|I wish I could be as optimistic as when I wrote my last projection in August, when my number was 53. I’ve seen the Saturday polls, and it’s taken me all day to pull out my research and face things.
The first thing I want to say is that we will not know on Tuesday night whether or not we hold the Senate. Louisiana is going to a run-off, and there’s a slight chance Georgia will also. Further, Alaska won’t be decided until the absentee ballots come in.
Here’s what I got wrong: first, I had expected the first domestic Ebola patient in November, not September. You wouldn’t think that could affect things the way it did, but the disease of fear is galvanizing. And the Democrats made a very wrong decision in playing into fear instead of going with science. And especially refusing to become very vocal on the issue that the reason funds to CDC and NIH were cut, and the reason we lack a Surgeon General is 100% the fault of Republican obstructionism.
The other problem was that too many Democrats ran away from President Obama – while his personal numbers aren’t great, a lot of what he did (think ACA) is something that our candidates should have used.
Plus, there were some terrible mistakes that some of our candidates made, most notably Bruce Braley. Stuff normally reserved for right wingnuts. So — let’s take a look:
Alaska, Mark Begich
I still think he holds. He’s got a good ground game, especially in the far reaches.
Arkansas, Mark Pryor
Pryor had a good shot here, and lost it. This is a case where he made no glaring error, except he should have run on women’s issues and the ACA , as he had earlier in the campaign.
Colorado, Mark Udall
While the polls don’t look as good as I think they should, I believe Udall will pull it out in the end. Plus, this is the first year of all mail-in ballots, and that might encourage people to vote who wouldn’t go to the polls.
I just don’t know. Certainly, the biggest gaffe of the year belongs to Braley who shouldn’t have said anything anti-farmer. And the Des Moines Register has never called Iowa wrong that I can remember. The paper said last night that Ernst was up by 9, but I am hoping that the Democratic ground game pulls through. Joni Ernst is a John Bircher! EGADS!!!!!
Louisiana, Mary Landrieu and a run-off
She’ll win on Tuesday, but likely won’t break 50%. Thus, this will be a December run-off. Whether Landrieu holds is a function of what the DNC can do to support her. The second biggest gaffe of the year belongs to Mary who pointed out that people in the south hate Obama for being black. True, but truth doesn’t normally carry the day in American politics.
Michigan, Gary Peters
North Carolina, Kay Hagan
Oregon, Jeff Merkley
Georgia, Michelle Nunn
I keep hoping she’ll break 50%, but am unclear. The run-off here will be in January.
Kansas, Greg Orman
Who woulda thought? And we don’t know which side he’ll choose.
This is another Iowa. It looks like Mitch will win again, and that as a function of the nastygrams he sent out last week, about which Grimes sued. It will be closer than the polls suggest, I think, and it’s painful.
So there you have it. Clear as mud, and we won’t know Tuesday. The only silver lining in all this is that if the Senate does flip, it will only be for two years, and if you think you saw obstructionism between Harry Reid and John Boehner, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The far right of the House won’t be able to align with the Senate. And the Democrats in the Senate will add amendments that put a lot of Republicans up in 2016 in the hot seat. PLUS, don’t forget that a lot of Senators (Rubio and Paul to name two) won’t be in the Senate most of the time as they’ll be out running for President – thus it will be hard for Mitch to get to 51.