Larry Sabato Makes the Call

Larry Sabato wants to be your buddy

Image by Aaron Webb via Flickr

Astute readers will recall a debate from this morning about what the political science experts, including Larry Sabato and Alan Abramowitz over at the Crystal Ball, are predicting for this year’s midterm.

The Crystal Ball’s final call is out.

Sabato calls it at +55R for the House and +8R for the Senate. The House forecast is slightly increased of his Labor Day call of +47R. Not much change was expected, since Sabato and Abramowitz et al. make their calls based on the more stable political forces nationwide rather than day-to-day polling data.

Either Abramowitz does not believe his own model, or he has a different interpretation of the Gallup data than one of our commentators at 538refugees, who believes that Abramowitz’ data points to a +65R or +70R election.


About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. http://www.logarchism.com | http://www.sevendeadlysynapses.com
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55 Responses to Larry Sabato Makes the Call

  1. WA7th says:

    Anything less than +50R in the House would be an unspinnable disaster for Republicans.

  2. GROG says:

    @WA7th,Interesting how your side will make any justifications and preperations necessary so that you can claim victory on Tuesday. The fact of the matter is if Republicans gain one seat in the House and one seat in the Senate, it will be a victory for the R’s. This is a party that was dead 2 years ago, gone the way of the whigs, remember? And now they hav a chance of gaining seats. Incredible.We were told by the left after the ’06 midterms and the Presidential election in ’08, that Republicans would never gain power again. The brand was too damaged after Bush and Cheney. Republicans single handidly caused an economic disaster that was only saved by Democrats.According to Democrats the “crazy, racist,homophobic, Muslim hating, old white Christian guy (I’m sure I missed some adjectives) Republican party shouldn’t even be in existence right now. How could anyone vote for a party that supports illegal immigration laws in Arizona?So if we gain even a single seat, it will be a victory for Republicans.

  3. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono:From what do you conclude that Abramowitz participated in Sabato’s projection or that Sabato used Abramowitz’ gallup based model?

  4. Bart DePalma says:

    WA7th wrote: “Anything less than +50R in the House would be an unspinnable disaster for Republicans.”LMMFAO! May the GOP suffer such “defeats” every cycle until the Dems go the way of the Know Nothings.

  5. filistro says:

    Bart today (Re: the suggestion that 50 House seats will be a “disaster” for his side)LMMFAO! May the GOP suffer such “defeats” every cycle until the Dems go the way of the Know Nothings.Bart yesterday (Re his “worst-case scenario”: House: GOP+50; Senate: GOP+8)The Dem negative ad blitz succeeds in keeping many Indis home and the tsunami turns into a medium wave. The Dems will spin this as less than 1994 and attributable to the economy. Obama would be encouraged and completely intransigent. The Tea Party would be disappointed and it would be more of a challenge to maintain the enthusiasm There you have it, folks.I report. You decide…. 😉

  6. Bart DePalma says:

    As usual, the Dem media polling rather than Ras are the ones finding enormous shifts from their prior grossly biased polling at the eve of an election.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/us/politics/28poll.html?_r=1Now that the awful NYT/CBS News poll is on board the tsunami, I think we can be sure the wave is already cresting before the beach.

  7. Monotreme says:

    Alan Abramowitz is listed on the website masthead as Senior Columnist and is a frequent contributor to the site.http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/about/

  8. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:Have you obtained your Xanax prescription to start this weekend in preparation for Tuesday?

  9. shortchain says:

    It strikes me that the measure of success for a political party in an election is not merely the number of candidates from their slate elected, but their increased ability to implement their platform.

    By that measure, the winners and losers of this election, assuming the projections by reputable pollsters hold up, are obvious already:

    1. The Democrats will be losers. But then, they’re losers already, thanks to their party structure, or, more properly, the lack of any.

    2. The GOP won’t be winners, because they won’t control the Senate (requires more than 55 seats, even with the false-flag Democrats like Ben Nelson helping them) and hence won’t be able to do more than block, which they can do already. They’ll actually be losers, because, in taking tea party support, they’ve taken poison, which will hurt them in future elections. It’s like chemotherapy for incurable cancer. It alleviates the symptoms, but does not cure the disease.

