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2006 Senate Races Update

Here is my thinking at this hour. The GOP has surged in the past few days and is now down around 5 points in the polls, perhaps less, perhaps more. The big question is what effect the verdict in the Saddam Hussein trial will have on voters. If the momentum continues and is perhaps given more momentum by the verdict, the GOP could be tied as voters go to the polls.

I am not ready to make any predictions on the House of Representatives as these are the most fluid of races. If the GOP ties the Democrats on Tuesday, it would be enough to save the House as it would probably mean many vulnerable Republicans hang on narrowly. It also means we could pick up a handful of Democratic seats. If need be, we have some margin for error if enough southern conservative Democrats can be persuaded to come on board.

However, the Senate is where I am particularly focused at this hour.

Rhode Island: Lincoln Chafee has a one point lead, and given where he was, one has to say he has momentum. I honestly do not know to what extent there is a GOP GOTV apparatus here, and hopefully Republicans can set up one quickly.

Ohio: Mike DeWine has now cut the gap to 6 points in several polls released today and in the past few days. You may notice that reflects the generic polls. If momentum continues to roll in our direction, it may be enough to push DeWine across the finish line. One has to think that many Republicans and even conservative Democrats who are thinking about voting for Brown will have second thoughts in the voting booth.

Pennsylvania: No race is more heartbreaking to Republicans and conservatives. Rick Santorum continues to trail, and one poll has him down double digits. However, a few polls do show this in the single digits. I strongly encourage Republicans to remember that Pennsylvania polling traditionally favors Democrats in off-year elections. Do not be complacent. If you are a Republican or conservative in a state without a competitive Senate or Gubernatorial election, go to Rick Santorum's campaign website and start making phone calls.

Missouri: The polls here continue to show a tight race, but the word is that internal GOP polling shows a better picture for Jim Talent. The GOTV in Missouri is one of the best, and Republicans traditionally outrun the polls here by a few points. I won't rest until every precinct in Kansas City and St. Louis have been counted. Republicans here need to put everything they have into this one in the final hours, and then some.

Montana: As nervous as I am at this hour, I still crack up when I think about how I thought Conrad Burns was our most vulnerable incumbent a few weeks ago. Burns is in a dead heat in just about every poll released. The Republicans are favored on most issues, and even on Iraq among Montana voters. The GOP GOTV is supposed to be excellent here, and it may give that extra push Burns needs to win.

Tennessee: Some polling here shows Bob Corker with a double digit lead, but other polls show the race much closer. Apparently some polls released tomorrow will also report a close race. However, I think the Republican Party GOTV in Tennessee has to be considered superb, and a supposedly close race in 2002 never materialized. I consider Corker to have a slight edge.

Virginia: This race makes the most nervous of any race in the country. Allen is down in almost every poll that has been released here in the past few days. After rather depressing losses in 2001 and 2005, Republicans cannot afford another loss in the Old Dominion. Allen has bought 2 minutes on statewide television for tomorrow night. My memory tells me he did this before, and that it seemed to have a positive effect.

Looking now at the Democratic seats

New Jersey: Bob Menendez has a slight lead in most polls that have been released here, but Tom Kean Jr. is keeping it close. It is very hard to make a prediction because the poll that was most accurate here in 2005 was not the most accurate in 2004 and 2002 and vice-versa. This is one state where the media portrayal of the election as a foregone conclusion (a Democratic victory) may be most useful. Democrats and Independents who are reluctantly voting for Menendez may be more likely to vote for Kean if they do not think the race will determine control of the Senate.

Maryland: What can I say? Michael Steele is now in a dead heat, with all the momentum on his side. This race will come down to the African-American vote. I maintain my prediction from yesterday. If Steele wins 30%, the Senate seat is his.

All Republicans and conservatives who read this blog, go volunteer and get everyone who can be persuaded to volunteer out there as well. On Tuesday go to the polls, and then work with the 72 hour program to get others to the polls.

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Comments (2)

Hanoi John set off a massiv... (Below threshold)

Hanoi John set off a massive road side bomb the other day. Severe damage, no fatilities so far. Possible suicide in the future for Jon Cary. Damage reports are filtering in through the polls.

The biggest effect of Kerry... (Below threshold)

The biggest effect of Kerry's gaffe was to remind voters that Democrats disdain the military and are a bunch of sissies on defense and national security issues. That it sunk any chance of Kerry winning the '08 nomination is too bad, because it would have been fun to watch the loser spend a bunch of Teresa's money to lose.

The polls now being released were all completed before the announcement of Saddam's death sentence.







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