Monday, November 3, 2014

National Pulse Index - the Final Chapter, Plus Predictions

For an explanation of this, click here.

The mood of the electorate shifted decidedly towards the GOP over the last week, with the caveat that Democrats had a slight parry at the end. Overall, there was a 81-point move in the GOP's favor since October 25th. That's a big move. Since Labor Day, it's been a 248-point move, a clear sign of a shifting national mood.

Stepping back, tomorrow's election is a home run for political junkies. I mean that in a non-partisan way. There are just so many close races at every level. We all know how close many of the senate races are: currently, there are eleven seats within 5 points. Unless there is systematic polling error favoring Republicans (i.e. the turnout models that pollsters use make poor assumptions about relative GOP/Democrat turnout), it's hard to see that they won't win the Senate.

My take:

Montana, Colorado, Arkansas, West Virginia, and South Dakota are over. That's five out of a needed six pickups.

Alaska, Iowa, and Louisiana are all but in the bag. Louisiana will require a runoff. that's eight.

North Carolina and New Hampshire are jump balls. My hunch is that it's a split. That's nine.

Georgia is looking like a hold, although will possibly require a runoff as well.

Kansas is a potential loss with incumbent Pat Roberts, a creature of the DC establishment, a hair behind, but catching up fast. I was going to predict a Roberts loss until his opponent, Greg Orman, said some stupid things about Kansas icon Bob Dole two days ago. Narrow hold.

My prediction: the GOP picks up 9 seats. Sounds high, I know, but it only requires the most modest nudge from current polling.

My prediction for the House is a GOP pickup of 11 seats.

But how about those gubernatorial races? There are fourteen races within five points. Of particular interest are Wisconsin and Kansas. In Wisconsin the labor-left is having yet another go at Scott Walker, who, if he loses, will not only be out of a job but won't have a shot at the presidency, either. Walker is a slight favorite to hang on.

In Kansas, Sam Brownback pushed through some significant tax cuts to catch up with more competitive neighboring states. The left wants him punished so no other governors will be tempted. Brownback is a slight underdog.

My prediction: Democrats pick up one Governor's seat.

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