    3. The tea party will be losers as well. They’ll see no reduction in the size of government (except that already being done by Obama). In fact, there will be an increase in government due to the rampant “investigations” the GOP will institute (remember how much money Ken Starr spent?)

    4. The press, especially Fox, will be winners, having gathered in a heck of a lot of money and ratings. The political operatives, running the money funnels through with the vast sums of money flowed, will have skimmed off a goodly chunk of it and will be poised to build on their success in the upcoming 2012 election (if you thought this one was fun, well, just wait).

    5. And, of course, the American people will be losers (except for those with sufficient wealth, say about 50 million, who will be just fine), because this country will flounder along, rudderless and tossing about in the choppy waters of the new world order, with the middle class sinking into a kind of 21st century proletariat status, and the working class sinking into poverty.

  10. Bart DePalma says:

    Monotreme wrote: “Alan Abramowitz is listed on the website masthead as Senior Columnist and is a frequent contributor to the site.”That is true. However, Sabato has made is own predictions for years based upon seat-by-seat analysis. When applied his Gallup based regression model on the Crystal Ball in the past, Abramowitz is the author of the post and distinguishes his model from Sabato’s. See http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/aia2010061701/

  11. Monotreme says:

    My calendar says “October”, not “June”.

  12. filistro says:

    @Bart… I think we can be sure the wave is already cresting before the beach.Yes, I think that’s your problem right there. The wave “crested” way before it reached the beach… about a month ago, in fact.

  13. Bart DePalma says:

    The GOP is getting cocky. They told Stephanopoulos that they will gain well over 60 House seats and the Dems do not dispute that projection. Stephy is already looking shell shocked five days before he will be covering the election results. When the NYT tells Dems the Tsunami is nigh, I guess they finally take it seriously.http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/10/28/stephanopoulos_big_number_women_11_for_gop_in_last_month.html

  14. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono:The place you will probably see the an Abramowitz final projection, if he does not chicken out, will be over at Pollster.com. That is where he as been doing most of his posting.Your poll saying most folks want the parties to work together is fluff. The only before election polling that matters is the ones that ask specific questions on defined policies. (ex. Do you want to repeal the President’s health legislation). And of course, the margin of victory of the GOP running on their very specific platform of repealing TARP, the Porkulus and Obamacare.

  15. filistro says:

    @Bart… And of course, the margin of victory of the GOP running on their very specific platform of repealing TARP, the Porkulus and Obamacare.See, I TOLD you guys. This is the plan, it really is.Now, tell me the next two years aren’t going to be richly entertaining. (Though I freely acknowledge that it is unkind and insensitive to be entertained by the antics of the mentally ill. One should really feel sympathy, and offer help.)

  16. shrinkers says:

    @shortchainThat is an excellent analysis. The parties, and the people, are going to lose. Those with huge sums of money, and multinational corporations, particularly media conglomerates, will win. We’ll be a bit closer to a corporatocracy. But other than some always-hopeful right-wing bloggers, no one is predicting the 90 – 100 + seat tsunami of biblical proportions!, nor a Republican majority in the Senate. Some are still talking about 60 – 70 seats, but most predictions are around 50, with a big margin of error. I agree with WA7th. Anything less than +50 seats will be seen as Republican underachievement. They played the expectations card very poorly, as filistro keeps pointing out. Even 50 – 70 seats will be perceived as only a moderate victory. It’ll be tough for them to present themselves as having a “mandate,” though they’ll try anyway.And you’re right, it’ll be really, really hard for the Republicans to strong-arm their agenda through Congress. I’m sure they’ll try embedding their most offensive pieces inside must-pass legislation — like inserting repeal of some PPACA provisions or of some financial reform inside a Defense appropriations bill. You know, the kind of riders their “Plague to America” promised they wouldn’t do. But they won’t get that crap past the Senate, and Obama has a veto pen.So the most they’ll be able to do is continue to block progress. We’ll see how well that failure plays in 2012.

