Oh, about the election? What I’m seeing

No reason why anyone should care about my evaluations but since it’s what I’ve been doing at least twice a day for several weeks, indulge me. I must establish for myself a reason I’ve been sitting at the computer for so long every day my toes are tingling and something is happening to my right (mouse) hand, I don’t know what.

Anyway, I’ve gotten myself into a post-traumatic (2016) calm and realistic state about what might happen tomorrow. This is a big deal because everyone I’ve been reading everywhere seems to be hanging onto a gigantic pendulum, swinging between terror and ecstasy, slashing out at Nate Silver (without understanding what he does on 538, which is not polling), re-sweating the polls of November 2016, failing entirely to grasp that polls are not voting numbers but merely informed guesses about polling numbers…

I’m working so damn hard at not going loopy.

So, here’s what I see as of right now:

The House

I carefully counted (on 538’s map of all districts) the cross-hatched ones colored blue. (If you want to go crazy staring at this map parceled into what? 435 or so teeny hexagons, click on the link above and scroll down a bit.) The cross-hatched blue guys are seats that are nearly certain to be switching from Republican to Democrat.

I did this a number of times. I see maybe 31 seats virtually sure to switch.

I also counted pale cross-hatched hexagons and found maybe 6 more. Then there are a few pale pink hexagons — do you really want to know all this? Probably not. Some candidates are within .4 of each other. But not very many.

And there will be some surprises, not all of them happy ones. Devin Nunes looks like he’ll keep his seat — although since he’ll no longer have any power in the Intelligence Committee, he might well become the star subject of some hearings.

Oh, and two Republicans — Chris Collins (NY) and Duncan Hunter (CA) — have been indicted for various frauds and wrongs and stuff, so although both seem likely to win their elections, how long will that victory celebration last before they’re carted off to prison or take pleas? How will they be replaced? Special elections or gubernatorial selections? Who will be taking care of Hunter’s pet bunny? Big questions to be answered.

Bottom line: the Democrats will win at least 30 Republican House seats and as many as 36. Or maybe 38. Top line: the Democrats will control the House starting in January 2019.

The Senate

This is a bit tricky. 538 gives a 1 in 6 chance of the Democrats achieving a majority in the Senate. And those minimalist blue bars at the top of their screen seem, well, depressing.

But scroll down to what they call “the state of each state.” Take a look at those 100 hexagons. Roll your cursor over the seats Democrats must hold onto. I have. Countless times.

What I see is those Dem Senate seats the GOP kept calling “vulnerable” are, well, not. Sherrod Brown and Joe Manchin (yeah, I know, but he’s a Democrat, so let’s suck it up) are solidly OK for re-election. A couple of seats I was worried about — Joe Donnelly in Indiana and Bill Nelson in Florida — have been holding on and gaining some strength. The same with Jon Tester in Montana, a dark red state.

Claire McCaskill is up 1 point and if that sounds scary, she has been, at worst, even with Hawley and at best 2 points up. And she’s Claire, so.

The only endangered Democrat is Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota who is down 5 points. She took her vote against Kavanaugh on the neck and the GOP’s disgraceful and naked suppression of the Native American vote in North Dakota has downed her, I’m pretty furious to say. (Native Americans have trouble voting in North Dakota; Native Americans. You know, the original Americans. Hear me, second generation American, scream in rage.)

Unless polling has been really bad in Texas and the turnout really tremendous, I don’t think Beto O’Rourke is going to beat Ted Cruz. (Already various pundits are blaming him for running an inadequate campaign. As one sane pundit said on Twitter, they’re not taking into account Cruz’s double digit lead going into the campaign [he’s lost most of it]).

But. And this is a HUGE but. Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) is up 1.6 over the dreadful Martha McSally, and Jackie Rosen (Nevada) is up .9 over Dean Heller. Rosen has been down a few points throughout much of the time I’ve been staring at the polls so this is really good. She’s moving up just before the actual election.

This means if Heitkamp does lose a Democratic seat, Sinema should pick one up. And if Rosen wins, the Senate will be 50-50. (Yes, Angus King and Bernie Sanders are not Democrats but they caucus and vote with Democrats.)

My hand is tired. I’m gonna make some toast. Later I’ll do the really really exciting gubernatorial news.


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