With only a week to go until election day, Charlie Cook provides his take on the battle for Congress. In the case of the Senate, Cook puts the “over-under” at eight seats. That’s probably a sensible place to put it. Right now, I think I’d take the “over.”
As for the House, Cook writes: “It would be a surprise if this wave doesn’t match the 52-seat gain on Election Night in 1994, and it could be substantially more.” I agree. Right now, I’d put the over-under at 60 seats, if not a few more.
Cook attributes the Republican’s problem in achieving a 10-seat pick-up in the Senate to a combination of “weak GOP candidates who are causing the red team to underperform” and the fact that key battles are occurring in “states less hospitable to the GOP.” I think it’s mostly the latter problem. Picking up 10 seats is awfully tough when, to reach that number, you need to win in states as blue as California, Washington, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
To my knowledge, Christine O’Donnell is the only truly weak Republican candidate in a state the Republicans might have picked up. Ken Buck may also be underperforming in Colorado, but we also are blessed with some high performing candidates, e.g., Marco Rubio in Florida and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. In any event, it’s unrealistic to think that Republican candidates would be strong across-the-board in 12 or more states.
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