Prediction with numbers
My last prediction was one of tone: I don't expect to win big and even if we win big, it won't bring about the millennium. I suppose it's not really fair to make a prediction that isn't specific. You folks deserve the opportunity to laugh at me when I get it completely wrong. So, here it is.
In the Senate, I think the Democrats have a better than fifty-fifty chance in three races: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Rhode Island. That's a minimum of three that we gain. Three other races are at about fifty-fifty: Montana, Virginia, and Missouri. I think we'll take at least one of these and probably two. I see a big gap between those and the next level of pick-up possibilities which are places like Tennessee, Arizona, and Nevada. I don't actually see us gaining any of those. As for possible losses, the two most likely, New Jersey and Maryland, I rate below fifty-fifty. So, my prediction is that we will gain four or five. A good night might gain us six and a bad night could gain us as few as two. In any case I don't think it's possible for us to gain a Lieberman-proof seven seats (and I think we will still have Lieberman to kick around after this election). Nothing on the West Coast is in play, so we should know about the Senate fairly early in the night.
In the House, I'll say we pick up twenty seats and the Republicans won't pick up any. If it's a good night, we might pick up as many as thirty-five. I think claims of forty or more or way too optimistic. In a worst case, I think we will still take control of the House, but it could be by as small as a two seat majority (has that ever existed?). I suppose it's possible for the Republicans to gain a seat or two somewhere, but I honestly can't think of which seats those are.
I haven't been following the Governor's races very closely, but it looks like the Democrats will gain about a half dozen and the Republicans will gain none. It's not too soon to start thinking about the 2010 census reapportionment. Who holds the state houses and legislatures matters.
One thing that has made me unsure about predicting this election, beyond my native pessimism, has been the changing ways we vote. I'm not sure the pollsters have figured out how to deal with early voting. I expect the big polling firms to spend a lot of time and money working on their testing and methodology before the next election.
I'll also make the safe prediction that there will be massive voter disenfranchisement efforts, dirty tricks, and claims of dirty tricks tomorrow. Bring your cell phone and a camera to the polls with you when you vote.
Update: Interestingly enough, my prediction is about the same as the Republican view from The Hotline.