Monday, June 30, 2008

Senate Forecast - June 30

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This is the DemConWatch Senate Forecast, a summary of the best election projections on the web for the 2008 Senate elections. Be sure to check out our Presidential Forecast and our House Forecast. (See July 5th update at bottom).

DCW Senate Forecast: 55.7 (was 55.5). This number is going to move like a glacier, due to the small number of Senate seats having any contest (14), and the number being the average of 8 sites. Today's movement is mostly due to the adding of a new index at, as well as OpenLeft moving CO and NH to D-Strong.

The DCW Senate Forecast is an average of the projections of the Democratic held seats in the 2009 Senate. (We count Sanders and Lieberman as Democrats in the Senate Forecast. Feel free to subtract one if you so desire!)

The following seats are unanimous strong ,and not a pickup (VA), and are not shown in the table below:
Solid Democrat: AR (Pryor), DE (Biden), IA (Harkin). IL (Durbin), MA (Kerry), MI (Levin), MT (Baucus), RI (Reed), SD (Johnson), WV (Rockefeller)
Solid Republican: AL (Sessions), ID (Open), KS (Roberts), MS (Cochrane), NE (Open), OK (Inhofe), SC (Graham), TN (Alexander), TX (Cornyn), WY (Barraso), WY (Enzi)

The sources are sorted by each sources Senate Projection:

DCW Senate Tracker
Current538.comEV.comOpenLeftCrystal BallCookCQRothenbergSSP....







Dem '10/'12 Seats

Senate Projection



AK (Stevens)
CO (Open)
GA (Chambliss)
KY (McConnell)
LA (Landrieu)
ME (Collins)
MN (Coleman)
MS (Wicker)
NC (Dole)
NH (Sununu)
NJ (Lautenberg)
NM (Open)
OR (Smith)
VA (Open)

Here are the seats that span 3 categories:
  • CO - Two projections have it as strong D, 4 as Tossup. Udall is up by 9 or 10 points in all 3 June polls.
  • KY (McConnell): EV.Com has it as a Tossup
  • MS (Wicker): Rothenberg has it as a "Clear Advantage" for Wicker, but Rasmussen's poll out on 6/24 shows Wicker with a 1 point lead.
  • NH (Sununu): Shaheen has opened up a 14 point lead in 2 straight polls, but Sununu has a big money advantage.
  • NM (Open): Cook, who hasn't updated since May 23, has it as a Tossup. Udall has led by 15 points or more in all polls since Mid-May.
The Senate Projection for each source gives Democrats 1.0 seats in a state that is projected solid for the Democrat (or seats that are not up for reelection this cycle), 0.8 seats for a Democrat-Lean, 0.5 seats for a a Tossup, 0.2 seats for a Republican-Lean, and obviously 0 seats for a solid Republican seat or a Republican seat not up for reelection this cycle.

July 5 Update: Only one forecaster has changed in the last week, so we'll note it here rather than do a whole new post. has updated as follows: CO: Dem Lean->Dem Strong. KY: Tossup-> Rep-Lean. MN and NC: Rep-Lean -> Rep-Strong. This changes the projection to 56, +5, and changes the overall forecast to 55.6.

ACLU and protest groups still not happy

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The ACLU was in court again over conditions for protesters at the 2008 Democratic Convention:

The American Civil Liberties Union and several advocacy groups have filed an amended complaint to their lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service and the city and county of Denver that says protesters and demonstrators may have their First Amendment rights violated by security restrictions.

The ACLU has said it wants to avoid the conditions that existed during the 2004 convention in Boston, where protesters were caged, infuriating First Amendment advocates
And how will the protest area be enclosed?
The fence around the public demonstration zone outside the Democratic National Convention will be chicken wire or chain link, authorities revealed in U.S. District Court today. - Denver Post
The comparison to Boston?
Cement barriers, 8-foot-tall chain-link fencing, and heavy black netting have been installed around the protest zone outside the FleetCenter. - Boston Globe

Invesco News Announcement

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Chuck Todd: Hillary to decide whether Bill will speak at convention

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Hillary Clinton, will, of course, get to give a major speech at the Democratic Convention. It will almost surely be on the first night, Monday, so that the "Clinton story" can be put to rest and the rest of the convention focused on Obama.

But will Bill Clinton speak? I had always assumed he would speak by introducing Senator Clinton. NBC's Chuck Todd on Meet the Press isn't so sure:

Well, this is what we do know. She's going to speak. Shocking, right? But the question is how many Clintons will speak? And I think what we don't know is, is will there Clintons speaking on multiple nights? Unlikely, the Obama campaign doesn't want to have that. Senator Clinton, does she want to have President Clinton speak? And I think you're likely to see the Obama campaign leave it up to her. If she wants to have President Clinton introduce her, that's going to be fine with them. But does she? We've seen what happens when the two of them do back-to-back speeches. It's usually not that great for Senator Clinton. Maybe Chelsea Clinton introduces Senator Clinton. That's probably more likely. And we'll see some sort of almost a baton passing from one generation of Clintons to another generation of Clintons. So, I think a tribute video is in the future of President Clinton.
Not having Bill Clinton speak will be seen as a snub, no matter whether its Hillary Clinton's or Obama's decision.

