Monday, November 1, 2010

Can we party like it’s 1773 yet?

image Um, no.  Vote first please, and if you have the opportunity, please take someone to the polls with you so that they can vote, too.  And call a few folks that you aren’t sure about and ask them to go vote, too.  Then, if the numbers shake out like they’re projected to, you can start to boogie at about 7:00 pm tomorrow night.

Gallup’s final look at the generic Congressional ballot shows an “unprecedented” gap in enthusiasm.  Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight notes that damned near every polling outfit—even the ones that don’t like showing a lean to the GOP—are showing a strong lean towards the GOP.

From Gallup:

It should be noted, however, that this year's 15-point gap in favor of the Republican candidates among likely voters is unprecedented in Gallup polling and could result in the largest Republican margin in House voting in several generations. This means that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory, in which past relationships between the national two-party vote and the number of seats won may not be maintained.

Additionally, efforts by state legislatures in recent years have attempted to insulate incumbent members of Congress from strong partisan tides such as are in force this year. Congressional district lines have been drawn to make them safe for specific parties, which may reduce the impact of national trends on election outcomes.

From Nate Silver:

Fox News, whose models haven’t had a Republican lean in the past but have something of one this year, has Republicans up 13. CNN has them up 10. Rasmussen, up 9. YouGov, plus 8.

The CBS/New York Times poll has them up 6, as does the survey from Pew Research, as does an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that asks voters which party they’d prefer to see control Congress (not technically a generic ballot poll, but the questions usually produce similar results.)

Nevertheless, if a simple formula and a complex one tell you the same thing — yeah, Tuesday’s probably going to be a really good night for Republicans, but we really don’t have a very good idea of exactly how good — it’s probably time to embrace that conclusion. This is a really strange election, or at least one that pollsters are having an awfully difficult time getting a handle on. To claim you can predict Republican gains within a range of 5 or 10 seats isn’t science — it’s superstition.

When it comes to the science of forecasting elections, pay attention to Silver.  The dude works for the worst of the worstly biased media outlets in the history of modern journalism, but he sticks to the numbers and the numbers give the Democrats about a one-in-six chance of holding power in the House.

In the Hot Air Green Room, Patrick Ishmael has a seat-by-seat cheat sheet that you can print and use to keep up with how far the wave washes inland. 

But please, make sure you vote before you start to party, Ok?  And make sure everyone around you votes, and have them make sure everyone around them votes, too. 


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