On the Senate side, I am now showing the Republicans maintaining a one seat lead. However two races are actually tied with a third within one point. (These are actual ties, in contrast to the mythical "statistical tie" I also posted about this morning.)
In Maryland, Michael Steele (R) is tied with Ben Cardin (D) at 47%, with only 3% undecided and 3% going to Kevin Zeese (I). Because Zeese is the nominee from all three of the Libertarian, Green and Populist parties, it is not clear whether he is siphoning off more votes from Steele or Cardin (i.e. whether a voter deciding to avoid the third-party candidate effect at the last minute would be switching to Steele or Cardin). Since I have the tie going to the incumbent party, I am showing Cardin winning.
In Missouri, James Talent (R) seems to have pulled slightly ahead of Claire McKaskell (D), but only by a point or two. This is a change from my last analysis. Note that the third-party candidate, Frank Gilmour, is a Libertarian so voters avoiding the third-party candidate effect at the last minute would be more likely to switch to Talent.
In Virginia, the lead has switched back and forth between George Allen (R) and James Webb (D). Right now, I have them listed as tied at 49%, which I show as a win for the incumbent (Allen).
It should be noted that there are 2% to 3% undecided in each of these races. Undecideds tend to lean more heavily against the incumbent (Talent and Allen, both Republicans; the Maryland seat is Paul Sarbanes (D) current seat, so Bill Cardin is of the incumbent party but is not himself the incumbent). At this point, these races are anyone's to win.
The table below shows Cardin, Talent and Allen winning, resulting in a one-seat majority by the Republicans. If the Republicans win all three, they will maintain a two-seat majority. If the Democrats win all three, the could achieve a one-seat majority. These are definitely the three races to watch right now.
Two other senate races that are still pretty close are Montana, where Jon Tester (D) leads Conrad Burns (R) by two points, and New Jersey, where Robert Menendez (D) leads Tom Kean, Jr. (R) by five points.
Finally, I should mention that I removed two seats from the in-play column, as Maria Cantwell (D) has pulled out to a 16 point lead over Mike McGavick (R) in Washington and Debbie Stabenow (D) has also pulled out to a 16 point lead over Michael Bouchard (R) in Michigan.
In the House, there have only been a few significant changes since my last posting, leaving the end result unchanged.
NY-20 was added back to the in-play column as Kirsten Gillebrand (D) pulled ahead of incumbent John Sweeney (R) by three points after allegations of spousal abuse were made against Sweeney. Sweeney was previously up by 14 points.
CA-50 was removed from the in-play column after incumbent Brian Bilbray (R) widened his lead from three points to 14 points over Francine Busby (D).
In KY-04, the incumbent Geoff Davis (R) pulled ahead of Ken Lucas (D) by six points, after being down three points previously.
In FL-22, Ron Klein (D) widened his lead over incumbent Clay Shaw (R) from two points to nine points.
There too many House races worth watching for me to give detail on each one. I will merely list the district and the current poll result from my analysis for each. My system for picking these races is simple, it represents all races that are within two points, plus the NY-20 race where the swing occurred suddenly based on new allegations. There are other races with two to five point spreads that are probably also worth keeping an eye on, and can be found in the the detailed pdf.
AZ-01 (R +2)
AZ-05 (D +2)
CA-11 (D +2)
CO-04 (R +1)
FL-13 (D +2)
IL-10 (D +2)
IN-09 (R +2)
IA-02 (R +2)
NM-01 (D +2)
NY-19 (D +2)
NY-20 (D +3)
OH-01 (D +2)
WA-08 (R tie)
The table below includes all of these closest races as shown. If the Republicans win all of these closest races, they will still only have 206 seats in the House, leaving the Democrats with 229 seats and the majority. If the Democrats win all of these, they will have 242 seats.
In the Gubernatorial races, the only significant changes have been Democrats pulling ahead in three races.
In Michigan, incumbent Jennifer Granholm (D) has increased her lead over Dick DeVos (R) from nine points to 14 points, removing it from in-play.
In Arizona, incumbent Janet Napolitano (D) has increased her lead over Len Munsil (R) from eight points to 28 points, also removing it from in-play. (Note that this may not represent a huge gain, but may merely represent a poor choice on my part of the poll I used in the previous analysis. Few pundits have expressed any belief at any point that Napolitano's seat was in play.)
In Ohio, Ted Strickland (D) increased his lead over Ken Blackwell (R) from nine points to 18 points. Note that I still keep this as in-play because I am including any seat changing parties as in-play (regardless of the lead).
Now that I've discussed the Governors races that are no longer close, here are some races to watch.
