OK, let’s start getting into specifics of predicted outcomes this next Tuesday, this time for the Senate.
I think for the most part you can comfortably say that it has come down to 6 toss up races which will decide the final tally in the Senate. Without those 6, the split is 49/45 Democrats (Lieberman and Sanders are counted in the Dem total).
The six in question are NV, PA, IL, WA, CO and WV. 3 of them are open seats (PA, WV, IL). I say the GOP takes 2 of 3. Just as Ted Kennedy’s seat is now held by a Republican, so will Barack Obama’s old seat. I think Toomey wins handily in PA, but Manchin takes WV for the Dems. So we’re at 50/47.
In the three toss up races, all involving Democratic incumbents, I think the GOP takes 2 of 3 again, with Patty Murray winning in WA for the Dems in a close one. Angle will just nudge Reid and Buck will edge Bennet.
Final tally 51/49 Dems. +8 for the GOP
Possible surprise for GOP – Murray goes down. She’s within the margin of error in the polls and if there’s going to be a surge prior to Nov. 2nd this year, it most likely isn’t going to be for the Dems. However, we’re talking Washington state here.
Possible surprise for Dems – Giannoulias pulls off the win in IL. We are talking about IL, after all.
What wouldn’t be a particular surprise – Reid somehow coming out on top in NV, although I think Angle has done nothing to hurt herself lately and may have even sealed the deal with flowers to Joy Behar (the perfect foil at the perfect time).
Anyway, top end: GOP +8. And that’s more than I would have predicted 2 or 3 months ago.