Election Prediction Update: 10/31/2010

Health care reform enemy Rick Scott looks poised to be Florida's next governor.

The last two days I was in Chicago. The second I get into the city (well, Lombard actually), I get into an accident. Not a great way to start off my day. Therefore, I have been “distracted” from my predictions in last two days, in addition to only getting home two hours ago.

Anyway, I just wanted to get you all updated on the latest Election 2010 news.

Unfortunately for Democrats, there really hasn’t been many polls of any significance regarding close races. There have been a few, which I will get into. But overall, not much at all. Here are a look at some of the races that might be changing.

First, we will go to Pennsylvania. Just when it looks like Pat Toomey is going to lock it up, Joe Sestak makes a number of impressive showings in a number of recent polls. But even with Sestak’s improvement, it is still not enough to say that he will be able to defeat Toomey. Still, if poll numbers come out tomorrow showing something different, Toomey might be in trouble.

Amongst the recent polls conducted in the Pennsylvania Senate race is a daily tracking poll conducted by Muhlenberg College. Rarely do we see daily tracking polls published in any type of election, so this is a nice treat.

Anyway, some of these polls show Sestak starting to pull closer. And looking at the recent data, Sestak seemed to make real gains yesterday. We expect this to be the case with both Friday and Saturday being included in the poll. In fact, Sestak might even pull ahead in the tracking poll tomorrow as it will include Sunday interviews (along with Friday and Saturday interviews as well). Again, it is a nice sign, but don’t bet the farm on Sestak just yet.

Another race that seems to be closing up is the Governor’s race in Florida. After a dismal debate performance by Democrat Alex Sink, Republican Rick Scott has been able to tighten the race. He has actually taken the lead in many polls as well.

Sink had a decent lead in this race two weeks ago, but after a number of gaffes, Sink looks more vulnerable by the day. Therefore, with the Scott momentum, I am changing the Political Hurricane prediction in this race from Sink to Scott. If Scott had the advantage in early voting, he sure will have it on Election Day voting as well, giving him an easy victory.

In the last poll we will look at, Florida’s 25th Congressional District is looking better for the Democrats. In a year which we expect to see a Republican tidal wave, the 25th could be a bright spot for the Democratic Party.

In a recent Voter Survey Service poll, which leans Republican, Joe Garcia is only one point behind his Republican opponent David Rivera. Garcia was predicted by many experts to win this district two years ago (though we did not). Will Tuesday be his chance to finish off what he was trying to do two years ago? We think so. Therefore, for now, we are switching our projection from Rivera winning this seat to Garcia winning. Again, this could change tomorrow.

One important aspect in this race is how many Marco Rubio voters will vote for Rivera. These two men are close, so we are expecting it to help Rivera out a lot. But if many voters think that Rubio already his race locked up, then some voters that would have stood in long lines as the polls on Election Day to vote for Rubio (thus voting for Rivera) might just stay home instead. While large turnout helps Democrats nationwide, a small turnout in the 25th will give Garcia the advantage.

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