Al at The Field wants his convention credential back

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If you haven't followed the story of Al Giordano of The Field and how he's unjustly lost his bloggers' credential, go over to the new location of The Field, and read the latest update. Al has been doing some great blogging this spring, and he deserves to be in Denver.

To quickly summarize, he was awarded a credential for blogging at his first blog, the owners of that blog started to censor him, so he moved to his current blog. But the original blog owners still have the credential, even though the original blog wouldn't come close to qualifying for a credential without the traffic Al brought it.

All the DNCC has to do to fix this is give Al a credential. (They don't even have to take away the old one). This should be an easy one for the DNCC to take care of.

Senate Races - Base Data

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Below is a list of those races currently on the watch list, or likely to change party this cycle. The name of the state is blue/red based on who currently holds the seat, the competitors are also in the respective blue/red. If the person is an incumbent, his/her name is bolded.

Alaska: Mark Begich, Ted Stevens

Colorado: Mark Udall, Bob Schaffer

Georgia: Saxby Chambliss, 5 competitors

Kentucky: Bruce Lunsford, Mitch McConnell

Louisiana: Mary Landrieu, John Kennedy

Maine: Tom Allen, Susan Collins

Minnesota: Al Franken, Norm Coleman

Mississippi: Erik Fleming, Thad Cochran

Mississippi: Ronnie Musgrove, Roger Wicker

North Carolina: Kay Hagan, Elizabeth Dole

New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen, John Sununu

New Jersey: Frank Lautenberg, Dick Zimmer

New Mexico: Tom Udall, Steve Pearce

Oregon: Jeff Merkley, Gordon Smith

Virginia: Mark Warner, Jim Gilmore

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday with the Senators – Round-Up: 27 June

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Before we get to the November choices, I’d like to spend two moments on the current crop of Senators.

  1. Here is a link of the list of FISA heroes. Senators who WILL stand up and say "NO DOMESTIC SPYING" "NO TELECOM IMMUNITY" And in answer to "why is it so bad that the telecoms did what the government asked them to?" the answer is "Collusion with corruption causing civil rights violations is BAD." If you have not done so, please remember to call YOUR Senators. (Yes, both of them) -- you may also want to contact the 15 FISA heroes and say thank you. Because standing up against tyranny and aggression matters. The vote is currently scheduled for 8 July, but may be delayed due to the potential filibuster.
  2. If you believe, as I do, that Joe Lieberman needs to be ousted from all Democratic caucus meetings, sign the petition. Political action is NOT just reading the numbers and voting in November, it is supporting the people in office who support our values, and working to remove those who do not.

And now, on to the races.

Alaska: No new polls this week, and it’s still a supposed toss-up. However, the Obama machine is coming.

Colorado: The latest Quinnipiac poll has Udall up by 10, with 12% undecided. Remember that Udall’s favourables are at 56%, and Schaffer’s are below 50.

Georgia: No movement, and no new polls.

Kentucky: McConnell is slipping. RCP has him up by 7.7 as of 25 June, when he won 6 years ago by approximately 30 points.

Louisiana: No movement, and no new polls.

Maine: No movement, and no new polls. Remember though, that Collins won 6 years ago by about 17 points, and hasn’t led by that since March.

Minnesota: No movement, and no new polls. The good news is that Jesse Ventura still hasn’t entered the race, and the Presidential polls show Obama up by a lot.

Mississippi: Cochran: No change, no new polls.
Mississippi: Wicker: This is still the closest of all the races, with RCP having recent polls in the +1/-1 range.

North Carolina: No change, no new polls.

New Hampshire: No new polls, but Shaheen is still up by more than 10. (Sununu won against her 6 years ago by 4). Expect to see new polling out of NH this week based on the Unity rally on Friday.

New Jersey: The latest poll, from Saturday,
shows Lautenberg up by a comfortable 16 points.

New Mexico: Still a lock for Udall.

Oregon: No change, and no new polls. (But I’m still convinced this "red" will change by Labour Day.)

Virginia: Still a lock for Warner.

And I’d like to bring what should be a fully red race to your attention: Texas. Yes, that Texas. A recent Texas Lyceum poll shows Cornyn up by only 2 points. Sure, there is a large percentage of undecideds, But Cornyn won this race by 12 points 6 years ago. It shouldn’t be this close, but happily it is.

The most important numbers in the next several weeks will not be the poll numbers, but will be the money numbers which will be out in mid-July.

