November 8, 2006

Tail of the Tape: Post-Mort

Hatched by Dafydd

So how did Big Lizards do on our picks? Pretty well on the specifics; pretty badly on the overall gestalt.

I made 15 specific picks in House races -- either "certain Democratic pick-up," "probable Democratic pick-up," or "Republican hold."

Of those 15, two are still in limbo: GA-8 and NM-1.

  • I thought GA-8 would go to the Democrats; the Democratic challenger, Jim Marshall, currently leads by 1,682 votes, 50.5% to 49.5%, with 99% of precincts reporting.
  • I expected NM-1 would be a Republican hold; Heather Wilson, the Republican incumbent, currently leads her challenger, Patricia Madrid, by 1,303 votes, 50.3% to 49.7%, with 99% of precincts reporting.

If those races stay the way they are, I will have predicted them both correctly. Of the 13 other House races I predicted, I got 12 of them correct; the only race I predicted and missed was OH-15: I thought it would go to the Democrats, but incumbent Rep. Deborah Pryce beat challenger Mary Jo Killroy by 52% to 48%.

So in specific predictions, I will probably end up with 14 out of 15 correct, or 93%. However, where I erred was in believing that the 16 races I called "toss-ups" were true toss-ups... that is, that they would break 50-50; had they done so, the GOP would have won 8 of them; instead, we only won 3, and one is still in question (GA-12).

Since I predicted 14 net Democratic pick-ups, the extra five from the tossups would make it 19. But the Democrats will probably end up with a total gain of 29 seats... where are the extra 10? Simple: those are races I never looked at, because they mostly were not on the list of 50 most threatened House seats.

Thus, I had no chance to make a prediction on them. I have no idea how many I would have called, so I can't include them either as hits or misses. I did, however, predict the Republicans would (by a razor's edge) hold the House... and of course, they will be down by about the same margin they are up today: 232 to 203. So that is a failed prediction. (I'll take this one, because even without the "invisible races," just the extra five from the ones I called toss-ups would have thrown the House to the Democrats.)

On the Senate side, I didn't do quite as well: I predicted 13 seats; no seats apart from those in the batch of 13 changed hands, so I had all the threatened seats at my finger-ends.

Of the thirteen I predicted, I correctly called 9, I definitely missed 2, and I will probably end up having missed 4 altogether; thus, I probably got 9 out of 13, or 69% correct. But again, I missed the biggie: control of the Senate, which (barring a miracle in Montana or Virginia) will slide to the Democrats, though I thought we'd be fairly safe.

I think Mort Kondracke gets the Prophecy Award this cycle; he hit it bang on:

Mort sees the Democrats picking up the following Senate seats: Rick Santorum (PA), Mike DeWine (OH), Lincoln Chafee (RI), George Allen (VA), Jim Talent (MO), Conrad Burns (MT), and of course holding onto both New Jersey and Maryland.

That puts his Senate percentage at, oh, carry the 2... at 100%. It would be rare to do better than that.

Fred Barnes thought we would retain Virginia and either Missouri or Montana; I can't remember which he said. It's still possible, but I doubt it.

And that's the way it was, yesterday, November 7th, 2006.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 8, 2006, at the time of 7:57 AM

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The following hissed in response by: Big D

Ah well. Now they have to govern, with no policy other than I hate Bush. Should be fun to watch.

I think the Foley scandel was the determining factor.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2006 9:02 AM

The following hissed in response by: InklingStar

The Democrats think that they come out of this with a mandate and the support of the American people. However, as most of the conservative ballot measures passed easily even in states where a Democrat beat a Republican, I believe that people voted against the Republicans and the Democrats just so happened to be the second party. In two years, America will vote against the Democrats.

Hm, we need a third party.

The above hissed in response by: InklingStar [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2006 1:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Big D:

I think the Foley scandel was the determining factor.

But the only reason it was able to be "the determining factor" is that the Republicans hadn't made a solid case for themselves over the preceding two years.

And the problem was mostly in the Senate. But consider the possibility: suppose there were no "Gang of Fourteen;" suppose instead that the Republicans had just stuck together, pushed through the rules change, and then started confirming conservative judges like crazy.

And suppose Republican defectors had not prevented drilling in ANWR, in the Gulf, and off the California coast. And suppose Republicans had gotten together on a comprehensive immigration bill that included not just the fence but also addressed those already here, some form of migrant worker program (per Mark Steyn, I would prefer actual immigrants, not "guests" only here for a few months), and reformed the legal immigration system in a comprehensive and just way.

And suppose "independent" Republicans hadn't stopped the Bush tax cuts from being made permanent and hadn't joined in the chorus of accusations against the White House of "lying" us into the war in Iraq.

How many times in the last couple of years did we hear the names Lincoln Chafee, Mike DeWine, Charles Grassley, John McCain, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Trent Lott, and Lindsay Graham -- and always in the context of siding with the Democrats against the Republicans, usually hoping to get love and kisses from the elite media?

And I believe it was renegade Republicans who killed Social-Security reform, too.

The problem is that Bill Frist was a dreadful majority leader in the Senate who squandered much of the agenda that reelected George W. Bush in 2004: he simply could not keep his people in line; he was flummoxed again and again by the disciplined Democrats.

Arlene Spector disagreed with the White House a lot... but for the most part, after disagreeing, he went ahead and voted with the party -- thus proving it's possible to do so. Why couldn't Frist get the rest of the moderate Republicans to do that as well?

Had he done so, had the GOP had a solid record of accomplishment -- or at the very least, only been stopped when 41 Democrats filibustered, with no Republicans joining the ranks to make it "bipartisan" -- then I think we would have retained both houses of Congress.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2006 2:45 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

America was and is Ripe for a to speak.

Paul Belien said it best:

A Recipe for Defeat: Europe is Pelosi’s America


The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2006 5:23 PM

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