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Morning Jay: Special “Good Vibrations” Edition

6:30 AM, Oct 29, 2010 • By JAY COST
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November 2nd is going to be a great day for Republicans. You can feel the good vibrations coming through strong now.

1. Consider the Race Rankers.  Larry Sabato says it’s bigger than 1994.

Even at this late date, we see no need to do anything but tweak the total R gains, based on more complete information now available to all. Thus, we are raising the total to +55 net R seats. We consider 47 to be in the ballpark still, but more of a floor than a ceiling. In fact, if you’ll go back to our pre-Labor Day analysis, that’s exactly what we suggested +47 would end up being.

Nate Silver also says the GOP will win more seats than it did in 1994.  He offers up a last ditch defense for Dems: a variant of the “They didn’t poll me!” argument, first offered by the fans of AuH2O. 

The model’s best guess is that the new Congress will be composed of 203 Democrats and 232 Republicans: a net gain of 53 seats for the G.O.P.

In addition, Democratic odds of retaining the House dropped to 17 percent from 20 percent; their chances of doing so essentially boil down to there being systemic errors in the polling and the other indicators that the model uses, as it is likely too late for them to alter the fundamentals of the electoral landscape.

Charlie Cook says that the storm is a comin’.

The Cook Political Report's pre-election House outlook is a Democratic net loss of 48 to 60 seats, with higher losses possible. A turnover of just 39 seats would tip majority status into Republican hands. The midterm maelstrom pulling House Democrats under shows no signs of abating, if anything it has intensified.

2. Consider the polls. I’ve discussed the generic ballot at length on this page, and will offer some final thoughts on it next week.  But consider another set of polls – district polls.  Cook notes:

Over a quarter of the entire 255-member House Democratic caucus have trailed GOP opponents in at least one public or private survey, and nearly half have tested under 50 percent of the vote in at least one poll.

Veteran analysts have suggested that 2010 is unlike anything they have seen before because there are just so many seats on the table for Republicans. 

3. Consider the MapIn how many statewide races in the Midwest, Mountain West, or South do the Democrats have the edge?  Just 4 out of 48 contests.  These are: the governors' races in Arkansas, Colorado, and Minnesota, and the Senate race in West Virginia.  However, in Colorado and Minnesota, if the Democrats win, it will be with less than 50% of the vote. Meanwhile, in West Virginia, Democrat Joe Manchin has a slight edge, but he’s running campaign ads in which he literally shoots the cap-and-trade bill

4. Consider The Democrats' Epic Collapse in the Ohio Senate Race.  Around Memorial Day of this year, Charlie Cook called the Ohio Senate race a toss-up.  And why not?  Ohio has long been the swingiest of swing states, and the Republicans were set to nominate Rob Portman, President George W. Bush’s director of Office of Management and Budget.  Five months later, and where are we?  Not only is the Democratic nominee, Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, not going to win – he’s not even trying anymore

Although he insists he is soldiering on through Election Day, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Lee Fisher essentially drained his campaign treasury yesterday by giving $100,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party.

Fisher, campaigning in Columbus last night, told The Dispatch he made the move because "I believe it's important to focus on the ground game. A good ground game helps everyone, including me." …

Sen. Sherrod Brown essentially said Fisher was throwing in the towel.

"Running against Karl Rove's Rolodex and fundraising machine, and running short of cash, Lee donated his last $100,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party for its get-out-the-vote effort. That will matter not just to Lee, but to the governor, to members of Congress who are under siege, to our ability to hold onto the majority in the Ohio House of Representatives, and most importantly, to the people of Ohio for years to come," Brown said in a fundraising appeal.

5. What's the Reason?  Barack Obama's job approval is about where Clinton's was in 1994.  Actually, it is probably a tad better. So why are the Democrats in worse shape? I think a big factor is this chart from Rasmussen Reports:

For more than a year, Rasmussen has found 40% or more of "likely voters" strongly disapproving of President Obama. The latest reading is 45%. These voters are not distributed randomly across the country. They're clustered in the Midwest, Mountain West, and South, exactly where the the House, Senate, and gubernatorial races are swinging so heavily Republican. There probably has not been a president since at least Harry Truman who has managed to infuriate such a large percentage of his fellow citizens as quickly as Obama has. I'm not sure what's more ironic -- that he promised he would do the opposite, or for all his partisanship the left is only lukewarm about him.

6. All in All… We’re just a few days away from what could be the biggest Republican midterm victory in better than sixty years. The indications are all around us. So, let’s have the band that knows the most about waves groove us into this final weekend...

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