Political election guru and handicapper Larry J. Sabato at the Crystal Ball has made his final call for the House and Senate for the 2010 midterm elections and they are as follows … Republicans will pick up +55 seats in the House and+8 seats in the Senate. Sabato also predicting a GOP pick-up of 8 to 9 Governors.
Even at this late date, we see no need to do anything but tweak the total R gains, based on more complete information now available to all. Thus, we are raising the total to +55 net R seats. We consider 47 to be in the ballpark still, but more of a floor than a ceiling. In fact, if you’ll go back to our pre-Labor Day analysis, that’s exactly what we suggested +47 would end up being.
The Crystal Ball has operated within a very narrow range all year. When others were projecting GOP Senate gains of just +3-4, we were already at +6. Depending on the primary results and other circumstances, we’ve landed between +6 and +9 in the last half-year. We have never gotten to +10, the number needed for Republican takeover of the Senate, and we do not do so in this final forecast either. To us, the number of GOP gains looks to be +8. Ten was always a stretch.
We believe the GOP will hold all its open seats (FL, KY, MO, NH, OH). This is quite an accomplishment in itself, since the early assumption was that at least a couple would switch sides. In addition, Republicans will probably pick up most of the following: AR, CO, IL, IN, NV, ND, PA, and WI. The closest appear to be CO, IL, NV, and PA. These races, especially the first three, are so tight that a strong breeze could change the result, so the GOP may well come up one or two short in this category. By the way, if Republicans do win the +8 we have projected, then they only have to unexpectedly pick off two of the following states to take control: CA, CT, WA, or WV. CT seems least likely, WA most likely–but any of the foursome would be an upset.
Sabato’s prediction would have the GOP take control of the House and Pelosi will have the gavel removed from her fingers; however, the Senate would remain in Democrat control. As reminded by Wake Up America, Sharron Angle in Nevada is starting to pull away in the polls from Harry Reid for the US Senate seat and thus the Senate will be looking for a new Majority Leader. On election eve … Pelosi will be stripped of her gavel and Reid will be retired.
We will make our predictions over the weekend; however, I believe there will be more House pickups than Sabato called.