Get ’em in now in the comments for bragging rights later this evening.
Before you pick a number for the House, I encourage you to take a hard look at the chart below Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report. The task for the GOP is … daunting.
Bottom line: if every Lean/Likely/Solid race breaks as expected, Rs would need to win 23 of 30 @CookPolitical Toss Ups (77%) to keep their House majority.
Not impossible, but very difficult. pic.twitter.com/evxFYMqJfH
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 6, 2018
Notice how many Republican-held seats there are in the first two columns denoting races that are likely to go Democratic or leaning that way. I count no fewer than 18 districts that are pointing towards Team Blue. Now notice how few Democratic-held seats there are in the last two columns denoting races that are likely/leaning to go Republican. That’s what the GOP is up against. Now eyeball the fourth column. Twenty-nine more seats, all held by Republicans — all toss-ups. Total number of seats held by Democrats that are pure toss-ups, meanwhile: One. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats overall to reclaim the House majority. That means that if they win all the Republican-held districts where they’re currently favored, they’d need just a small fraction of the pure toss-ups to go their way in order to get to that number. The House is highly likely to change hands tonight.
I’ll guess a net gain for Dems of 37 seats, then, for no particular reason. Although I like the fact that that number is in between higher- and lower-end estimates being offered by data nerds. RCP analyst Sean Trende predicted a Democratic pick-up of 32 seats a few days ago; Nate Silver’s site is detecting an average Democratic pick-up of 39 in the models it’s running based on the current polling with the potential for much, much more if Democratic turnout is strong nationally. But I’ll be, er, conservative in saying 37.
In the Senate I’m guessing a final split of 52/48 for the GOP. Republican pick-ups tonight: Kevin Cramer in North Dakota (obviously), Josh Hawley in Missouri (although I fear McCaskill’s lucky streak), and I’ll go with Matt Rosendale in Montana as my upset special. Democratic pick-ups: Jacky Rosen in Nevada given her lead in the early voting there and, alas, Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona, who’s stubbornly led in most polls of the state. I think Joe Manchin, Bob Menendez, and Debbie Stabenow all win comfortably and that Joe Donnelly and Bill Nelson win narrowly, although if any of those predictions are wrong Donnelly is easily the likeliest of the five to lose. Ted Cruz and Marsha Blackburn will have more suspenseful nights than everyone expects before (whew) prevailing.
How do you feel about a 52/48 Senate next year, with the next Supreme Court nominee on a knife’s edge at 50/50 if Collins and Murkowski walk? No pressure tonight.