YOU of all people would equate campaign donations with popular support and enthusiasm. You are always talking about how Americans are hungry for a third party. How much money do you think has been donated to third-party candidates this year? I bet John Kerry raised more money in 2004 than every third-party candidate in the last century combined.

I don’t know what your point is about the ballot booth. If you want evidence of people going to the ballot booth, you are going to have to wait a couple of weeks.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 18, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #188788

David Remer,

Another problem with your “money=support=votes” theory. Look at how much money goes to incumbents vs. challengers. I bet that the incumbents are on average outraising their challengers by at least 2 to 1. So by your logic, voters are satisfied with the status quo and will re-elect incumbents. But you are actually claiming the opposite. How does that work?

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 18, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #188909

The only thing better would be if every Republican in the country had a flat tire on the way to the polls.

Posted by: Lee Shuwarger at October 19, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #188962

Lee,

Didn’t we try that in Wisconsin?

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 19, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #189599
5 stages of Republican scandal …

Apologies for this: At least Mel Gibson skipped to #4.

Posted by: ubermike67 at October 22, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #189600

The recent Republican (President), Republican (Senate) & Republican (House) is a failed experiment, just as the other permutations have been before it.

Reduce taxes but still spend is at least as dumb as tax and spend. Neither increases the efficiency/effectiveness of government.

And our foreign policy has gotten more and more out of control, for decades now.

Posted by: ubermike67 at October 22, 2006 2:49 PM
Post a comment