Friday, September 21, 2012

Why I'm Still Opimistic

So the Gibson camp is no doubt very happy to be polling at slightly over 50 percent. As I've said before, for an incumbent to be polling below 50 percent means big trouble. But there are still other indicators that this thing isn't a done deal. The generic congressional ballot, as you can see above, at this moment favors the Democrats by a hefty margin.

Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium, a highly accurate predictor of election results, says that, on average, for every point favoring one party, that party can expect to pick up six house seats. The Democrats having a 4.3 percent lead can expect to pick up something north of 24 seats, The Democrats need 25 seats to retake the house.

But it gets even better, according to Wang:
Based on the generic Congressional ballot, the probability of a Democratic takeover is 74% with a median 16-seat majority. Whichever party is in control, the seat margin is headed for being narrower than the current Congress. Like any probability in the 20-80% range, this is a knife-edge situation. This picture may change over the coming six weeks as more information, especially district-level polls, becomes available.
Wang is saying that there is a 74-percent chance that the Democrats will retake the House; and that the average majority for the Democrats is 16 seats. That's a 41-seat swing, which means a bunch of GOP incumbents are going to lose unexpectedly this election cycle.

But will one of them be Gibson? And let's not forget about Nan Hayworth, whose polling is also quite weak for an incumbent. Will she be one of the GOP members of congress who will look like a deer in the headlights on the evening of Tuesday, November 6? My feeling is that both could very easily lose if Wang is correct. There is no way these two can survive if 41 House seats change hands.

And Wang isn't the only one who still sees this thing as wide open. Cook, Stu Rothenberg, and Larry Sabato each say that NY-18 and NY-19 are too close to call. In other words, they are tossups.

If Gibson and/or Hayworth do manage to squeak one out, it's not going to be by the margins the polls indicate. If Gibson wins 52 percent of the vote, for example, Schreibman will win 48 percent because there is on one else in the race. Zero sum.

Schreibman's numbers can only improve, as he's still an unknown. And there is no doubt that he could be doing a lot more at the retail level. Schreibman needs seriously to pound the pavement for the next six weeks.

The pendulum is swinging back, hard, against the Tea Party crazies. Let's give it as big a push as we can.


  1. Keep dreaming about Schreiberman beating Gibson. He's been campaigning for this seat since January, and STILL very few voters know him. Only 6 weeks to go - he's done.

  2. We'll see who's right on Nov. 6. Generic Congressional ballot is a good predictor of the House overall, though not individual races. Looks like Hayworth will lose for sure. Schreibman could win by default if there's an anti-Tea Party wave.