Placing bets on the “Little Arts of Popularity”: the Midterm Projections

I am a policy guy, so my expertise in electoral politics (i.e., “the talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity,”  to quote Publius) is quite limited. But I will put my Sharon Angle “man pants on” and challenge my fellow Pilieus bloggers to do the same. Here are my predictions:

The Senate: the GOP will end up with a slim minority of 49 seats

Of those that are currently toss ups, the GOP will take Illinois (Kirk), Colorado (Buck), Angle (Nevada) and Pennsylvania (Toomey).

  • All this could change if the Democrats are successful in throwing Meek under the bus in hopes of preventing Rubio from being elected (the horror! A young charismatic Latino conservative!)
  • Alternatively, if the wave is as big as some predict hope, the GOP could take Washington and West Virginia, thereby claiming a slim majority (BTW, if this happens, there are two words that will never be used together by the media when discussing the actions of the minority: Democratic obstructionism).
  • The wave will be a Tsunami if Fiorina beats Boxer in California
  • Abandon ye all hope if O’Donnell throws a spell on the Delaware electorate

The House: Obviously going GOP. My best guess is that the GOP will pick up 64 to give it a 242 to 193 margin.

Like I said earlier, I am a policy guy. My prediction: even if the GOP wins a majority in both chambers, all of the populist, small government rhetoric will dissipate quickly. No one can look back to the last GOP majority and harbor any hope of responsible governance, balanced budgets, transparency, etc. If the GOP does what the GOP has done in the recent past, the 2012 elections will likely flip things once again.

So I am throwing it down. Grover, Sven, James, Jason and Marcus…time to pull on the “man pants” and put some numbers down.

Reader predictions are most welcomed!


3 thoughts on “Placing bets on the “Little Arts of Popularity”: the Midterm Projections

  1. Senate: 49. Buck will lose in Colorado. The upset win will be either Rosi in Wash or Fiorini in Calif. Rubio, Toomey, and Angle will win, Kirk (IL) and Miller (AK) will be in extended re-count battles. Feingold will go down in my homestate of Wisconsin and Scott Walker will be elected Governor there and chosen in the future to join a ticket as VP candidate.

    House: net gain of 57 seats.

    Where you have it wrong is that Republicans have a) learned their lessons to some extent and, more importantly, b) will face a base that will hold their feet to the fire. Tea Partiers will continue to pressure Congress. They know the real battle begins on Nov.3. The heat the Dems felt when passing Obamacare won’t compare to what the conservative base brings to bear on the Republicans in Congress. Tea Partiers are mobilized to hit the town mtgs next year if Obamacare isn’t repealed and fiscal sanity restored.

  2. Senate: GOP+7 to 48. Dems win in CA, WA, WV, and either IL or CO.
    House: GOP+53.

    I agree with Roger that Tea Partiers will hold Repubs accountable. The bigger risk for the Republicans is that their base drives them to another 1995-style government shutdown that redounds to Obama’s benefit. Obama’s still reasonably popular, and 2012 will probably see some House seats drift back to the Dems. The GOP needs to be clever and wait until 2013 for an all-out assault on Obamacare, by which time the Senate and House will be firmly theirs – and possibly the Presidency as well. Then once the GOP repeals Obamacare, I’ll root for the Dems to take back at least 1 branch of government to return gridlock.

    Or the Supreme Court could overturn (part of) it, & then all bets are off.

  3. Dr. Eisner. You talking to me? You talking to me?

    Well, since you called me out, here are my WAGs:

    Senate: +8 for the Republicans to 49. I’ve been thinking 48 until today but the data suggest that the R’s are going to take 4 of the 6 tossups. I can imagine some serious electoral shenanigans in close races. Given the rules of the Senate, taking over the majority matters far less than in the House.

    My strongest preference is to see smug Harry Reid go down hard (I’m assuming that Speaker Pelosi is already shopping for good bye gifts for her staff — perhaps a ride in her government plane at really good prices).

    House: I’m more bullish than Roger and Jason. I’m going with +61 for the Republicans. I’ve seen at least one structural model that predicts a 45 seat change (can’t remember where, sorry) without any of the other stuff going on in this election – so I might be on the low side. Re: Sven and Marc’s previous posts for how this is going to be spun, anything more than 45 should be hailed as a significant triumph for the R’s and a rebuke of Obama/Pelosi/Reid.

    I also disagree with Marc that the Republicans are going to quickly relapse into big government conservatives (which should be a contradiction in any sane American “Right” and its supporters like Kristol, Barnes, and company should be banned from any polite gathering of the true friends of liberty). Yes, they will disappoint Tea Party folks and libertarians. But they remember how much the Bush gang and its spending hurt the brand.

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