Sunday, October 10, 2010

Updating "10 in 10" on 10-10-10 at 10:10 PM

This post was supposed to be the 41st edition of the Carnival of Divided Government - Special "Mystical Numerology" Edition. Indeed the numerological portents are everywhere - this very piece you are reading now was posted at 10:10 PM on 10-10-10 exactly 23 days before the mid-term elections, on the very day my Chicago Bears scored 23 points in a victory that secured sole possession of first place in the NFC North, on the strength of - what else - a 4-1 record. But, as usual, I did not get my act together on the Carnival. So, since I've already listed the Top 10 Dem Delusions, we'll just update our 10 in 10 prognostications for the Senate races. The carnival can wait a day or two.

When last we checked in - Nate Silver (our polling analyst of choice) showed that 9 0f the 10 seats most likely to change parties were all held by Democrats and he was forecasting a net 6-7 seat Republican gain in the Senate. One month later...

... with less than a month to go - 10 of the top 10 seats most likely to change parties are all held by Democrats and Nate is forecasting an 8-9 seat gain by the GOP. So - despite the nomination of a GOP clown candidate in Delaware (virtually guaranteeing a Democratic victory in that state) the odds of a GOP Senate takeover continue to improve.

Nate still gives the Republicans only a 1 in 4 chance of retaking the Senate majority outright. But then he is basing his odds purely on the November 2nd mid-term results. As I have maintained throughout, the GOP need only take 8 or 9 more seats to make changing parties an attractive proposition to Lieberman and/or Nelson, and eight or nine seats look likely now.

The most disappointing potential race result is the one one that hits closest to home. Five points are a lot for Carly to make up in a left leaning state like California with only 23 days remaining. But then... Scott Brown did what Scott Brown did in Massachusetts. Maybe there is just enough of that magic left over to surprise the pundits here on the left coast. I just cannot believe we are going to be stuck with Boxer for another six years. C'mon California! Why wouldn't you vote for a senator who throws down a shot of tequilla before delivering a stump speech? The Dividist's last contributions will go to Carly in California, and Kirk in Illinois. These are the seats that will make the difference.

I will make one change to my earlier prediction. Then I thought it unlikely that the GOP would take control of the House, invoking the "100 year Rule" and expecting the GOP to come up just short. My new, improved, and updated prediction is that the most likely scenario is that the GOP will go into 2011 with majority control of both the House and Senate. Nate, Charlie, and AJ convinced me.

Political tsunamis just don't care about 100 year rules, nor how deep a hole the GOP dug for itself in the last two cycles.

Looks like The Dividist will be changing teams again in November.

Divided and Balanced.™
Now that is fair.


Tully said...

I wouldn't make bets on GOP control of the Senate this go-round. Not now that the clown lady won the Delaware slot. 49 wouldn't surprise me in the least, I actually expect it. 50 would, and 51? Don't think so, not after reviewing the races. Sorry about y'all probably having to live with Boxer for another six years. And if the Kirk race is close, we can expect extreme AlFrankenism in Illinois, what with the dead rising from their graves to vote absentee and all. Hey, cheer up! Maybe Murray will lose in WA.

The GOP will ROCK the #$@%ing House, though. Big time. The question there isn't will they take the majority, the question is how BIG a blowout it will be. I locked the "over" at 34 several weeks ago, and it's one of the safest bets I've made since I bought gold at $300 the Xmas after 9/11.

mw said...

Just to be clear, I am not predicting that the Reps will gain a clear majority on Nov 2. As outlined in my prior post, I expect them to win 8 or 9 seats on Nov 2 to put them at 49 or 50, then flip Lieberman and/or Nelson before the 112th Congress is sworn in. And I am still hopeful of Scott Brown-like miracle shift in the last week to surprise the pundits and dump Boxer.

That was a prescient gold buy. I'm making some money in a couple of gold mine stocks, but getting nervous about the rapid run-up. When Taiwan Animation News picks up on gold fever, you've got to be worried about a near term top.

Tully said...

Yeah, and after the run-up it's had I'm ready to sell out half when it hits $1400 or falls back to $1300. Even after the taxes that'll leave me with half my position essentially for free, and with cash in pocket. I didn't acquire it via stocks. I bought Krugerrands and US coins. It is looking overbought right now, even with inflation jumping and the dollar slumping. Most of that exoectation is already built into the current price.

Not really prescience though. Buying hard commodities when they hit historic inflation-adjusted lows and stay there for a bit is usually at worst a store-of-value insurance policy. On the same principle I also bought several closed stripper wells back in the late 90's, when oil was under $20/bbl and the 5-10 bbl/day production from them wouldn't pay the re-opening and op overhead. They were damn near giving them away. Got chicken and sold those out when oil first cleared $50/bbl, which in hindsight was a bit too soon, but it was still a big win. Waiting to grab the peak is generally a fool's game anyway -- when they tank they usually tank fast, and people hold on hoping for a quick reversal that doesn't show.

If the GOP takes 49 you won't get a Nelson switch. At 50, maybe they'll make it worth his while to get past the Biden tie-breaker, or maybe he'll switch to avoid running as a Dem in '12. Leiberman won't join the GOP, but he's already an Indie so he can leverage his votes both ways if he chooses. He'll follow his constituents there. MHO, anyway.

If I lived where you do I'd be hoping Boxer chokes too. Don't discount the fraud possibilities. Any race that's close will bring out the AlFrankensteinian party hacks, lawyers, and mysteriously found ballots in Dem precincts. They know they're gonna take a licking, but if the results are tight enough they'll go for the contests in a heartbeat, and in some of those races it's a safe call that they've already laid the groundwork.