11 Days To Go
I'm making predictions on the exact number of seats I think we'll pick up as well as a standard deviation estimate for those of you that want a more nuanced version. Remember math scholars, there's a 68% (~2/3) chance the actual results will fall within one S.D. and a 95% chance the results will fall within two S.D.'s.
Needed For Democratic Takeover: +6
My Prediction: +5
(OH, PA, MT, RI, and MO)
Standard Deviation: +/-1
One Standard Deviation (4 to 6 seats)
-1: Lose Missouri or New Jersey
+1: Win Virginia or Tennessee
Two Standard Deviations (3 to 7 seats)
-2: Lose Missouri and New Jersey
+2: Win Virginia and Tennessee
Ohio (Brown (Dem) over DeWine), Pennsylvania (Casey (Dem) over Santorum), Montana (Tester (Dem) over Burns), and, of course, Rhode Island (Whitehouse (Dem) over Chafee) gives us 4 of the 6 seats we need.
Assuming we hold New Jersey (Menendez (Dem) over Kean, Jr), we would have to win 2 of the following 3 states to take the senate: Missouri (McCaskill (Dem) v. Talent), Tennessee (Ford (Dem) v. Corker), and Virginia (Webb (Dem) v. Allen). The Michael J. Fox/Rush Limbaugh feud should push McCaskill over the top in Missouri. That's five.
The Webb/Allen and Ford/Corker race won't be determined by Iraq, Katrina, Health Care, Bush, Foley or any other "major issue." These are referendums on race in America. Can Allen get away with "Macaca" and allegedly sticking a decapitated deer's head in a black family's mailbox? Can Ford survive the jungle music and "has sex with white women" ads run against him? I think the answers are yes to Allen and no to Ford.
Prove me wrong White America. Prove me wrong.
Needed For Democratic Takeover: +15
My Prediction: +21
Abbreviations are state and district number (i.e. Patrick Kennedy is RI-01)
(AZ-08, CO-07, CT-02, CT-04, FL-16, IN-02, IN-08, IN-09, KS-02, NC-11, NM-01, NY-24, NY-29, OH-15, OH-18, PA-06, PA-07, PA-10, TX-22, WA-08 and WI-08 are Dem pickups. No Republican pickups.)
Standard Deviation: +/-4
One Standard Deviation (17 to 25 seats)Alright this is where I make my money, here we go:
-4: All of the above minus KS-02, OH-18, WA-08, and IN-09
+4: All of the above plus OH-01, OH-02, NY-26, FL-22
Two Standard Deviations (13 to 29 seats)
-8: All of the above minus KS-02, OH-18, WA-08, IN-09, CT-04, PA-10, FL-16, and PA-06
+8: All of the above plus OH-01, OH-02, NY-26, FL-22, KY-04, IL-06, VA-02, and NH-02
I won't go through all of these races but here are a few to watch.
Arizona-08: As I detailed previously, the crazy Republican won his primary so this one is essentially a freebie.
Colorado-07: This is the seat where Republican Radical Rick is running. He wants to mandate that high school kids control the border and called Social Security un-American.
Florida-16: This is Mark Foley's former seat. Though he's (obviously) not running again, his name must remain on the ballot. That means his Republican replacement (Joe Negron) has to get people to vote for Foley on the ballot to vote for him. Freebie #2.
Ohio-15: At a 17 Thayer St. party a girl came up to me and said her mom was running for Congress. Her mom is Mary Jo Kilroy, the Democratic challenger. Her mom's gonna get elected.
Penn-07: The FBI just raided the Republican incumbent (Curt Weldon)'s house. This is also the guy that wanted to take a secret trip to Iraq to find the weapons of mass destruction.
Penn-10: The Republican incumbent (Don Sherwood) actually had to run a campaign commercial apologizing for cheating on his wife but denying that he choked his mistress.
Texas-22: Tom DeLay's old seat. DeLay's name can't be replaced on the ballot so the Republicans will have to write in their candidate. If the name was Dan Smith, that would be hard. The name is Shelley Sekula Gibbs. Freebie #3.
So basically, we may not be the Harlem Globetrotters but we're running against the Washington Generals.