Well, I guess it is that time when we make our best guesses about what is going to happen on Tuesday. I feel pretty good, although I am fuming about the travesty that is early voting in parts of Florida and Ohio -- the deliberate attempts to disenfranchise American voters by Republicans has been a constant and disgusting aspect of this campaign. It would be nice if once this election is over, the mainstream media focuses a bit on this truly outrageous effort. Every one looking at those lines snaking endlessly around polling places -- turning voting into some sort of endurance sport -- should feel a sense of shame at the betrayal of American democracy. Kudos to everyone who hangs in there and votes -- fighting those who would take away their voices.
With that out of the way, what to expect on Tuesday. Well those of us who have subscribed to the adage "keep calm and read Nate Silver" are feeling reasonably good.
I am predicting that Obama will win with 332 electoral votes, carrying all of the swing states except North Carolina. I have gone back and forth on Florida -- I was initially going to say 303 electoral votes -- but I have the sense that the intensity of Democratic voters generally and in that state specfically is higher than the likely voter models have predicted. We shall see. But 303 would be just fine with me as well.
Popular vote guess -- Obama 51 and Romney 48.
As to the Senate, I think that the news is also good. Shockingly good really, when one thinks about the basic mathematics of the race -- 23 Democratic seats at stake to only ten Republican -- and the fact that we are defending open seats in North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Virginia, as well as the seats of vulnerable incumbents in places like Montana and Missouri. The Republicans only needed to hold their ten and pick off four of these seven vulnerable seats and they were home free. But fortunately, Olympia Snowe retired, Elizabeth Warren decided to enter electoral politics, and Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock won primaries. As a result, I believe that we are going to pick up at least three seats -- Massachusetts, Maine (with independent Angus King), and Indiana, while losing two -- Nebraska and North Dakota (the latter still possibly winnable due to the excellent campaign of Heidi Heitkamp). I think we are going to manage to hold difficult seats in Missouri, Virginia, Wisconsin, Montana, and New Mexico.
I also feel like we have a shot at a surprise pick up in Nevada. I think that Obama is going to run stronger in Nevada than the polls have shown to date, just as Reid did in 2010. As a result I think Shelley Berkley has a decent chance of knocking off Dean Heller. There are enough variables here that we could actually have a gain of 2-3 Democratic seats, which would be an unbelievable result. Right now I am betting on an end result with the Democrats holding 54 seats.
As to the House, I really have no clue. I think the Dems will gain, but I have no feel for the magnitude of such a gain, other than it seems unlikely to yield a majority. Let's say a net gain of 12 seats, leaving the Republicans with 230 and the Dems with 205. If the other things I've predicted above happen, we can live with the disappointment.
Please join in and give me your thoughts.
And read this by all means -- it made me laugh my ass off.