Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Crist’

Silver’s Likely Voter Model Bad News For Dems

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Nate Silver has updated his 2010 Senate election model.

The main change from the previous model is the addition of a likely voter screen. As I noted in my previous post on Silver’s rankings, turnout will be key in this election cycle and assumptions about turnout will impact any predictions significantly.

The addition of turnout assumptions are not good news for Democrats this year.

While Silver gives the Republicans only a 12% or 16% chance of taking the Senate (depending on whether Charlie Crist caucuses with them), for the first time you can see the outlines of what a Republican takeover would look like. With the exception of the Florida race, the top 10 potential pickups are all Democratic seats, with the 9th being a tossup in Illinios and the 10th being the race in Washington state where sitting Senator Patty Murray only leads presumptive Republican nominee Dino Rossi by a half a percentage point.

Silver ranks seven seats at more than a 60% chance that Republicans will take control.

Perhaps the biggest shift for the Democrats is in Colorado, where Michael Bennet’s hopes have seemed to dim in recent weeks as Ken Buck’s primary surge has translated into general election polling success.

To be sure, it’s not all bad news for the Democrats.  As has been reported extensively here, Sharron Angle’s campaign in Nevada continues to implode and three recent polls (two of which were published after Silver’s post) have now shown Reid with a small lead. In Delaware, what seemed like an easy victory earlier this year for moderate Republican Congressman Mike Castle is now rated at a 64% chance of Republican victory.

The new model also has Ohio and Missouri right behind Washington state as potential Democratic pickups. In what will certainly dissapoint Republicans, Barbara Boxer’s chances of losing her California race is ranked just below the chance that Rand Paul will lose in Kentucky.

One projection that pops out to me is the 62% chance that  Joe Sestak will lose to Club for Growth Candidate Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. Based only on my gut, I would have given Sestak a better chance here, but as James Carville famously said years ago, Pennsylvania is basically Philadelphia and Pittsburg with Alabama in between. This always makes it hard to predict, but Democratic successes in the past few cycles have been encouraging.

Once again, all the usual caveats apply here, but the Democrats are running out of time to turn this around. Even if there’s only a 16% chance of losing control, turning the largest Senate majority since Watergate into a one or two vote margin within two years would be a tumble of epic proportions for the party.