Veepstates -- Round 3

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This is round three of the veepstakes, the four highest percentage choices from the 10 names in Round 2. Next round will be the final two.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

DCW Presidential Forecast - June 28

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This is the DemConWatch Presidential Forecast, a summary of the best election projections on the web. Please also check out our Senate Forecast, and the House Forecast will be introduced later this month.

Update 6/28: Latest projection: Obama leads 301-237, up 2 from the last forecast of 299-239. made another major change to its algorithm, assuming that the race will naturally tighten. This had the effect of bringing Obama's state numbers down across the board and changed their estimate of Obama's EVs from 344 to 310, and is no longer an outlier on the Obama side. But this was balanced out and more by movement towards Obama in a number of states in different projections, especially in GA, MI, MN, TX and WI, giving Obama an overall +2 EVs on average. A history chart is at the bottom of this post.

Map showing consensus of sources. This table will show a state Blue or Red if a majority of the sources show it Leaning or Solid for that candidate. Changes: MI moves to Obama, NC moves to McCain.

<p><strong>><a href=''>Electoral College Prediction Map</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.</p>
Unanimous solid states, not shown in the table below:
Solid Obama: CA, DC, HI, IL, MD, NY, RI, VT - 131 EVs.
Solid McCain: AL, ID, KY, OK, TN, UT, WY - 47 EVs

The sources are sorted by each projection's estimate of Obama's Electoral Votes (Algorithm determined below). The states are sorted by the number of electoral votes.

DCW General Election Tracker
EVsElect. Proj.Open LeftEV.

Obama (O)

Obama-Lean (OL)

Tossup (T)

McCain-Lean (ML)

McCain (M)

Obama Total

McCain Total

Obama Est.


New Jersey
N. Carolina
S. Carolina
New Mexico
W. Virginia
N. Dakota
S. Dakota

Elect. Proj.Open LeftEV.

538 - FiveThirtyEight - Safe and Likely mapped to Strong (O or M), Lean to Lean (OL or ML), Tossup to Tossup (T)
CNN - Safe mapped to Strong, Leaning to Lean, Tossup to Tossup
Elect. Proj. - Election Projection - Solid and Strong mapped to Strong, Moderate to Lean, Weak to Tossup - - Strong mapped to Strong, Weak to Lean, Barely and Tossup to Tossup
FrontLoading HQ - Solid mapped to Strong, Lean to Lean, Tossup (Dem and Rep) to Tossup
NBC - Base mapped to strong,
Lean to Lean, Tossup to Tossup
OpenLeft - Solid mapped to Strong, Lean to Lean, Tossup to Tossup
RM - Rasmussen - Safe and Likely mapped to Strong, Lean to Lean, Tossup to Tossup
RCP - RealClearPolitics - Solid mapped to Strong, Lean to Lean, Tossup to Tossup

Here are the states that span 3 categories.
  • Alaska: 2 at Tossup, 4 at McCain-Strong. Rasmussen's own poll shows McCain only up by 4, yet they still have AK as Likely-Republican, which we convert to McCain-Strong.
  • Connecticut: Only having it as a toss-up - that likely won't last. The only poll in the last 3 months showed Obama at +3 in late May.
  • Georgia: 2 at Tossup, Rasmussen still has it as McCain-Strong.
  • Indiana: Rasmussen again the holdout at McCain-Strong.
  • Minnesota: With Survey USA out on June 16 with a poll showing Obama only up by 1, CNN's projection of a Tossup doesn't look like as much of an outlier. CNN moves to Obama-Lean.
  • Montana: 538 now has it as a Tossup. 2 Projections have it as Strong-McCain. Last poll was in April.
  • New Hampshire: Three projections have this former? battleground state at Obama-Strong.
  • New Mexico: Five projections have it as Obama-Lean, CNN has it at McCain-Lean. Two recent polls show Obama up by 3 and 8 points.
  • North Dakota - Two have it as tossup - that won't last. Or will it? There hasn't been a state poll in ND since April.
  • Oregon - One of the few Obama states that seems to be closing, with Obama only up by 3 in the latest SurveyUSA poll. 1 Tossup, 1 Obama-Strong.
  • South Dakota: 538 has it as Tossup.
  • Virgina (New): 538 has it as Obama-Lean, Rasmussen at McCain-Lean
  • West Virginia: 538 has it as Tossup.
  • Wisconsin: is the first to move this former battleground state to Obama-Strong.
We're purposely ignoring Maine and Nebraska CD splits for now to keep things simple. We'll add them in later if we need to.

The overall projection is just a straight average of each projections' estimate of Electoral Votes (EVs) for each candidate. For each projection other than FiveThirtyEight, we give Obama 100% of the EVs in a state that is solid for him, 80% of the EVs for a leaner, 50% of the EVs for a Tossup, 20% of the EVs for state that is McCain-Lean, and 0% of the Solid McCain states. Exact opposite for McCain. For FiveThirtyEight, we use their overall estimate of Obama's EVs, not the state-by-state categories.