The excellent fivethirtyeight blog — who produced very accurate forecasts for the 2008 elections — crunches the numbers to come up with a forecast for House and Senate seat outcomes in the mid-term elections.

The likely outcome: GOP pick up seats in the Senate, but do not gain a majority (52 to 48); In the House, we see a much bigger swing, possibly winning the biggest majority in decades (232 to 203); GOP also appears likely to pick up numerous Governorships.


click for interactive graphic

Category: Digital Media, Politics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

25 Responses to “Forecast: House & Senate Races”

  1. AHodge says:

    its at least 3/1 the Rs take the house, but not a complete lock
    I do not support Ds
    but i think they missed the perfect negative ad shot and completely justified

    have you seen the expected list of House committee chairmen?
    Jerry Lewis Appropriations
    Iliana ros-Lehtinen Foreign affairs
    Spenser Baucus

  2. VennData says:

    I think the GOP can take both the House and the Senate and within a week, cut Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Benefits in half which will just about get us to a balanced budget (cutting $1T of spending out of the $3T of spending to get us closer to the #2T of revenues.)

    I’d love to see them do that. Otherwise we’ll have big deficits two years later when people will be saying that the GOP didn’t do anything to cut spending, just cut taxes… like they always do…

    …Wait, this time will be different.

  3. AHodge says:

    And so on
    a bigger collection of forein policy crazies anto environmental and food regulation
    Wall st stooges, venal massive earmarkers
    they are all on video feeding red meat to their whack job local constituencies
    but would scare the crap out of voters overall
    Jerry Lewis’s hair alone is priceless.

  4. AHodge says:

    this crowd leading the tea party entrants?
    if yu think we hit an all time governance low in the mid 90s?
    think again, even Newt Gingrrich is warming up in the bull pen

  5. Kort says:

    538 blog is interesting in that they don’t actually do any polling. They make forecasts from other polls….Rasmussen, local polls, other polling, etc. His nuance is to adjust for the biases in different polling techniques to come up with a more accurate “big picture”.

    Nate Silver, founder…good stats guy. Was the driving force behind the pretty accurate forecasting at before moving on in ~2008.

  6. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Once again, the wolves will guard the hen house from the foxes.

  7. Petey Wheatstraw says:


    Once again, the wolves will guard the hen house against the foxes.

  8. theorajones says:

    “possibly winning the biggest majority in decades (232 to 203)”

    A 232-202 Republican majority would be the same as the 2004 majority, and also roughly the size of the 1994 Republican majority.,_2004,,_1994

    But it’s much, much, MUCH SMALLER than the CURRENT Democratic majority of 255-178.

    The media coverage of this race bizarre, to put it mildly. For reasons that pass comprehension, a 29 seat majority is reported as much more significant than a 77 seat majority. It’s ridiculous behavior by political pundits, and reminds me of nothing so much like hyping a large summer storm into the hurricane of the decade–they’re letting their desire for ratings trump the actual FACTS of the news.

  9. Lariat1 says:

    I’m in NY 20th district, and a drive through Shekomeko and Smithfield ( home to hedgies and other polo playing elite) will show you beautifully landscaped estates with very long winding driveways that disappear into the hillsides all littered with Charles Gibson signs. Not a good sign for Mr. Murphy. Geez, being a small businesswoman, I can’t wait to see how hard Mr. Gibson is going to work for me. Also got the robo call this morning from the Right to Lifers about Mr. Murphy killing babies through the health care bill. So yes to other thread, people do vote on just a particular social issue. Even our small town election this year has been more brutal than usual. I will be working the polls tomorrow trying to tame the clusterf*ck of this election with the new voting machines. Should make for an interesting but very long day. Wish me luck.

  10. franklin411 says:

    My parents live in a gerrymandered district that was drawn to keep the Republican in power. The district was redrawn in 2000 to include 40% of our town (which is mostly working class, Democratic and Hispanic), and a chunk of ultra-right wing Orange County that is 50 miles away by car and includes millionaire haven San Juan Capistrano. There’s actually a mountain range between our town and the other chunk of the district. No shame at all!

    So if the Republican holds his seat (and how could he not?), I plan to call my Congressman once a week and act like a dumb@ss. “Hello, I voted for you because you said you’d give us jobs. Can you tell me where I should fax my resume to? Where do I go for interviews? How soon can I expect to get my job?”


  11. Lariat1 says:

    Ha! I was thinking the exact same way. Except I will ask mine, weekly, how soon will it be ok for me to run my business as fraudulently as my neighbors’ and get away with it. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny.

  12. me says:

    Big surprise this year, the pollsters are wrong just like Dewey when only republicans had phones. Today, same story, dems have ditched the land line and ARE NOT called by pollsters. Only rich white republicans still have the land lines. It is no sure bet that republicans even tale the house but if they do, they will be tossed out in 2 years when much to their surprise the tea party agenda of Dick Armey and Koch Industries does not create any jobs.

    It is still the economy and republicans have no answers, just more silly deficit increasing tax cuts. My sister, married to the doctor, took her tax cut and did a cruise in Scandinavia, trip to India, Viet Nam, Mediterranean cruise. Aside from flipping the porter at the airport a quarter she and her tax cut created nothing in this country.

