The midterm elections are upon us a week from tomorrow, so it is time for predictions. Predictions are harder than normal this year because we are dealing with an unprecedented situation in modern American politics. Never before have the Republicans been so far ahead on almost every generic Congressional ballot, and never have they enjoyed such a large enthusiasm gap between their voters and voters who intend to vote for Democrats. Additionally, never before have the Republicans fielded so many well-funded candidates in traditional Democrat strongholds. This is political terra incognita. Almost all serious political analysts believe that the GOP will take more than the 39 seats necessary to take the House, with some of the chief prognosticators making the following predictions: Larry Sabato (47), RCP (”up to 57″), Charlie Cook (52), Jay Cost (61), and Nate Silver (51).
The Republican supporting Club for Growth has a list here of the 116 Democrat seats that are in play as of now, and current ratings as to the likelihood of the GOP taking them. The number of Democrat seats in competitive races expands each day with new polling information trickling in from Congressional districts.
From everything I’ve seen, and unless something radical occurs in the next week to turn the election on its head, I think the GOP will gain approximately 82 seats. I believe that many Democrats in supposedly safe seats are actually in trouble, but most House races have very little polling. What polling has gone on in supposedly safe Democrat areas have often revealed shockingly close races. Many of these Democrats have never had to run against serious Republican candidates before, and I think surprise victories in these “safe” seats will be in the range of 20-25 seats. The Republicans will gain back virtually all of the 50 seats that they lost to the Democrats in 2006 and 2008, and Republicans will pick up many seats left vacant by Democratic retirements. I expect GOP losses to be no more than 3.
In regard to the Senate I expect the GOP to gain at least 11 seats and take control of the Senate. These Senate seats will be Indiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, Nevada, West Virginia, Arkansas and Washington.
As to Governor races, I believe the GOP will pick up 8 state houses and control 32 governorships as redistricting occurs.
Those are my predictions; what are yours? We will go over all predictions, especially mine, in excruciating detail after the election!