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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Liberal Polling and Projection Expert Says GOP Could Gain 51 House Seats or More in Midterm Election!

He's a liberal, but he is one of the best at analyzing polls and making prognostications on elections. Nate Silver at 538.com is now predicting that Democrats could very well lose 51 seats in the House of Representatives this Fall, which would give Republicans control. The GOP needs to gain 40 seats to take control of the House.

Based on current data, Silver says:

One reasonably well-informed translation of the generic ballot polls is that the Democrats would lose 51 House seats if the election were held today.

Silver also says it is not far-fetched to think it could be even worse than that for Democrats:
And what if, for example, the Rasmussen case comes into being? Rasmussen has the Democrats losing the generic ballot by 9 points (and has had similar numbers for awhile). A 9-point loss in the House popular vote would translate into a projected 65-seat loss for Democrats. Or, if we adjust the Rasmussen poll to account for the fact that the Democrats' performance in the popular vote tends to lag the generic ballot, it works out to a 12.4-point loss in the popular vote, which implies a loss of 79 seats! . . . MORE

At this point, we have Republicans with a 3-point lead in the Generic Ballot (see polling table and average), which when added to the 3.4-point amount that Generic Polls have historically underestimated GOP strength in Generic ballot polls, would put the GOP gains somewhere between the 51-seat likely scenario and the catastrophic 79-seat loss for Dems that is possible.

We'll keep an eye on what Silver projects as we get closer to November. But things are certainly looking good for Republicans. Silver's analysis could factor into the decision by some Democrats as to whether they will even seek re-election this Fall.

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