It’s prediction time! My predictions for the 2014 elections are below, but first a few words on my accuracy in 2012.
In Nevada, I accurately called the races for state Senate, predicted a Heller win for the U.S. Senate, and slightly underestimated Obama’s win of Nevada’s six electoral votes. My predictions nationally turned out to be way too optimistic.
In Nevada, the Romney people were claiming that they could be behind statewide by sixty to seventy thousand people in early voting and still win on election day. At this point I knew that Nevada was lost to Romney. I should have expanded this view nationwide, but Gell-Mann amnesia struck. I can but hope that this year I will turn out to be an Eeyore rather than a Pollyanna.
This is poised to be a good year for Republicans, though not the great year that they could have made it.
Predictions for Nevada
Gov. Sandoval is a lock for re-election. It is not a question of predicting the obvious, which is re-election is, but of predicting how big it’ll be. Sandoval will win with over 70% of the vote.
Sandoval’s hand picked nominee for Lt. Governor will with by double digit margins. Lucy Flores has raised little money, and shown little capability of motivating anyone to come vote for her. Turns out you need to do more than gang bang and have an abortion for that.
With the Republicans massive 24,000+ advantage in early voters and returned absentee ballots, the only thing that will save the Democrats is if, contrary to historical trends, the electorate on Election Day is massively more Democratic than early voting and for that Democratic turn-out to be a majority of the total vote. While that is impossible, Democratic turnout may very well be better than years past due to Democrats needing to pull out all the stops to prevent the coming Republican tsunami from becoming biblical in scope. Democrats did increasingly better in the last few days of early voting. However this has traditionally been the case, so it is not clear if the Democrats have suddenly gotten their voter turn-out operations fully functioning or not.
That Republican early voter firewall will result in the Republican Ron Knecht winning the Controller’s race, and Republican Dan Schwartz winning the Treasurer’s race. Both will be won by single digits.
The Secretary of State’s race will be close, but the huge Republican early voter firewall will give Republican Barbara Cegavske will win by less than 2%. In contrast, Democrat Ross Miller’s attacks on Republican Adam Laxalt have been successful enough to give Miller a win of less than 2%.
The Republicans comfortably take the state Senate by sweeping all three swing districts. The Republicans are also doing well in the state Assembly, but ultimately the Democrats will keep the chamber due to shenanigans and yet against seating candidates who were ruled ineligible to run. However, if the Democrats do not improve their turnout vis a vis, or if turnout overall is low (i.e. less than 40% overall turnout), than both the Attorney General’s race and the control of the Assembly will likely flip to the Republicans.
As for county races in Clark County, I predict that the early voter leads in Commission Districts F and G for Republicans will not result in takeover of either seat due to poor quality of the candidates. However, I predict that at least one countywide office will be won by a Republican.
Predictions for Congress
In the House, the Republican gain in the house will be in the double digits, and will represent their probably maximum for the rest of the decade.
In the 4th Congressional District in Nevada, the incumbent Steven Horsford will lose. The Democrats are behind in early voting in this district. Without that early voter firewall from Clark County, the rurals might tip the balance to Republican Cresent Hardy.
I haven’t paid much attention to the U.S. Senate races, so the following is more of a gambling bet than a hard prediction.
Republicans will pick up WV, AR, IA, SD, CO, MT, and AK. NH, NC, and KS polls have had the Democrats mostly doing better, but with movement towards the Republicans, so there is a strong possibility of the Republicans winning them on election day. I will predict they will win one of the three. So,
+8 +7 on election night for the Republicans
The Democrats will not pick up a seat, but may gain another pet independent in KS.
Louisiana and Georgia will go to a run-off.
52 R – 46 D (+ I) 51R – 47D – 2 Run-Offs.
Republicans will keep Georgia and pick-up Louisiana, for a final tally of
54 R – 46 D (+I)53 R – 47 D (+I).
If the Republican wave turns into a national tsunami, than the other two Senate races (between NH, NC, and KS) could flip, resulting in
56 R – 44 D (+ I) 55 R – 43 D (+ I).
N. B. Accidentally wrote “+8” instead of “+7” and then carried that through.
Predictions for Governorships
I’ve paid even less attention to the Governor’s races than to the Senate races. So, with a grain of salt:
Republicans will pick-up AR, MA, and CO
Democrats will pick-up PA, FL, KS, and ME
Independents will gain AK.
However, if there is an election day wave strong enough, the Republicans may also pick-up RI, CT, and possibly AK while retaining ME and FL. PA is lost for the Republicans no matter what, and Brownback will only win re-election in KS if the Republican tide turns into a tsunami.
Here, I will present three picks for dark horse candidates, where I don’t think they will win, but wouldn’t be totally shocked if they were to win.
Nevada AD12 – Pick up by Independent American Party candidate Troy Warren. For much of early voting, the Republicans have lead in the district despite not having a candidate in the race. With a good enough turn-out, and a strong-enough anti-Democrat sentiment amongst independents and Republicans, this might be a rare legislative pick-up for a 3rd Party.
GA-Sen – Perdue wins without a run-off. Unlikely, but a strong enough Republican wave on election day could put him over.
VA-Sen – Gillespie gets within single digits of Warner.
A little mood music: