House Forecast


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Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 10:10pm

House Forecast

Depending on who you listen to, the Democrats are expected to pick up anywhere from 15 to 50 seats in the House next week.  Picking up 50 seats is highly unlikely, but the Democrats need only the 15 to regain control of the House.  MyDD has a detailed forecast of many of the House races and predicts a Democratic gain of between 21-26 seats.  That would give the Democrats a narrow majority.


 That pickup of about 21-26 seats is about where most 'experts' are in their forecast but it is far less than the number of seats that are actually in play. Stuart Rothenberg puts 55 Republican seats in play and MyDD shows 62 Republican held seats that are competitive.  Many of them are categorized as 'Lean Republican', but voter turnout could play a major role in shifting those numbers around.


Turnout in mid-term elections has always been low and this year could be even worse.  The mentality outside the beltway seems to be complete disgust with both parties.  That could depress voter turnout across the country.  The conventional wisdom is that low turnout is favorable to the Democrats.  The idea is that the Democrats are angry and angry people come out to vote. 


Getting the conservatives out to vote is another story.  The GOP is excellent at getting their voters to the polls, but with the Mark Foley scandal, the war in Iraq, Katrina, and corruption in general, many conservatives may stay home.


If conservatives do stay home, the Democrats could win in a landslide, much the way the Republicans took over the House in 1994.  All those races in the category 'Lean Republican' could swing to the Democrats if the conservatives don't come out.  Of course, I don't think that will happen, but it would be nice to see.  The more incumbents that are thrown out, the better.  If the Democrats can win the majority and get rid of their own baggage (see Kennedy, Patrick) at the same time, so much the better.


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