  17. Bart DePalma says:

    Generally, the rule of thumb is the leading party in an election underestimates its wins and the trailing party underestimates its losses to keep up their voter enthusiasm. Thus the puzzling GOP prediction of over 60 seats to Stephy after predicting the 30s for months. The new Rothernberg Report may hold the answer as to why the GOP is so confident.http://rothenbergpoliticalreport.com/news/article/will-the-house-losses-be-bad-or-horrendous(Note: The site is very slow because of traffic).Rothenberg is reporting that the GOP has extended its sample ballot polling to a whopping eight dozen seats and finds that the Dems are under 50%. That is 96 frigging seats where the Dems are in serious danger of losing. Rithenberg is now comparing the election to the GOP rebound in the 30s.

  18. shrinkers says:

    @filistroSee, I TOLD you guys. This is the plan, it really is.Of course it is. You called it.

  19. filistro says:

    So… we have all Bart’s prognosticators calling for 90 seat gains. Then we have the best political analyst in America who has just gone on record with 53. Maybe you’ve heard of him? Nerdy dark-haired kid, mid 30’s, name is Nate Silver? Based on past performance, I know who I’m going to trust.

  20. Mule Rider says:

    “Even 50 – 70 seats will be perceived as only a moderate victory.”OPINION masquerading as FACT ALERT!OPINION masquerading as FACT ALERT!OPINION masquerading as FACT ALERT!

  21. Mule Rider says:

    “Based on past performance, I know who I’m going to trust.”Hands down, Nate did a great job with the 2008 stuff. But let’s put it into perspective. He called 50 states for 1 presidential race. He’s now trying to call 435 House seats spread out in every diverse corner of the country, 37 Senate seats, and like 20-something governorships (not sure on the exact count). I don’t doubt his brains and that he’s got some strong political savvy to make accurate calls, but let’s not pretend what he did in 2008 is necessarily predictive of what he’s trying to do in 2010. It’s apples and oranges. More like a bushel of apples to one orange.

  22. GROG says:

    @shrinkers,Even 50 – 70 seats will be perceived as only a moderate victory.No, that would be an extraordinary victory. So the most they’ll be able to do is continue to block progress.No, they’ll be able to stop complete destruction.

  23. filistro says:

    @Muley OPINION masquerading as FACT ALERT!It’s just your opinion that this is an opinion. In my opinion, what WA7th has opined is not opinion but fact… and that’s a fact.

  24. shrinkers says:

    @GROG:-) What you see depends on where you stand.It doesn’t seem to me that without control of both chambers, and with only a relatively marrow majority in the House, the Republicans will be able to pass much of their agenda. Do you disagree? But perhaps a tactical pause is needed here — do you think it would be productive to simply continue to slow things down, and wait for the next election cycle to push ahead on conservative goals?What are your thoughts on the next two legislative years?

  25. shrinkers says:

    @filistro In my opinion, what WA7th has opined is not opinion but fact… and that’s a fact.LOL!That’s the thing about predictions. They’ll all opinions, some more informed, some less so. I think this was pointed out on another recent thread.Now, I could be wrong (and if I am, I’ll admit it loudly), but I’m still not convinced the “likely voter” screens are accurate this year. I was listening to Bob Schrumm on the radio yesterday (I think it was Schrumm — memory could be playing tricks on me). He talked about how the current LV screens are predicting really strange things — historically low turnout for voters under 39, for instance. Women voting in ways they never have since they got the vote. If these screens are wrong, then Tuesday could look very different by Wednesday.One thing that may be happening is that the people who are so so very very angry and enthusiastic are people who mostly were going to vote anyway. And who always vote Republican. Which would mean there really is nothing special about the upcoming Republican turnout. Which would throw all the predictions out the window.The early voting and absentee voting seems to be showing this — the data is mixed, but there certainly doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming flood of ballots from conservative districts. Of course, some conservative commentators will say that’s because the Tea Party Movements are not affiliated with any particular party, nor are they pinned to any one point on a right-left spectrum. But we won’t really know until Tuesday night.This year is a fascinating political study, isn’t it?

