Bold prediction of an electoral earthquake

Scott Rasmussen predicts a GOP pickup of 55 seats in the House. Larry Sabato predicts 47, though he says it could be a bit higher than that. Paul Rahe writing at Big Government says that both pollsters, while responsible and scientific, are being overly cautious, understandably desirous not to put themselves out on a limb. Rahe thinks that there is a historic turning point coming, and that no one sees it yet:

Where do we turn for guidance? I would suggest that we look at the grand-daddy of all the polls: the generic ballot data that the Gallup Organization has been collecting for almost sixty years. If one assumes a turn-out on 2 November of about forty percent of the registered voters, a percentage ever so slightly higher than the record in midterm elections since 1974, Gallup tells us that the Republicans will have an advantage over the Democrats of something along the lines of seventeen percent. If the turnout of registered voters reaches fifty-five percent, the Republicans will be ahead by about eleven percent….

What this suggests is that the Republican advantage will exceed eleven and may well exceed fifteen percent. Even if their advantage turns out to be as low as Rasmussen’s current estimate of nine percent, this is unprecedented, and the Republic victory will be larger than Rasmussen and Sabato forecast….

I predict that the Republicans will take between seventy and one hundred seats in the House and that they will take control of the Senate by sweeping at least five of the so-called “toss-up” races, taking Senate seats in California, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, West Virginia, and, if the dead and the as-yet unborn do not turn out in numbers too large, perhaps even Illinois. Moreover, I predict that—if the Republican leadership eschews earmarks, sticks firmly to the principles announced in the Declaration of Independence and embedded in the Constitution, and insists on a repeal of Obamacare, on there being no new taxes, and on serious budget cuts—there will be additional good news for them in 2012, especially, in the Senate. This country is in for a rough ride, but it may well emerge stronger than ever.

A personal comment. In my view, for what the Democrats did with porkulus and Obamacare, they deserve to lose 100 seats. Hell, they deserve to lose 258 seats.

- end of initial entry -

October 21

James W. writes:

What the pollsters oddly miss in their calculations is that there are two completely different turnouts in the same election. The Democrat turnout will be historically low, the Republican historically high. Taken altogether this may be an unremarkable average, but it is nothing of the sort.

If total turnout is actually high—55 percent—the polsters calculate a lesser Republican advantage. However, it seems to me that if that is due only to a very high Republican turnout it will precipitate a great landslide.

LA replies:

I had wondered about that too. Why would the Republican advantage be less if there is greater overall turnout? I guess the thinking is, since the basic expectation is low Democratic turnout, if there is high overall turnout, it would be because Democratic turnout is higher than the low Democratic turnout that is expected. But your point makes sense. Why couldn’t the higher overall turnout be due to even higher than expected Republican turnout, rather than higher than expected Democratic turnout, in which case a high overall turnout of 55 percent would present a much greater Republican advantage than a low overall turnout of 40 percent.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 20, 2010 11:43 AM | Send

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