Here’s a little handy guide for your election night reference. It’s based on this page from the NY Times and FiveThirtyEight. As a conservative, I am more than happy to bash the Times when they screw up–but they do a great job with the pure data of the election.
Anyway—here is what the GOP needs to do in the house (remember, they need 39 seats to regain control.)
If they win all races where they are projected to win by 5 or more, they gain 33 seats.
If they win all races where they are projected to win by 3 or more, they gain 50 seats.
If they win all races where they are projected to win by any amount, they gain 59 seats.
If they win all races where they are projected to win or be within 3 points, they gain 71 seats.
If they win all races where they are projected to win or be within 5 points, they gain 80 seats.
Obviously, they will lose some that we expect them to win. And they will win some that we expect them to lose. But all things equal–if they win all races in which it looks like they have substantial leads, they are in really good shape. The GOP would have to win only 6 of the 26 other seats that they are favored in, to win the house. That’s why sites like Intrade are showing about a 90% chance Republicans will win.
Of course, there’s always the Alan Grayson thesis. In an interview this weekend that aired on our Miami affiliate 610 WIOD, he said (paraphrasing) ‘The only reason that the polls in 2010 look worse than the polls in 2008 is that democrats have more cell phones.’ Hopefully, this will be just another embarrassing moment in the failed career of former congressman Grayson. Feels so good to type that.