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Monday, November 1, 2010

2010 Mid Term Election Forecast

George Wenschhof

Only one day remains until the 2010 mid term elections and the one thing analysts agree on is that voters across America are angry. When this anger is displayed in the vote, it will not be a good thing for many Democratic candidates across the country.

On the national front, the House is sure to become a Republican majority and the Senate, after all is said and done, will remain a Democratic majority, but by a slim margin.

Even with 90 of the 435 House seats still too close to call, Republicans will gain the 39 seats they need to reach a majority. Gleeful Republicans are predicting gains in excess of 60.

However, I see the Republican net gain being 47 seats with the new breakdown in the House being Republicans with 226 and Democrats with 209.

Republicans could gain fewer seats if the Democratic get out the vote effort is successful. But, do not look to see Democrats maintain a majority in the House. There are too many indicators going against Democratic candidates, including the record number of close races. There wouldn't be so many close races if voters were happy with the current Democratic controlled House.

In Maryland, the first district race between incumbent and first term Democrat Frank Kratovil and Republican Andrew Harris is one of the too close to call contests. Unfortunately, for Kratovil, the latest poll had the candidates tied at 40% with 14% undecided. A 14% undecided rate a week before the election and polling at no higher than 40% is not good news for Kratovil.

In a solid blue state, Democrats will win 6 of the remaining 7 House seats, losing the 6th district race to long term incumbent Republican Roscoe Bartlett.

Representative Steny Hoyer, currently House Majority Leader is in line for and will most likely become House Minority Leader.

The new Republican leadership will be John Boehner (Ohio) as House Speaker, Eric Cantor (W.V.) as House Majority Leader, with Mike Pence (Ind.) and Kevin McCarthy (Calf.) in leadership positions.

Republicans will also gain seats in the Senate. But, they will fall short of the net gain of 10 seats to win a majority. Look to see Democrats end up with 52 seats ( 2 of which are Independents who caucus with Democrats) and Republicans to have 48 seats ( 1 of which will be an Independent).

There remains close to 10-11 races where the outcome is still somewhat undecided. In those contests, look to see the following outcome take place:

Connecticut - Blumenthal (D) easily beats McMahon (R)
Pennsylvania - Toomey (R) beat Sestak (D) by no more than 3 points.
West Virginia - Manchin (D) beat Raese (R) by 5 points.
Kentucky - Paul (R) beats Conway (D) easily
Wisconsin - Johnson (R) beat Feingold (D) by no more than 3-4 points.
Illinois - Giannoulias (D) beat Kirk (R) in a squeaker.
Colorado - Buck (R) beat Benett (D) by no more than 2-3 points.
Alaska - Murkowski (I) wins as a write in - caucuses with Republicans
Nevada - Angle (R) beats Reid (D) by less than 2 points.
Washington - Murry (D) beats Rossi (R) in a very, very close one.
California - Boxer (D) beats Fiorina (R) by 5 points.

Whether or not, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wins the Nevada senate race against Republican Sharron Angle, look to see him lose the leadership position. The battle will be between Richard Durbin (Ill.) and Charles Schumer (NY) to be the new Senate Majority Leader.

Republican gains in the House and Senate will be substantial. Yet, the celebration will be short lived if reasonable representation does not result and the bleak economy does not improve.

Gains from the far left in 2006 and 2008, followed by gains from the far right in 2010 will likely turn many voters in the 2012 election toward more centrist oriented candidates who will promise cooperation and consensus building.

Look to see a resurgence in power in the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), first formed during the Clinton administration.

The good news for Democrats is the Republican leadership led by Senator Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Representative John Boehner (Ohio) is very weak. Unfortunately, this will translate into bad news for Americans as their weak leadership and obstructionist ways will result in continued gridlock in Congress.

Stay Tuned...


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