In Alaska, in spite of disbelief that this seat is in play, Sara Palin (R) is only leading Tony Knowles (D) by two points. A third-party candidate, Andrew Halcro, is polling at 12%. Although a former Republican, his independent platform may be appealing to "change voters" from both sides of the aisle. It is not clear which candidate would be helped if some of his voters switch in order to avoid the third-party candidate effect.
In Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson (R) leads Mike Beebe (D) by only three points.
In Iowa, current Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) leads current House member Jim Nussle (R) by only two points.
In Maryland, Martin O'Malley (D) leads incumbent Robert Ehrlich (R) by one point, in spite of relatively high approval ratings for an incumbent Governor.
In Minnesota, Attorney General Mike Hatch (D) leads incumbent Timothy Paulenty (R) by only one point. Momentum has been on Hatch's side, though.
In Nevada, Dina Titus (D) leads Jim Gibbons (R) by one point. Nevada's political leanings can be illustrated by noting that Jim Gibbons is disliked by approximately half of the electorate and has been accused of sexual assault, but is still running neck-and-neck.
In Oregon, incumbent Theodore Kulongowski (D) leads Ron Saxton (R) by approximately half a point.
In Wisconsin, Mark Green (R) leads incumbent James Doyle (D) also by approximately half a point. In this race, the Green Party candidate, Nelson Eisman, is polling at 4%. Voters avoiding the third-party candidate effect at the last minute would be more likely to switch to Doyle.
As with the Senate and the House tables, the summary below shows the outcomes as listed above. If the Republicans win all of these close races, they will only lose a total of two Governors' seats. If the Democrats win all of these close races, the will gain a total of ten Governors' seats.
I have mentioned the "third-party candidate effect" a number of times in this post. There have been cases where, in close races, voters who have previously indicated they will vote for a third-party switch to one of the main-line candidates. An example of such a thought process is as follows: "When the Democrat was losing by 10 points, I decided I would vote for the Green Party candidate to express my interest in the environment. Now that the Democrat actually has a chance to win, I will switch to voting for him/her."
To reiterate my methodology: As you may be able to tell, I am trying to inject as little of my own opinion into this analysis as possible. That is why I am allowing close races to switch back and forth between times I publish the list. The only place where my opinion matters is that I sometimes have to pick which of two or three polls I will include in the analysis. In such cases, I tend to favor polls that are (i) newer, (ii) by national non-partisan firms versus local organizations or partisan polling houses and/or (iii) favor the incumbent. Where there are three or more polls, I also try to exclude any outlyers.
Professor Fortnow, computer science professor at at the University of Chicago, put together these maps of the Senate and Governor races across the country. The maps are colored based on data from Tradesports.com, which essentially allows individuals to gamble on the outcome of the races by buying/selling shares of candidates. If a candidate wins, a share pays $100. If a candidate loses, a share pays $0. The price of a share, therefore, reflects the odds the market places on that candidate winning.
If I get the chance tomorrow, I will incorporate this data into my election analysis. I wish I'd learned about this earlier.
When the candidate is running against a veteran of the Iraq War who lost both legs when the Blackhawk helicopter she was flying was shot down, the endorsement tends to backfire.
That's what happened in Illinois' 6th Congressional District, where the VFW astonishingly endorsed Peter Roskam (R), who is not a veteran, passing over Tammy Duckworth (D) the double amputee mentioned above.
According to the Chicago area Daily Herald, "World War II veteran Joe Buttice of Wood Dale was unable to explain much about the endorsement other than to say Roskam 'supports a strong defense for our country but also he took care of our local veterans at the same time.'"
Apparently, the VFW had been encouraged to give the endorsement by various local Republican leaders but never spoke with at least one of the local posts (Bloomingdale), which had already endorsed Duckworth. Most surprisingly, it is unclear that the VFW did any analysis of the two candidates, since they did not contact the Duckworth campaign for a interview or to answer a questionaire — standard practice for such organizations when deciding on endorsements.
Although Roskam said "he doesn’t fear a backlash among 6th District voters over how the endorsement was arrived at," his campaign is already trying to put out the fire. One statement issued by the campaign, in response to criticisms of the VFW's process, included the line that "The Duckworth campaign DID NOT contact the VFW or seek their endorsement," as though endorsements are first-come-first-served.
Another update just to track anything that might be changing over the last few days before the election. Polling since my last update on 11/2 indicates little change in results. Mostly thermal noise as close elections fluctuate.
I am still showing the Democrats picking up the six seats they need in the Senate to take control. In the house, the Democrats pick up one fewer seat (35) than in my previous post. At the state level, Democrats are now back to picking up seven Governors' seats.
