Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014 Midterms: Official Predictions

Senate: 53 R - 47 D

R Pickups: AK, AR, CO, IA, LA, MT, SD, WV   D Pickups: None

Governors: 27 R - 23 D

R Pickups: AR, MA   D Pickups: FL, KS, ME, PA


Here goes:

Senate:


Alabama - Jeff Sessions:
  Has to occupy the top spot by virtue of not having an actual opponent.

Delaware - Chris Coons,
Hawaii - Brian Schatz,
Idaho - Jim Risch,
Illinois - Dick Durbin,
Maine - Susan Collins,
Massachusetts - Ed Markey,
Mississippi - Thad Cochran,
Nebraska - Ben Sasse,
New Jersey - Cory Booker,
Oklahoma - Jim InhofeJames Lankford,
Rhode Island - Jack Reed,
South Carolina - Lindsey GrahamTim Scott,
Tennessee -  Lamar Alexander,
Texas - John Cornyn,
Wyoming - Mike Enzi:
  The forgotten races of 2014.  I'm sure their respective states will be so sad.  All these fall just below Alabama because they are actually technically contested races, even if it would take an Act of God for the underdog candidate to actually win.

Montana - Steve Daines,
West Virginia - Shelley Moore Capito:
  The Republicans' easiest takeovers.  I have these in the third tier solely because I dislike lumping pickup opportunities together with safe holds (this is also why I've never moved them off Likely R in the ratings).  No, I can't rationally explain why.

Arkansas - Tom Cotton,
South Dakota - Mike Rounds:
  Not as sure as Montana and West Virginia, but a Democratic win in either would be a huge shock.

Kentucky - Mitch McConnell,
Michigan - Gary Peters,
Minnesota - Al Franken,
New Mexico - Tom Udall,
Oregon - Jeff Merkley,
Virginia - Mark Warner:
  It would be very surprising if the incumbent party lost any of these.  I'm about as confident in these as I am in the South Dakota and Arkansas predictions but, for the reasons listed two entries up, they're separate.

Georgia - David Perdue (after runoff):
  I'd be surprised if I was wrong about this, but it's not out of the question.  I should also say that I'm much less confident that there will be a runoff than I am that Perdue will win.  The rule I follow is that if and only if (vote share of candidate with most votes) - (vote share of candidate with second most votes) < (vote share of all combined other candidates) will no candidate have a majority.  As of tonight, Perdue's margin of victory is .03 points less than the Libertarians share in the RCP average.  That's close enough that, enough though I am officially predicting a runoff, I would be utterly unsurprised if Perdue won outright.

Alaska - Dan Sullivan,
Colorado - Cory Gardner,
Iowa - Joni Ernst,
Louisiana - Bill Cassidy (after runoff, but Mary Landrieu wins the first round):
  There's a decent chance at least one of these wrong, but I'd still be surprised if one were.  I am, however, supremely confident there will be a runoff in Louisiana.

New Hampshire - Jeanne Shaheen,
North Carolina - Kay Hagan:
  Thom Tillis and Scott Brown have closed admirably and, as of Election morning, are both less than a point behind in the RCP average. I'd say there's an even chance at least one of Brown or Tillis ultimately wins, but the likeliest individual outcome is still both (narrowly) Shaheen and (with a plurality) Hagan.  Republicans should lose some competitive races, but we're really getting into uncertain territory now.

and. finally,

Kansas - Pat Roberts:
  Jerry Moran's long nightmare may finally be over.  I'm going against the poll average here, but I think the undecideds will ultimately break enough for Roberts to very narrowly put him over the top.  He should still win some sort of 'Worst Incumbent Candidate of the Year', but I think he wins the seat as well.  This is my lowest confidence choice, along the lines of 'Orman, Roberts, pick one, any one', and an Orman win is nearly as plausible as a Roberts win.

Governors:


Alabama - Robert Bentley
California - Jerry Brown
Idaho - Butch Otter
Iowa - Terry Branstad
Nebraska - Pete Ricketts
Nevada - Brian Sandoval
New Mexico - Susana Martinez
New York - Andrew Cuomo
Ohio - John Kasich
Oklahoma - Mary Fallin
Oregon - John Kitzhaber
South Carolina - Nikki Haley
South Dakota - Dennis Daugaard
Tennessee - Bill Haslam
Texas - Greg Abbott
Vermont - Peter Shumlin
Wyoming - Matt Mead:
  The easy holds out of the way.

Arkansas - Asa Hutchinson
Pennsylvania - Tom Wolf:
  And the easy pickups.

Arizona - Doug Ducey
Georgia - Nathan Deal (no runoff)
Hawaii - David Ige
Maryland - Anthony Brown
Michigan - Rick Snyder
Minnesota - Mark Dayton
New Hampshire - Maggie Hassan
Rhode Island - Gina Raimondo
Wisconsin - Scott Walker:
  Closer, but I'd consider it an upset if any of these lost.

Massachusetts - Charlie Baker:
  At this point, I'd consider it an upset if Coakley won.

Alaska - Sean Parnell
Colorado - John Hickenlooper
Connecticut - Dan Malloy
Illinois - Pat Quinn:
  Two near-2010 losers survive another close election, but I wouldn't be surprised to see either go down.  I feel the same about Hickenlooper and Parnell.  These should all be close.

Florida - Charlie Crist
Kansas - Paul Davis
Maine - Mike Michaud:
  The three most confounding races of the cycle, but I'm going for a full Democratic sweep.  Still, I wouldn't be surprised if Republicans end up winning all three, and they all should be very close.

House:


Plus a House guess of a Republican pickup of 10 seats.  I follow the House much less closely than I do the Senate and governors, so this isn't constructed out of individual race calls - it's just a result that seems reasonable from everything I've read.

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