I have a question — for both the conservatives and the lefties who read “Alas” — which I think might enhance our post-election discussion in eight or nine months. What are your expectations for how many seats Democrats will lose (or gain) in November? Not just your predictions, but also what levels will make you feel that each party has exceeded expectations (i.e., “won”)?
Nate Silver has a table which might help with thinking about this:
Add on top of that the lousy economic situation, which is always bad for the incumbent party. My feeling is that if the Democrats can keep it down to losing about average for a midterm election, they’ll have done extremely well — as Silver says, they’ll have “won” the election cycle.
My expectation is, all else held equal, Democrats will lose around 30-40 seats in the House, and 4-6 in the Senate. If Democrats end up losing 60-70 in the House and 8-10 in the Senate, I’d call that an enormous, stunning loss, beyond what I’d expect.
Rob and Ron, both of you have (iirc) suggested that passage of the Affordable Care Act will lead to enormous losses for Democrats in November, beyond what we’d normally expect in a mid-term election with a lousy economy. (Robert even bet $100 that Republicans would have a two-third majority in the House after the election — which means Democrats losing 111 seats.) Could you put those expectations in numbers, please?
Not just Ron and Rob, but everyone. How well do Republicans have to do so that we can say they did much better than we’d normally expect, given the circumstances? And at what levels would you say that Democrats actually “won” under the circumstances?