Polling since my last update on 10/26 indicates that the improvement the Republicans were seeing does not seem to be a lasting trend.
I am now showing the Democrats picking up the six seats they need in the Senate to take control, picking up 36 seats in the House, but only picking up six, instead of seven, Governor's seats. There are still plenty of close elections, though, so at the margin I expect these numbers to change before this is all finished on election eve.
I find it impossible, however, to see how the Republicans might maintain control of the House. We're so close to election day that it's hard to believe there could be an event that could change public opinion that much that quickly. Also, I am relying on polls from a variety of polling agencies in the House races, and many of the key races have polls from more than one agency. It is impossible for me to believe that enough of these polls are wrong such that the Republicans would maintain control.
The only questions left at this point are
How much of a majority will the Democrats have in the House?
Will the Democrats take control of the Senate?
How many Governors' seats will the Democrats pick up?
As usual, there is more detail in the continuation and the PDF is here. For those who have not checked out the PDF yet, it is a spreadsheet laying out all of the Senate races, all of the Governors races, all of the in-play House races and all of the open seat House races. Information for each race includes current incumbent, candidates, polls (where available) and short comments (where I know something about the race).
It's time for an update to my 2006 Midterm Election forecast.
Based on recent polling, I am now showing that the Republicans will retain a one-seat lead in the Senate, picking up four seats, versus 50/50 in my October 18th analysis. In the House, the projected Democratic majority has declined from 235/200 to 230/205. Finally, I am now showing that the Democrats will pick up seven Governor's seats, versus six in my previous analysis (Iowa is a virtual tie so is switching back and forth).
Despite these changes, polling still shows significantly eroded support for the Republican Party. I speculate that the improvements to the Republican numbers represents the confluence of a few different effects:
Effect of the Foley scandal is wearing off a little bit.
Republican ad spending seems to have spiked faster than Democratic ad spending (anecdotally).
Economy improving and gas prices falling.
Random fluctuations in the polling of close races.
I have included detailed discussion in the continuation. As usual, the PDF is here.
Well, I have certainly neglected my blog for quite some time. Fortunately, I kept my previous 2006 Midterm Election analysis up to date. The following tables summarize my projections, largely based on current polling. Perhaps more interesting, detailed schedules are available here in pdf form. These schedules provide lists of races, candidates, some comments and whatever poll I used for all Senate and Gubernatorial races. For House races, I also included the 2004 election results, but I only show the races that are close or those where the seat is open.
As promised, I have finished a table of the gubernatorial races in 2006. I have also made some minor updates to the Senate and House detailed schedules. Just to keep everything in one place, here's what I currently have.
I've had a really hard time finding a concise summary of the 2006 U.S. House and Senate races. There has been a lot of discussion that the House is in play, but not the Senate. But I have not been able to find concise tables that show the key races and current status of those races.
There are various places that provide text summaries of individual races, but I was really interested in seeing a summary in tabular form that would show the close races, current polling, etc.
Since I could not find such tables, I put them together myself.
I intend to do the same type of table for the various Governor races, but thought I'd get these up on the site since they are done.
Note on formats: Unfortunately, I built the tables in Excel and I could not find a way to translate them into HTML in a way that would work well on a webpage. There are multiple problems with posting them as HTML: (i) some formatting did not transfer into HTML, (ii) the tables are very wide and (iii) I could translate them once into HTML, but it would be time consuming so future updates would be more difficult. Because of this, all the tables I am posting are being posted as pictures and PDFs. The summary tables are being posted as in-line pictures and the detail tables as PDFs. The PDFs are not too big, so they should download OK over dial-up, but it would have been nice for readers not to have to open separate windows. (If anyone has suggestions of how I can do this better, I'm all ears.)
Update: Note that my projection process is very basic. I am not particularly applying my own opinion to the races. The projections are based on current polling, where available. Where polls are unavailable, I am assuming that, because of the current political environment, Republicans lose 4% and Democrats gain 4% compared to the 2004 results. This assumption only changes the outcome of a few races. Also, I only had to use this assumption for House races, since I found polling data for all Senate races considered in play. I will update these tables periodically as polling data comes in.
Update 2: Please weigh in with any comments. Also, if anyone wants a copy of the actual Excel files, I'd probably be willing to provide them, depending on what they intend to use them for. I also have tables listing all the Senators and Representatives, their districts, and party affiliations. I I could not find this data available in table format anywhere online (or at least not a format easily copied into Excel), and would be happy to provide these tables to anyone for any use. I have not posted an e-mail address on my site, so leave a comment if you want any of the files. I read all comments.