Election predictions rolling in
By Ben Pershing
The polls are open this morning in upstate New York, New Jersey, Virginia and a handful of other regions, and while electoral predictions are all over the map, the most common sentiment is that this will be a good day for the red column and a bad one for blue.
How much do Tuesday's results matter? Obviously, it depends whom you ask. "The White House downplayed the national significance of the off-year elections, but Republicans, including GOP Chairman Michael Steele, portrayed them as referendums on Obama's presidency," reports USA Today. As for 2010 and 2012, the Wall Street Journal says "Republicans appear positioned for strong results in three hard-fought elections Tuesday. But isolated, off-year contests aren't always reliable indicators of what will happen in the wider federal and state races held in even-numbered years." Under the headline, "It Doesn't Mean Squat," Joshua Green writes, "Along with tarot cards and goat entrails, a lot of people believe they can divine hidden meaning from the results of off-year elections. ... I'm skeptical." The Associated Press judges the races to be an "early test of ... Obama's political influence," noting that by weighing in on the contests, "Obama raised the stakes of a low-enthusiasm off-year election season -- and risked political embarrassment if any lost." George Stephanopoulos writes, "my hunch is that this year's angry voters just won't be denied which means a sweep for the GOP."
In New York's 23rd district, the majority of prognosticators give Doug Hoffman, the Republican-backed Conservative candidate, the advantage over Democrat Bill Owens. A Siena Research poll taken Sunday gave Hoffman a 41 percent to 36 percent lead, with 18 percent undecided. Mark Blumenthal writes that some on the left are looking at the polls and refusing to believe that Hoffman has an advantage. "Apologies to my Democratic friends for the pessimism, but I don't see it," he says. Nate Silver also surveys the surveys and concludes, "Owens would be about a 4:1 underdog. So I suppose I'm getting off the fence here and declaring Hoffman the favorite, although I wouldn't attach any precise probability estimate to it."
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Posted at 8:31 AM ET on Nov 3, 2009
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