Thursday, October 30, 2014

Making Sense of the Senate Races

If you look at this compilation of comparisons about next week's U.S. Senate races, you'll see a consensus that it's going to be a good night to be a Republican. So, how do they stack up for Georgia's race between Nunn and Perdue?
  • Tossup -- three of the predictors rate it a tossup (Cook, Roth, and Sabato).
  • GOP Advantage -- All of the other seven rate it to some degree a Republican win, with the strongest being The Daily Kos at 85 percent and the weakest being the Princeton Election Consortium at 55 percent.
  • Democratic Advantage -- Um, no one in this group suggests such a thing will happen, though there are hints in the data that polls may be underestimating Democratic turnout.
Like many others, I see the Nunn-Perdue race as likely runoff as neither candidate (i.e., Perdue) getting over 50 percent.  The Upshot model puts it as likely a runoff will happen as well. As it reports:
Georgia has had five previous statewide runoff elections. There were two in both 1992 and 2008 — each time for senator and for public service commissioner — and one in 2006 for public service commissioner. In all five of those elections, the Democrat lost.
This, of course, does not bode well for Nunn even if she forces Perdue into a runoff thanks to a Libertarian candidate nibbling away with a percentage point here, a percentage point there.  Democrats simply don't turn out as well in Georgia runoff elections as do Republicans. Assuming Perdue doesn't outsource his campaign strategy, he should -- based on previous turnouts -- win a runoff. All bets are off should he insert his foot squarely into his mouth on some issue, or if real-world events bend the electorate in a Democratic direction.

It'll be really interesting if we end up with Georgia's runoff deciding the fate of the Senate. Local television and radio stations will get rich on the advertising.

No comments: