Okay, I skipped the official NLT election forecast, waiting to see whether a late GOP surge was picked up in the polls over that last week as it was in 2002. There appears to be a slight GOP tide, but with few exceptions it hasn’t put many GOP candidates over 50% in the rolling average polls. But in 2002, there were many victorious Republicans (esp. Allard in Colorado) who were shown trailing badly, but still won.
Here with my tip sheet for handicapping the election, in the fashion of the World Series position-by-position matchups:
To continue the baseball metaphor, if good pitching beats good hitting, the Republican turnout machine and realignment advantages (good pitching) will equalize the Dems’ big hitter (issue) lineup. So herewith my WAGs ( wild-ass guesses) on the outcome:
18 seat Dem pickup in the House, and thereby narrow control. Bellweather district: As always, Anne Northup in Kentucky, where the polls close early. I lived in that district for a year, and it is the quintessential swing district. She’s won several tough races by decent margins (about 54%), and is a target this year. If she loses, then count on a bad night for Republicans. If she holds on (as I expect), then Republican loses will be modest.
Senate stays Republican 52-46-2. I expect some surprise upsets on both sides. I think Webb will beat Allen (and then torment Senate Democrats and the Kossacks much more than Lieberman). I think Steele will win in Maryland. One long shot that is looking longer is Bouchard in Michigan, but that might still surprise everyone. I think Chaffee and/or Burns will hang on, while DeWine and Santorum will lose. Kean might beat Menendez in NJ. Corker will pop his champaigne corks early in the evening in TN. The Missouri election won’t be decided for several days or weeks: expect a Florida 2000-style mess there.