Monday, November 3, 2014

Predictions for Election 2014

Greetings, my friends, and a tremendous Monday to all of you. In case you haven't noticed the bevy of ugly election signs in everybody's front yard, we've got an election tomorrow--and EXTREMELY IMPORTANT election. It's the election of a lifetime that will determine the future of our great nation. It's absolutely critical!

Just kidding. I can't remember a national election that's had less significance than this one.

That's not to say you shouldn't vote; you should. And the governor's race here in the Badger State certainly matters. But a lot of the hand-wringing over control of the Senate is silly. If the Democrats keep control, they'll still have to deal with a Republican House. If the Republicans take over, the president will veto any conservative legislation that Congress passes. (And let's be honest, the odds of even a Republican Congress passing conservative legislation is infinitesimally small.) 

I know Mitch McConnell promised that a Republican majority in the Senate will kill Obamacare. I've heard that line before. The GOP promises big things before an election. After the election, there's no tough decision that can't be delayed indefinitely.

Still, the political junkie in me can't help but to get excited on Election Day. I love watching the returns come in and analyzing who is winning, where, and why. And don't forget: Every time an incumbent loses, an angel gets his wings!

That said, let's make some predictions:

Wisconsin:
Walker: 51%
Burke: 49%

Lector: Well, that's not a very bold prediction, Karlen. You're just telling us what the polls are telling us!

Dear reader, you are correct. And if I enter a March Madness bracket with you this spring, there's a pretty good bet I'll take all number one seeds in the Final Four. I've been the guy who nails all the first round upsets--12 seeds over 5 seeds all day, baby! But that's not what gets you paid. Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

I'll also predict that the GOP pulls off the attorney general race and narrowly expands the majority in the Legislature.

National:
I'm predicting the Republicans pick up an even 10 seats in the House of Representatives.

Now let's look where it's really interesting: the Senate. Just as we did when I accurately predicted the 2012 presidential election, we'll start with the RealClearPolitics.com map. As of my writing of this analysis, RCP had the Democrats likely owning 45 seats, the GOP 47, and eight toss-ups. 

Those eight seats are as follows (ranked in order of how likely I think the Republicans are to win):
  1. Louisiana*
  2. Georgia*
  3. Colorado
  4. Iowa
  5. Alaska
  6. Kansas
  7. North Carolina
  8. New Hampshire
Louisiana and Georgia are three-way races, and there will be a runoff election between the top two candidates next month--unless one of them takes home a majority (50% plus one vote) tomorrow. I'll predict both of these races go to a runoff, with the GOP picking up both seats.

If my estimation is correct, we will be able to draw a horizontal line somewhere on this list, and everything about will go red; everything below will go blue. 

Looking at the data, I'm inclined to draw that line right around Alaska--possibly above it, but probably below it. But it's also true that states considered tossups usually don't split evenly as we might guess. One party usually takes home 70-80% of the tossup seats. I knew this in 2012, but I still hedged my bets and predicted that Romney would carry the swing states of Colorado and Virginia in 2012. In reality, he carried neither while also losing Florida in a total blowout.

I'm not playing it safe again. That means that either the Democrats sandbag their losses, take a majority of the tossups and save their Senate majority or the GOP heads into 2015 with a stronger-than-expected majority. Which way do we go?

Well, given how unpopular the president is, I really have a hard time seeing his party carry red states like Louisiana, Georgia or Alaska. While I'm reluctant to believe in the GOP in states like Colorado and Iowa, which have been trending blue, the polls have consistently shown the Republican in the lead.

At the same time, over the last decade, the Republicans have struggled to perform at the levels polling would indicate. I mentioned that the tossup states tend to fall overwhelmingly to one party or another. Well, the Cook Political Report has a chart out that shows the the tossups have gone to the Democrats overwhelmingly each of the last four elections--including the 2010 GOP landslide!

So which way do we go? Ultimately, I believe the Republicans have shown enough strength in the polls, that I'm going to predict the GOP wins Louisiana, Georgia, Colorado, Iowa, Alaska and Kansas for a 53 seat majority in the next Congress.

We'll check back in Wednesday morning to see how it all shook out. 


2 comments:

  1. "Every time an incumbent loses, an angel gets his wings!" ROFLOL!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't believe the wishful thinking of the media that Brownback and Roberts will lose in Kansas. They polled in the only 2 liberal-leaning counties in the state.
    Kansas will safely stay Republican

    ReplyDelete

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