Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Gadfly's crystal ball

Well, it's finally here. Months of vitriol behind us, billions of dollars spent. The polls open in a few short hours, and by this time tomorrow we should - aside from potential recounts and litigation - know roughly how it will all turn out.

Are you ready? Have you read what some of the experts predict? Do you know how you're going to track the results as they come in? Have you filled out your bracket? Do you know what the fallout is going to be depending on the results?

Well, for what it is worth (which isn't much), I just went through all the Senate races and the 50 or so most competitive House races to see how I think they will turn out. In the Senate, I see the Republicans losing 3 seats, leaving them at 52. This mean they would both retain the majority, as well as avoid any danger of Chafee pulling a Jeffords and flipping control by switching parties (although I currently have him in my loss category anyway).

In the House, I have the GOP losing 15 seats, putting them at 217. Yikes. I swear, I didn't plan it that way, it was just what the piles added up to after I finished sorting them. By the way, that is with me predicting the Republicans will lose two of their three incumbents in Connecticut. Holding all three (as we discussed here and here) would keep the House GOP. Should the House actually wind up 218-217 Democratic, all bets are off. I'll put off speculating about the consequences of that until we see if that happens. Needless to say, the House could break either way.

If the Republicans do lose 3 and 15, what will that mean? Well, if you look back through history, Presidents in their sixth year average something like 29-35 seats lost in the House. You don't see any mention of that kind of historical context in this article by the Times today, but be sure to keep it mind. A loss of 20 seats, say, would actually mean a historical out performance by the Republicans, not that it will be reported that way should it happen.

There will be plenty of time for analysis later. In the meantime, don't forget to vote.

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