Gallup’s most recent poll on generic reelection prospects for Congress shows a mild tightening from the record negative responses two weeks ago. But it’s still way above levels seen in 1994.
And, Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight model is showing first time ever chances of Republicans taking 50+ seats.
Republican chances of taking over the House are now up to 80 percent, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast model; they had been 75 percent two days ago.
In an average simulation, the model projected that the Republicans will control 230 seats when the new Congress convenes in January; that would reflect a 51-seat gain from their current standing and would be close to the 54-seat gain that they achieved in 1994. This is the first time we have published a forecast putting the Republican over-under line at a number higher than 50 seats.
I’ve been following Silver’s modeling for a while now, and it’s a pretty impressive brute force use of statistics to forecast election results. My own guesstimate is that the GOP takes 63 seats, and that’s based on an old rule of thumb: In a wave election, two-thirds of the seats in play fall to the challenging party. If there really are 90-100 seats in play, then 63 seats is well within reach.
I suspect that polls will tighten a bit in the coming days, but by this time next weekend, we’ll be back to the numbers we’re seeing now.
In another troubling prediction for Democrats: Silver shows Sharron Angle has a two-in-three shot of taking out Harry Reid in Nevada. With Pelosi sure to be out as Speaker and Reid fading in Nevada, two of the Triumvirate will be gone in January.