We’re a little more than two weeks out from the election, and now is a good time to check in with electoral prognosticators to see what they think is going to happen.
1. Hotline On Call polled Beltway insiders on both sides and finds this result:
This week, Political Insiders were asked to rate on a scale of zero (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty) how likely it was that Republicans were going to take over the House and the Senate in November. The 111 Democratic Insiders who responded gave an average score of 6.7 out of 10 that Republicans would win the House. Not surprisingly, the 104 Republican Insiders who participated in the poll this week were even more bullish: their average score was 8.4 out of 10 that they would capture the House. For the Democratic Insiders, that average score of 6.7 was exactly the same as it was right after Labor Day, when the Political Insiders were asked the same question rating the GOP chances of winning the House and Senate.
2. RealClearPolitics currently sees 184 seats going to the Democrats, 211 going to the Republicans, and another 40 as toss-ups. Allocate the remaining seats evenly, and you get a GOP pickup of 52 seats.
4. Over at Pollster, Steve Lombardo predicts the Democrats will lose something between 60 and 70 seats. He writes:
During the last 14 days the White House and President Obama have gone on the attack, and their strategy is pretty simple: "Let's acknowledge the voter anger and make sure it gets funneled toward something else." Thus we have seen political attacks on just about everyone -- and everything -- out there. The problem, though, is that voters aren't angry with Karl Rove, John Boehner, the Chamber of Commerce or even the "undisclosed financing" of elections. Voters are angry about the economy and they have two devastating perceptions of this administration: voters think it is incompetent and that it has overreached over the past two years.
An even bigger problem for the White House is that voters may have already tuned the President out; virtually every possible metric used to evaluate the outcome of the midterm elections suggest a massive GOP victory. So let's just come out and say it: there is no reason to think that Republicans will do any worse than 1994 (when they picked up 54 seats) and there is plenty of data to suggest that it will, in fact, be a better year for the GOP. Our projection -- based on all current available data -- is that the GOP will gain between 60 and 70 House seats in November.
4. Larry Sabato – a professor of politics at the University of Virginia – still sees Republican pickups of 47 seats. He has offered that number since before Labor Day, and plans to “tweak” it closer to the election. He does note that, “If we were to do so today, we would expand the GOP gains by single-digits.”
5. Also at Sabato’s site, Emory University’s Alan Abramowitz develops a predictive model based upon the final Gallup generic ballot that predicts, if the current number holds, the GOP will pick up more than 68 seats.
6. Tom Davis, former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, thinks the GOP “will net 50 plus, and I think it’s more likely to go up than down.”
7. Stuart Rothenberg is on the more conservative end: “Likely Republican gain of 37-45 seats, with considerably larger gains in excess of 45 seats quite possible. “
8. Cook Political says: “For every isolated race in which a last minute scandal sinks a Republican...there are ten races in which Republicans are steadily closing in on Democratic leads...Overall, given the status of these Toss Up races and the length of the Lean Democratic column, Democrats' chances of losing at least 50 seats are now greater than their chances of holding losses under 45 seats.”
9. As for yours truly, I am still where I was a few weeks ago: the GOP slightly outperforms its 1994 haul. I called it 57 seats then, and I still think that is a reasonable number.