Monday, July 30, 2012

The Senate Is More Exciting

I'm occasionally clicking over to 538, looking at the more or less static presidential race numbers, and wishing that I could get more information about Senate races.  There's so much interesting stuff going on in the Senate this cycle.  There's the Hawaii Democratic primary pitting solid party-liner Mazie Hirono against LieberDem Ed Case, the Wisconsin race with Tammy Baldwin against whoever emerges from an exciting GOP primary, the much-beloved Elizabeth Warren in MA, a serious chance for Democrats to hang on in North Dakota, George Allen trying to rise again in Virginia, and a whole bunch of other races going on.  But Nate's got nothing to tell me on that.  The other sites I look at (RCP and TPM) don't really have much in the way of groundbreaking Senate analytics, though they're okay for just seeing what recent polls have said.  


ikl said...

Yup, the Presidential race is very static and pretty uninteresting since most of the messaging is centered around (a) rallying the base, or (b) swaying a very small number of swing voters with not very substantive (at least from the point of view of someone concerned with policy) attacks on one's opponent.

Part of the problem is that Senate races are by nature slower to develop (and House races even more slow). So it is a little tricky to say much about them at this point. If I had to bet now, I'd say that the Reps pick up NE, ND, and MO and the Dems pick up ME (King will caucus with the Dems and vote with them on most of the important stuff) and MA. ND and MA look very close though as do MT, NV. It is hard for me to get a read on WI until after the primary, but I have a bad feeling about this one.

Neil Sinhababu said...

That all sounds about right to me. I also don't feel especially confident about WI, even though when I think about it the probabilities look all right. This could very well be our Tea Party gift race this cycle, where the GOP passes over the experienced moderate for an untested and undisciplined radical.

ikl said...

I was going to caution that Hovde might not be so weak (lots of $$$ + little record), but then I saw that Newman appears to be surging at just the right moment. Could we really be so lucky? I don't think that Baldwin is a sure thing against Newman, but Newman really doesn't have a good profile (hard right and already lost statewide), so I think that this would go to somewhere between tilt and lean Dem if Newman wins. I still worry that Baldwin underperforms Obama.