  26. shrinkers says:

    By the way, for the absolute best non-partisan information available on early voting, check out http://earlyvoting.net/

  27. Mule Rider says:

    “It’s just your opinion that this is an opinion.”And your point? I’m not trying to pretend it’s fact. What I’m doing is calling out those trotting out their opinions AS IF THEY WERE fact. I wouldn’t mind it so much except that we have to watch some of you get your panties in a wad when Bart does it. If it’s such an offense, then NO ONE should do it.

  28. filistro says:

    If it’s such an offense, then NO ONE should do it.No, only Bart should not do it.Because when Bart does it, it’s ten times as offensive as when anybody else does it. (Why? Because Bart is Bart, that’s why.)And we discourage offensive behavior at the site… so Bart should quit stating his opinions as fact. I can’t understand why this is so difficult for people to grasp.

  29. Mule Rider says:

    “it’s ten times as offensive as when anybody else does it.”It’s only “ten times as offensive” because it doesn’t jive with your narrow worldview. To the rest of us, it’s EQUALLY offensive when someone passes off opinion as fact and we can’t figure out why that’s so hard to grasp.

  30. GROG says:

    @shrinkers,I’m at work so I don’t have time to respond but I will later. Don’t want to be accused of dodging questions.

  31. Mr. Universe says:

    Opinions, facts. Where’s Realist when you need him/her?

  32. parksie555 says:

    @Shrinkers – I think the LV models may be off as well – but in favor of the Republicans this time. Take a look at this article:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/us/politics/28poll.html?ref=politicsMassive swing of women from D to R in the generic over the last few weeks despite Obama’s best effort to shore up the base.Parksie’s predictions:Senate: 51-49 D. Of the close ones NV should go R based on the trend, WA/CA hang on for the Ds, To me CO, WV, IL are true coin tosses at this point IMHO. Based on the some of this late breaking underlying polling data I think all three go R. Note however that even if Manchin should win in WV he has essentially done so by complete repudiation of the Obama agenda. He may as well caucus with the Rs at this point.House: 238-197 R I arrived at this figure by taking Nate’s map and moving most of the very palest blue districts (All basically coin tosses) and moving them to the R column based on momentum and underlying data such as the poll mentioned above.For any liberal to deny this is a massive repudiation of the Obama agenda is wishful thinking at best.Most interesting figure from the above mentioned poll: Fully 41% of those polled support outright repeal of Obama’s healthcare bill.Healthcare has become an epic, once in a generation, presidential political blunder. The closest analogy I can come up with is Carter’s mishandling of the Iran hostage crisis. And to me most of that blame is misplaced as Carter had little or no control over many aspects of that crisis. Obama on the other hand completely misread the electorate, the political landscape, and the economy, and will now pay the price. It’s just a shame a lot of good lawmakers like Russ Feingold and Mike Castle are the ones paying the price for Obama’s hubris.

  33. Realist says:

    @Bart,OPINION masquerading as FACT ALERT!Two things are wrong with your accusation:1) It’s a prediction, which we had already discussed gets more leeway than talking about the past. This is because nobody here believes that predicted events are ever “fact.”2) The evidence supporting his prediction is present on the same web page. Nobody here should expect every salient supporting point to be reiterated in every comment.You jumping up and down and pointing the finger (which is basically what it is when you repeat it three times, with CAPS and exclamation points) really makes you look silly to me, especially in this case.

  34. filistro says:

    @Parksie.. Healthcare has become an epic, once in a generation, presidential political blunder.Healthcare is one of those rare contradictions of the Gestalt theory, where the whole is much, much LESS than the sum of of its part.It is easy to reject HCR in toto on ideological grounds (“we don’t want no stinkin’ socialized healthcare”)… but much more difficult when you begin to pick it apart and decide what exactly you want to discard.Republiacns are going to look really silly if they waste valuable legislative time repealing this bill and then replace it with something that is essentially the same because almost all the individual components of the bill are THINGS THAT PEOPLE WANT.But then… their embrace of the ludicrous Tea Party makes them look silly anyhow, so no no great loss…

  35. Bart DePalma says:

    Realist:Thanks for noting the difference between opinion and fact. They don’t seem to listen when I post it. I must be lying after all…:::shakes head with bemusement:::

