Voting Time — What to Watch

November 2nd, 2010 by Lee Eldridge

I am ready for today to be over, mostly so I don’t have to watch all the stupid political commercials. For political junkies, here are a few things to watch for tonight.

Voter enthusiasm will dictate what happens tonight. I’m going to mention Dick Morris a few times in this post. He was the first person I saw who predicted significant gains by the Republicans. Keep in mind that Morris is backing the Republicans, and has been a loud opponent to the left’s agenda in Washington. But Morris understands the polls well. He’s been pointing out that the pollsters are using the wrong model to predict “likely voters”. He has said that if you see a Republican candidate up by three points in the polls, they’re probably really up by six or seven.

Is Morris right? We’ll know tonight. None of the polls have been predicting the types of numbers that Morris has been predicting. Until yesterday. Gallup came out with their updated results for what is typically called the “Generic Ballot”, and they now show the Republicans with a 15 point advantage. And Rasmussen Reports have the Republicans with a 12 point advantage in their Generic Congressional Ballot. These are unprecedented numbers, and much larger than the numbers prior to the 1994 midterm election when Republicans took control of the House and the Senate for the first time in many years.

The House
So what does this mean? Pollsters and pundits have been predicting that the Republicans will take control of the House and are likely to pickup 40 seats. Maybe 50 seats if everything goes their way. Morris has been predicting that the Republicans will pickup 60-80 seats, and more is possible. But as I said, he’s really been the lone wolf with his predictions until yesterday.

Here’s what Gallup had to say yesterday about this margin and how it affects the House face:

Taking Gallup’s final survey’s margin of error into account, the historical model predicts that the Republicans could gain anywhere from 60 seats on up, with gains well beyond that possible. It should be noted, however, that this year’s 15-point gap in favor of the Republican candidates among likely voters is unprecedented in Gallup polling and could result in the largest Republican margin in House voting in several generations. This means that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory, in which past relationships between the national two-party vote and the number of seats won may not be maintained.

The Senate
The common thought about the Senate is that the Republicans will pickup a half dozen or so seats, but not enough to control the Senate. Remember that the Republicans need 51 seats to control the Senate, where the Democrats only need 50 seats with Vice President Biden added to the mix. Rasmussen currently shows seven seats in play.

Right now I’ve got the Republicans at 49, and the Democrats at 48 (including independents who caucus with the Democrats), with three elections that will determine the balance of power in Congress. The key elections to watch tonight are Washington (Murray and Rossi are in a virtual dead heat), California (Boxer is up by about 3 over Fiorina) and West Virginia (Manchin is up by about 4 over Raese). It could easily end up 50-50.

If Morris is right and there’s a huge Republican tsunami tonight, then it’s possible that a couple more seats could come into play. Morris still holds out hope that Connecticut and Delaware could turn Republican. I don’t see it.

The Democrats’ Response
For months the Democrats have belittled the opposition. The President has referred to the opposition as their “enemies”. Democrats have called the voters fearful, uninformed, misinformed and misled. Some on the left have gone so far as to label the opposition as stupid and racists. Their conclusion is that no reasonable voter could oppose their vision for our country.

What have they accomplished? All they’ve done is galvanize the opposition.

Do you remember what ABC’s Peter Jennings said following the 1994 midterm elections?

Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It’s clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It’s the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week….Parenting and governing don’t have to be dirty words: the nation can’t be run by an angry two-year-old.

The response from Democrats will be telling. And it may take weeks or even months for it to completely unfold. I expect many on the left to explain this as ONLY about the economy and jobs. Some may even believe it.


Comments are closed.