  13. browndlee says:

    This estimate is too small. Look for a pickup of 75-90 in the House for Republicans. Democrats last hope was for O’Bama to turn out the youth vote and his appearance on Jon Stewart killed that. They were all laughing AT HIM, not with him. Watch it, you’ll see what I mean. Iowa (where I live) is an excellent example of why the estimate is too low. Three districts lean Democrat and none are expected to go Republican. But at the top of the ticket the Democratic candidates are being crushed by 10-30%. In addition there’s a vote related to judge retention and gay marriage that will lead to a big turnout by the Christian right. (who otherwise would not have cared about this election because their candidates LOST in the primaries) Look for at least two and perhaps all three of those Democratic house incumbents to lose. This is the perfect storm for Democratic candidates and they will be flooding to the Clinton’s to beg Hilary to run in 2012.

  14. call me ahab says:

    My sister, married to the doctor, took her tax cut and did a cruise in Scandinavia, trip to India, Viet Nam, Mediterranean cruise.

    no doubt- traveling?- that’s ridiculous- best to just stay where you are-

    no need to see how the rest of the world lives (besides we do have the travel channel)-

    and she could have given that money from her tax cut to the homeless-

    a Republican obviously

  15. Lariat1 says:

    And all this is while I am writing checks for my Fed 941, NYS-45 employment taxes , MCTMC employee taxes ( which really pisses me off to pay for the city’s Metro bullshit) plus mileage tax HUT plus my Fed 2290 for mileage plus my share of metro taxes based on an estimate of my business earnings for this year. Hey maybe I’ll have enough left over to pay my employees and pay my school taxes!!

  16. Rescission says:

    I decided to become a Democrat, so I could live like a Republican.

  17. curious 1 says:



  18. me says:

    @call me ahab

    Not only is she a republican, but one kid graduated from Michigan and law school and the other graduated from Notre Dame and since graduating, the one hasn’t found a job for 4 years and the other one for 2 years.

  19. NickAthens says:

    My little California company is watching the election closely. We are booming in growth. 18 months until our facility lease of 36,000 sq. ft expires. The question is whether to renew or invest $150k to move to a new facility out of state.

    I have to confront whether to stay or leave the state, at 50 employees it gets amazingly expensive to be here.
    Looks like the public will pass prop 25 giving a blank check to democrats. Add in Maxine Waters, Barbara boxer and Jerry Brown and my question is why would we stay? Most employees are begging me to move to boot.

    We don’t get any breaks on income taxes.

    Pension fraud will bankrupt this state. It is no longer about the “rule of law”, absolutely no objective person can justify public service pensions in CA. They need to be repudiated via a state bankruptcy.

    Our business cannot be shipped overseas, BUT if Harry Reid and Dina Titus are out in Nevada, it becomes a very compelling state!

    I must say Feinstein seems to respond promptly though..

  20. franklin411 says:

    If you’re for pension reform, then you’re for Jerry Brown. Meg Whitman cut a sweetheart deal to allow public service unions to keep their cushy pensions under which they retire at 90% of their salaries at the ripe old age of fifty. Jerry Brown refused to do the same, and the unions endorsed Whitman as a result. None of this would have come to light, but for the fact that the unions thought that releasing the “Whore” tape would help Whitman.

    Now, every man has a right to vote his own way, for his own reasons, but I submit that the facts don’t sustain your statement of faith.

  21. call me ahab says:


    fwiw- I actually like Jerry Brown- he seems to be pragmatic- I actually saw him campaiging in Alexandria Virginia during his presidential bid in 1992-

    keep in mind that at that time he was advocating the abolition of the tax code and was tossing reams of tax code in trash cans (for it symbolism)-

    sometimes ideas are ahead of their time-

  22. Pool Shark says:

    232 Reps to 202 Dems?

    Uh…, no.

    Not unless the Dems pick up 35 of the 44 ‘toss-up’ races:

    More like 246 Reps to 189 Dems.

  23. Pool Shark says:


    Oh, do come along, won’t you? Apparently you haven’t been paying attention.

    That gerrymandered district you complain about was drawn by DEMOCRATS.

    Yes, that’s right: Democrats. You know, the same party that has controlled both Houses of california’s legislature for all but 2 of the last 40 years.

    The reason your parents live in a radically contorted district is because Democrats want to keep the Republican voters ‘quarentined’ in small, discreet (though oddly-shaped) districts that will assure the remaining districts all go to Democrats.

    This is why we get virtually no turnover in elections; everyone (Repugs and Demoncats alike) resides in ‘safe’ districts.

  24. soloduff says:

    The rhetorical question, hardly ever posed even rhetorically, and which should be at the center of all of the “horse race” hand-wringing about who will win tomorrow: Who is served by gridlock, the outlook no matter what the outcome of tomorrow? –If your answer is not, “The usual winners in this system,” then you have lost your way at the race track. These perennial winners–the corporate/imperialist elite–tend to win no matter which party fronts for them, and do exceedingly well when political paralysis serves business as usual, which indeed is the ordure of the day now that the financial crisis is officially over, the financiers have been bailed out, and the bandits need to make good their getaway. In the meantime Helicopter Ben will be printing money, the elderly and the infirm will suffer austerity, the wars will continue, the environment will stink more each day and even more incredible insanity (item: Tea Party) will issue from the decomposing corpse of the American body politic. The only incredible thing is that most folks think that this ride is long-term sustainable. Of course, to think otherwise would expose the utter worthlessness of the American public for anything that suggests political sanity; and that, fellow citizens, is the truth that must never be said.

  25. notakid says:

    the public is sane, they react just as they are programmed.

    it’s not even a horse race anymore , but a merry-go-round.