  36. filistro says:

    And speaking of/to parksie… Hey, I’m loving the World Series!What a delight. Here we have a bunch of guys representing the gayest, most liberal city in the nation… whose first baseman wears a skimpy red thong at every game!… ..and a bunch of guys representing the most redneck, conservative state in the nation, a team once owned by George W. Bush…And the guys from Gay City are giving the guys from Redneck State an absolute thumping!Personally, I consider it a portent 😉

  37. Realist says:

    @Mr. UWhere’s Realist when you need him/her?Sorry…it’s a really busy week for me. I’ll be around less than I have been.But it’s nice to be needed. 😀

  38. parksie555 says:

    @Filly – I was surprised at how easily they handled Lee. I think their agressiveness swinging at first pitch strikes may have helped in this regard.But I would not count Texas out of this series just yet. If the Rangers win tonight they have achieved what they had to do in SF.PS – It had to hurt at least a little seeing poor Doc miss the World Series yet again, didn’t it? 3 one-run losses in a single post season series makes for some agonizing viewing…

  39. filistro says:

    Parksie.. Yes, I felt for Doc… but just a tiny bit. (If he’d stayed with the Jays he would have had a better shot next year. Did you see those guys pounding home runs at season’s end? :-)The one who amazes me is Lincecum. I’m embarrassed to admit that since I always watch the AL, I was hardly aware of this kid. He looks like some little stoner who got lost on his way to break-dance practice and wandered into the stadium by mistake. 5’11, 163 pounds… and 2 tons of talent.

  40. Mule Rider says:

    “He looks like some little stoner…”In case you missed this a while back…http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4627319

  41. filistro says:

    In case you missed this a while back…LOL… thanks Muley. I didn’t know that.(Am I a good judge of people, or what? 😉

  42. Scott says:

    The one who amazes me is Lincecum. I’m embarrassed to admit that since I always watch the AL, I was hardly aware of this kid. He looks like some little stoner who got lost on his way to break-dance practice and wandered into the stadium by mistake.I’ve known about him for a while. :)From my Facebook page:Scott Caruso thinks that Tim Lincecum might just be the best pitcher I’ll ever see. Better than I ever remember Pedro when Pedro was at his best.April 5 at 9:13pm

  43. filistro says:

    If we’re going to talk baseball, I need more emoticons. Does anybody know how many we have here? Is there a secret list somewhere?How do you all do the cool dude with the sunglasses? I forget.How come other people know all this stuff and I don’t?

  44. Scott says:

    Is there a secret list somewhere?Christine O’Donnell’s got it hidden alongside her secret government documents about China.

  45. Mainer says:

    You know I do beleive that the Republicans are going to better than what they deserve. MY OPINION. They are quite likely going to get the house. MY OPINION. There are way too many out on the right end of the bench beleiving they are heading to the great wave of political change. HI BART. And there are those of us out here still trying to figure out the numbers and having our doubts and the Barts and others of the world are coming unglued that we are in such denial because it is maybe god sent that the Republican wave is on its way. Ok I sort of get all that but…….Why is there so much effort from the conservo side to start the “they stole the election” bus if you are winning by a land slide? I jut don’t get it.One does not play cards they do not need to play. To be on the winning side of a landslide and be taking steps that will intimidate the loosing side says…..well maybe your internals do not look as good as the paid for version. If the wave is as strong as it is supposed to be why take the chance of screwing it up with stuff that could get results thrown out? What am I missing?

  46. shiloh says:

    Why is there so much effort from the conservo side to start the “they stole the election” bus if you are winning by a land slide? I jut don’t get it. One does not play cards they do not need to play. To be on the winning side of a landslide and be taking steps that will intimidate the loosing side says…..well maybe your internals do not look as good as the paid for version. If the wave is as strong as it is supposed to be why take the chance of screwing it up with stuff that could get results thrown out? What am I missing?~~~~~It’s really quite basic:Winning elections is a life or death process for Bart and his Rep lemmings as opposed to a democratic process to the rest of us. Which is why ailes started scorched earth campaigning in the late ’60s which was continued by atwater, turdblossom.ie hate/fear/distraction/misinformation politics to the nth degree!and the obvious:All of this is exacerbated by the election of the 1st African/American, Muslim born in Kenya, American president.Reps are really, really, really pissed this election cycle and are pulling out all the plays in their playbook, not the least of which is $$$ from conservative billionaires.As mentioned to Bartles yesterday, Reps don’t like to lose …elementary Mainer, elementary

  47. Realist says:

    @shiloh,Reps don’t like to lose …”And Democrats do? Of course not. Honestly, that statement is silly.

