Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Post US election thoughts

Well folks, it is going to be a loooooong election night this year, even longer than 2000.

The results in Virginia are very close and under state law, a recount is guaranteed for races closer than 1% if requested. Incumbent Senator George Allen was on TV last night saying he would be requesting a recount. Just FYI, there was a recount in Virigina last year for the race for Attorney General. There were fewer votes cast in that race than in this one and it took until December 22 to complete the recount. So it looks like control of the Senate will be a very nice Christmas present from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the question is whether or not the Republicans or the Democrats will be the recpients.

That is unless the Republicans hold Montana. The Democratic candidate leads there but it is just as close as in Virginia. It is a much smaller state (about 400,000 votes cast as opposed to about 2.5 million) so presumably a recount would be easier. I am not aware, however, what the recount rules are in Big Sky Country.

So for my Senate predicitions, I was pretty close to on the mark. The only state I've missed so far is Rhode Island which I predicted would go Republican but instead it went for the Democrat by a margin of 53-47.

If the Democrats carry both of Virginia and Montana, I will have predicted all but one race right, if they carry one of them, I will have had the total Senate numbers right but will have missed two races.


Over in the House of Representatives, there was no surprise to see a Democratic victory however, my prediction of a minimum gain of 35 seats seems unlikely, though possible. The Democrats currently have a gain of 27 seats, with 14 up in the air. If those seats split 50-50 for the Democrats, then I will miss my target by 1.

UPDATE

So we are now down to 11 races up in the air, with the Democrats still having an gain of 27. One of these races is actually decided in terms of party affiliation.

In Louisiana, they have "open primaries", where anyone who wants to run, runs and then if no one gets 50%+ on election day, they have a runoff election with the top two finishers. In LA's 2nd district, the top two finishers are Democrats so this seat will be in Democratic hands. So we are at +28.

In Texas, the courts ruled a number of boundaries as illegal late in the election cycle. As a result, the court ordered open primaries as there would not be time to nominate new candidates for election day. In TX's 23rd district a runoff will be necessary as the Republican incumbent got only 48% of the vote. All of his opponents were Democrats, except for a lone Independent who got 3%. So the result here is D49-R48-I3. I think there is a fair shot the Democrats could win this in the runoff considering it would be a choice between a representative in the majority or the minority.

One other race, Washington's 8th district, has the Republican incumbent leading by a small margin but only 48% of the returns are in. This race could go either way.

The remaining 8 races are all close, but most of the returns are in.

They are:

CT 02 -> Courtney (D) leads Simmons (R-inc)
GA 12 -> Barrow (D-inc) leads Burns (R)
NC 08 -> Hayes (R-inc) leads Kissell (D)
NM 01 -> Wilson (R-inc) leads Madrid (D)
OH 02 -> Schmidt (R-inc) leads Wulsin (D)
OH 15 -> Pryce (R-inc) leads Kilroy (D)
PA 08 -> Murphy (D) leads Fitzpatrick (R-inc)
WY 01 -> Cubin (R-inc) leads Trauner (D)

So if these leads hold, we'll have 3 more Democrats for a gain of 31 with a possibility of 1 in Washington and 1 more in a run off election. So close to my 35... sooo close. Hopefully 2 more of these will flip before the results are certified.

UPDATE 2

The Democrats have won the Senate. Outgoing senator George Allen will not exercise his option to request an automatic recount, this Jim Webb will become the 51st Democratic Senator for the next session.

1 comment:

phil said...

51? The Senate's 49-49-2 by my count. Lieberman and Saunders are Independents.