The Horse Race Posted by: Dale Franks
on Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Well, I've been looking over the House and Senate races, and while I'm not yet ready to call it two weeks out, at the moment, its looking like another 50/50 election. Keeping in mind that a lot can happen in two weeks, and realizing that polls are very tricky things, here's how the election is sorting our right now.
Let's start with the House of Representatives. The current situation looks like this:
The Democrats have a solid 196 seats, the Republicans a solid 189. This leaves 50 seats up for grabs. Of those, 14 are leaning Democrat and 21 are leaning Republican. That leaves 15 seats that go into the Tossup category. I've looked at the polling for all of 15 of those seats. Based on that analysis, assuming the current trends hold and that all the leaners fall the way they're leaning, this would be the likely election result:
Note that there is one seat still shown in gray. That would be CT-4, the Chris Shays seat. It's dead even, with no definite trend in the polling. Not that it matters. Even if it goes red, the Republicans still have a minority.
The best scenario for the Republicans to keep their majority ends up like this:
In the Senate, the current election situation make the battle for a majority an uphill battle for the Democrats.
The Democrats have 41 solid seats, compared to 47 solid seats for the Republicans. But the Democrats do have 6 leaners compared to one for the Republicans. Five seats are tossups. Looking at those five seats, though, the likely result is:
The best case scenario for the Democrats, though, still doesn't give them a majority.
For Democrats to win that 51st seat, they'd basically have to run the table on the tossups, including winning both TN and VA. That doesn't strike me as exceptionally likely.
In the meantime, I'm looking ahead to 2008, as well. In preparation for that, I've built a Windows application in .NET to count electoral votes. It's good for hours of fun to anyone using Windows, and who has the .Net Framework v1.1 installed, which should be most Windows users.
Hey, Dale, if you like, you could make that program an HREF EXE with a link on the main page. No need to even download and extract the zip if the have .NET FX 1.1 or higher. (The app runs in the Code Access Security sandbox in that scenario, which is actually safer for the client machine than downloading a zip file and running an EXE, though most people probably don’t know that.)
The ASP.NET web page can actually have some simple logic to only offer the link if someone has the .NET Framework installed, because the UserAgent string includes that information.
That looks so much like stadium seating...do new congresspersons require help finding their seats? You know, they go to an usher wearing a yellow windbreaker that says "Staff" on the back who directs them to their seat?
And are their peanut vendors in the House and Senate?
*fights the urge to make a joke about peanut vendors within Congress*
Democrats are likely to pick up Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Montana. Although the GOP has excellent candidates in Maryland and NJ, these seats are still a longshot for the GOP.
That makes the expected tally 49-48 for the Democrats with 3 pure toss-ups, Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri. If this election breaks momentum-wise in favor of the insurgent party, then the Democrats could very easily end up with 52 seats in the Senate. If money and normal patterns prevail in Mo and TN, then the GOP should probably hold on to these seats, ceteris paribus.
However, with new disclosures of additional racist actions by George Allen, the Virginia Senate seat may end up being the surprise upset in the race and could lead to a 50-50 tie in the chamber and jockeying to find moderates in both parties willing to switch.