  48. shiloh says:

    Let me rephrase: Reps never expect to lose as I don’t want to get into a parsel of phrasing w/538’s professor.Again, we’ll just have to agree to disagree as I won’t call you silly.take care

  49. Jean says:

    filistro,re: Is there a secret list somewhere?I think the Tea Party has the list. These folks not only have their own little coded language, they even have their own secret rules of capitalization and punctuation.

  50. shiloh says:

    btw Realist, please point out where I said Dems don’t like to lose, as my post had to do w/degree ie life or death process for Bart and his Rep lemmings>See this is where one gets in trouble by asking questions er putting words in someone else’s mouth.take care

  51. Mainer says:

    I suppose so Shiloh. But for a side that has played this like a well trained football team for the past 2 years and that has so much working for them it seems to smack of a cetain level of weakness. I think you could be right to a degree that it is another page in the playbook but why put that level of uncertainty into a contest you have worked so hard to game the message of we are winning it all with oh my a coupl of cheats could steal this election. If this is indeed such a lop sidded contest then it would have to require massive, unprecedented, unheard of levls of manipulation to offset said expected tidal wave. So are we to believe that several over age wanna be black panthers and an Achorn that no longer exists or some super secret left wing organization is capable of undoing a tidal wave? Sorry I’m just not buying it. Some thing stinks. Now a very interesting story probably will be confrontations between those that will wish to intimidate others into not voting or preventing oh so feared theft of the election and those sworn to up hold the law. I find it very interesting how folks that are so authoritarin can be so up in arms at authority. Odd isn’t it?

  52. shiloh says:

    Mainer, as a rule, Reps fall in line, but this election cycle you have your teabaggers: Demint, palin, etc. … and your party regulars: McConnell, Boehner, Cantor so it’s hard for them to get on the same page, ehie a winger angle/buck/o’donnell/paul/miller etc. cluster fuck! 🙂 and again, Reps have always been better at hardcore politics ie Gore vs. Bush 2000 hangin’ chad fiasco decided by a conservative court.If you’re looking for rationality re: the 2010 midterm, you might go blind! 😉

  53. shiloh says:

    Second attempt:parsing not parsel lol as I’m sure Realist must be familiar w/every word in the English language. :)ok, I’m just having fun as if you can’t have fun at a progressive blog, what’s the point.btw, there was an intelligent conservative poster at Joker’s, Spastic 😉 hey, that was her name, honest, who would parse every word in a liberal’s post w/out ever actually debating the subject matter. She was somewhat entertaining.An extreme version of Realist to be sure, but similar.Spastic was one of many Reps who disappeared after the 2006 election …

  54. Mainer says:

    As you just mentioned his name, I was just talking with a friend that has been out of state on business and he said that twice he had heard on talk radio (where ever it was he was working????) that Jim DeMint would most likely make a run at Mitch McConnell for Republican leader in the Senate. I can’t find any thing on it…..any one else stumbled onto to this?I think far more interesting is who will get the nod for the Republicans in the House. If they get a majority are they going to actually let John Boehner be speaker? Now we know Spence has pulled himself out of the game and I don’t see Cantor getting it or even wanting the job of herding cats if he has future aspirations so who else? Ryan?? He may not want the job either because of future ambitions. I’m really curious.Oh and while the Orange man will most likely win Tuesday in his district I see the ghost of elections future on the horizon. One has to figure that Coussoule probably knew going in that the deck was stacked against him this time but with name recognition and a campaign for 2012 that could start as early as Wednesday Boehner could be more distracted than usual and his golf game could seriously suffer but hey it might be good for his liver. That 19th hole can be a killer.

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