Monday, November 06, 2006

Predictions - House

We here at The Nattering Nabob have run the data through our super-duper Predictatron 3000 and can absolutely declare the winners of tomorrow’s elections. Well, we could if we had a Predictatron 3000, or if the data had the kind of consistency that wouldn’t cause the Predictatron, a nooriously fussy piece of software, to give us “insufficient data”, “user error” and the dreaded and bewildering “page fault” messages.
So I’m left with my own feeble brain, a pen, and the electronic wizardry of MS Calculator to come up with my predictions. Here goes nothing:

House of Representatives

This has been made more confusing by a string of generic polls which either have the Democrats 13 ahead (Fox), 15 ahead (Time), 16 ahead (Newsweek), 20(!) ahead (CNN) or 7 ahead (Gallup), 6 ahead (Washington Post), or 4 ahead (Pew) Good luck interpreting those babies. Some of the problems may be in the likely voter models. If you just look at registered voters in the Pew/WP polls, the shift is not so great, maybe 3 points. I am perceiving a late surge to the GOP in both the House and Senate races of about two or three points. How many seats this might change is hard to estimate. On the plus side, Bush is still campaigning in Nebraska and Kansas, hardly the kind of marginal places you would expect if things were still in doubt. Of course, those events were planned a week ago, when the landscape may have looked very different. The individual House polls I’ve seen have, for the most part, looked good for the GOP. Still there are oddities out there which are scary for the GOP. Examples: Clay Shaw in Florida is down 9 in the latest Zogby poll, which backs up the two previous polls showing Klein ahead by smaller margins. In NY-20, John Sweeney, who won with 66% of the vote in 2004, is trailing Kirsten Gillibrand. Sweeney has been denying newspaper accounts of police reports of domestic abuse last December. “The reports say Gayle Sweeney told a trooper that her husband grabbed her by the neck and pushed her around. It goes on to say the Congressman had visible scratches on his face. No criminal charges were filed.” Not how you want to spend the last week of a campaign. In a juicy bit of electoral irony, Gillibrand is a lawyer specializing in...domestic abuse cases.
All in all, I’m going to stick with my estimate of 225, +/- 3 for the new Democratic House. I don’t think the GOP can win this and if the surge is not enough, this could still end up well into the 230’s. I’ll be conservative here and be thrilled if I’m low.


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