The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Prediction: GOP +7

Rich Galen

Tuesday November 4, 2014


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  • I am the worst predictor in the history of predictions.
    -- I thought the Washington Nationals would win the World Series. They didn't get out of the first round of the play-offs.

    -- I thought Mitt Romney was going to win in 2012. He lost by five million - MILLION - popular votes and 126 (out of 538) electoral votes.

    -- I thought Apple was done as a growth stock. It's gone up 53% since January.

  • So, when I tell you that what you are seeing on the cable news channels about having to wait until January to find out whether the Republicans or the Democrats will be the majority in the U.S. Senate is nonsense - don't bet the mortgage money.

  • I think Republicans will gain control of the U.S. Senate by the time all the polls have closed tonight and by the time the smoke clears they will have gained a net seven seats. That (assuming no party switchers) would give the GOP a 52-48 majority when the 114th Congress opens next year.

  • The reason January comes up so often is because Georgia's election laws say that if neither major candidate (David Perdue - the Republican, or Michelle Nunn - the Democrat) wins 50% + 1 of the vote today, then the top two finishers will run off in an election that will be held on January 6, 2015. This is an open seat, meaning there is no incumbent running for re-election. Saxby Chambliss (R) is retiring.

  • How is it possible neither wins more than 50%? Because the Libertarian candidate, Amanda Swafford, is polling at about 3% of the vote. Not enough to win, but maybe enough to delay the decision for a couple of months.

  • The average has Perdue leading with 47.2% to Nunn's 44.3 and Swafford at 3.2 percent.

  • The other runoff possibility is Louisiana. Incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is running against Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy. Libertarian Rob Maness is the wild card in Louisiana. If no one gets 50% +1 in the Pelican State the runoff will be held on December 6.

  • So, now you're up to date of the two states that might not have an impact on the Republicans' magic number of +6 - the net number of seats the GOP has to win to take control of the U.S. Senate.

  • So, why do I think we will not be on tenterhooks for the next two months? Because I've been through these elections before.

  • In a surge (if not a wave) election one side tends to win almost all the close elections. Not only that, but if you're on the losing side there will be a couple of races that you didn't think were even on the board that you end up biting your fingernails over until the wee hours.

  • For example, in New Hampshire the incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen is leading the RCP average by less than one percentage point (+ 0.8) over Republican Scott Brown. That will probably not be enough to overcome the gravity of a strong Republican election day.

  • Same with incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagen in North Carolina (+0.7). She may well succumb to the weight of an election night of close-but-no-cigar races for Dems against her Republican challenger Thom Tillis.

  • As we move west all eyes will turn to the race in Kansas between incumbent Republican Pat Roberts and his independent challenger Greg Orman also with a 0.8 percentage point lead over Roberts.

  • As we have discussed before, when the political tide is running against you on election day, all you can do is pull the covers up over your head and wait for, as the song goes, the sun to come up tomorrow.

  • In 2012, I received the late afternoon exit polls that showed Obama winning all six or seven states for which I had data.

  • A colleague began to argue with the numbers saying they didn't account for late voters, or whether Jupiter was aligning with Mars, or whatever.

  • I said, "One or two of these might be wrong, but if all of them are saying the same thing this is O.V.E.R."

  • When the tide is running against you, you may as well swim back to shore and dry off.

  • Republicans will control both Houses of Congress next year. Now, they have to prove they deserve it.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the Real Clear Politics page.

    Also the Mullfoto is a screen capture of the final predictions of Professor Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia.

    -- END --

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