How The Midterms Look From Here

Posted by | October 22, 2010 14:49 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

With a week and a half to go, let’s take another look at the races for Senate, House, and state houses.  In the Senate, Nate Silver cautions us not to read too much into recent polling:

In many or most cases, however, rumors of a candidate’s demise — or comeback — may be greatly exaggerated, given how little time there remains to make up even fairly small polling deficits.

Thus don’t put too much wait into recent polls showing comebacks by Republicans Fiorina (CA), and Rossi (WA) or Democrat Feingold (WI). The one state where multiple polls have shown a comeback is Pennsylvania, where Democrat Joe Sestak has clearly made up some ground on Republican Pat Toomey.  I now think the most likely outcome is 53 Democrats in the next Senate.

On the House side, Silver estimates GOP chances of a takeover as 3 in 4.  I think this is a bit high but in any case it is above 50%.  If the Republicans do get a majority, expect it to be by a few seats.

In the gubernatorial races, there has been tightening in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  However following Silver’s guidance above, I don’t really believe the tightening in Pennsylvania, while I do think the Ohio race is close because it has shown itself to be tight in numerous polls.  Jerry Brown has an edge in California and Florida is still too close to call.  In general, I still expect an unpleasant day for Democrats in the state races.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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