A couple weeks back, an East San Diego County school board candidate asked for my prediction on the upcoming midterm elections. My guess then: GOP +55 House, GOP +8 Senate.
Now, that’s going against the historic grain for one reason: In the past century or so, every time control of the House has flipped, the Senate has flipped too. But with such a large deficit to overcome – Republicans need 10 seats to take control – a Senate takeover appears difficult.
I’ve read on various sites that if the entire Senate were up for re-election this year, that prognosticators believe that Republicans would easily get a filibuster-proof 60 seats and might have an outside chance at a veto-proof 67.
So, as we’ve gotten closer to the election, I’m starting to think that my 55-seat pickup in the House might be a little too conservative, and the GOP might get the Senate too despite the short-sighted decision of Delaware voters to spurn a sure thing that would vote the right way 52 percent of the time (Mike Castle) for a long-shot that would vote with them 99 percent of the time.
I’m starting to get the feeling that the pollsters’ likely voter screen may be too strict. Many pollsters base their likely voter numbers on whether the person has voted in the past several elections. This year, you may have a bunch of angry independents who haven’t voted in the past who feel strongly that President Obama’s agenda is just too far out of the mainstream and they’ll go to the polls for the first time in years.
So, I’m going to re-assess my earlier estimate and go with this one:
House: GOP +63
Senate: GOP +10
Of course, if that Newsweek poll was right, then Democrats will retain control of both houses of Congress – and I promise to buy a copy of the magazine if that happens.