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The Crystal Ballís Final Calls (GOP Gains: +55 for House, +8 for Senate +8-9 Governors)
Center for Politics ^ | 10/28/10 | Larry J. Sabato

Posted on 10/28/2010 5:49:03 AM PDT by randita

The Crystal Ball’s Final Calls

Larry J. Sabato, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

October 28th, 2010

The time has finally come in this two-year election cycle to make the final calls. Thanks to everyone who has helped us by providing background info, tips, private polls, observations, and constructive criticism. We operate on the proverbial shoestring and we’re outside the Beltway (a plus and a minus), so we can always use the assistance.

Our tradition is that we make a prediction in every contest. We’ve been studying these states, districts, and candidates for many years, and we feel entitled! We’re proud of our record over the years, but inevitably we will be wrong with some calls. Apologies for those in advance.

Students sometimes ask how I ever got into this game. I first published a state-by-state set of predictions in 1978. To my surprise, the exercise turned out well. In 1980 I won a DC-based election pool, and with that cash incentive, I was hooked. (No, I haven’t bet on elections in decades, and professional prognosticators shouldn’t.)

HOUSE

The Crystal Ball was the first nonpartisan ratings service to call the House for the Republicans this year. Before Labor Day we issued a projection of +47 net gains for the Republicans. We based this both on a district-by-district analysis and also a careful review of the underlying election variables, from the generic ballot to presidential job approval to likely statewide coattail.

We believe +47 was the right call, though at the time the number was considered startling to most. The likely switch of the House to the GOP was fiercely disputed by Democrats at that time. Many other nonpartisan prognosticators had estimated Republican gains as being below the 39 net required for a GOP takeover.

Even at this late date, we see no need to do anything but tweak the total R gains, based on more complete information now available to all. Thus, we are raising the total to +55 net R seats. We consider 47 to be in the ballpark still, but more of a floor than a ceiling. In fact, if you’ll go back to our pre-Labor Day analysis, that’s exactly what we suggested +47 would end up being.

The new total matches our district-by-district chart:

SENATE

The Crystal Ball has operated within a very narrow range all year. When others were projecting GOP Senate gains of just +3-4, we were already at +6. Depending on the primary results and other circumstances, we’ve landed between +6 and +9 in the last half-year. We have never gotten to +10, the number needed for Republican takeover of the Senate, and we do not do so in this final forecast either. To us, the number of GOP gains looks to be +8. Ten was always a stretch.

We believe the GOP will hold all its open seats (FL, KY, MO, NH, OH). This is quite an accomplishment in itself, since the early assumption was that at least a couple would switch sides. In addition, Republicans will probably pick up most of the following: AR, CO, IL, IN, NV, ND, PA, and WI. The closest appear to be CO, IL, NV, and PA. These races, especially the first three, are so tight that a strong breeze could change the result, so the GOP may well come up one or two short in this category. By the way, if Republicans do win the +8 we have projected, then they only have to unexpectedly pick off two of the following states to take control: CA, CT, WA, or WV. CT seems least likely, WA most likely–but any of the foursome would be an upset.

In our pre-Labor Day analysis, however, we noted a historical anomaly: Since World War II, the House has changed parties six times, and in every case, the Senate switched, too. In five of the six cases, most prognosticators did not see the Senate turnover coming. (Only in 2006 did some guess correctly, including the Crystal Ball.) So if we have a big surprise on election night, this could be it, despite the pre-election odds against it.

Note on Alaska: We were skeptical about the possible success of a write-in candidacy by Sen. Lisa Murkowski—which would be the first triumphant one since Sen. Strom Thurmond in 1954—but Joe Miller’s constant gaffes and controversies have actually put Murkowski in a position to win. It could be close and take many days to determine the winner, but it does not matter since Democrat Scott McAdams will not win and either Miller or Murkowski would sit in the Republican caucus. It matters to Alaskans whether Miller or Murkowski takes the seat, but not to the Crystal Ball’s tally.

We will continue to monitor the closest races all the way through election eve. If we decide to change a rating, we will post it on this website. We will also take another look at tight races for Governor and House.

GOVERNORS

The Crystal Ball was the first to project a likely GOP pick-up of +8 statehouses. While a few gubernatorial contests have teetered back and forth, we haven’t wavered far from that number, settling at +8-9 Republican gains, while recognizing that the final tally could vary by one in either direction.

The Republicans are likely to pick up 14 governorships: FL, IL, IA, KS, ME, MI, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, WI, and WY. The Democrats appear to be gaining 5 statehouses: CA, CT, HI, MN, and VT. The closest of these are CA, CT, IL, MN, OR, and VT. In each case we have had highly reliable, well-placed sources insist that our frontrunner could end up on the short end come Tuesday. So again, we will keep an eagle eye on these states over the weekend, for a possible Monday update.

Note on Georgia: Under Georgia law, the winner must get 50% plus one. There is some chance Deal will not reach that mark, but most believe he will. If he does not, a runoff will be held a month later and Deal will be heavily favored.

Note on Vermont: Vermont, like Georgia, has a 50% plus one rule. Dubie may lead Shumlin in the vote on Election Day, but will probably be under 50%. Instead of a runoff, as in Georgia, Vermont law would then require the legislature to choose a winner by secret ballot. As long as Shumlin is reasonably close to Dubie, the heavily Democratic legislature will probably pick Shumlin. However, this contest has been described to us repeatedly as a squeaker, one way or another.

The Crystal Ball has also projected that Republicans will gain 500+ new state legislative berths, and will probably capture at least a dozen additional state legislative chambers.

All of this has considerable implications for the redistricting process in 2011.

(There are breakdown charts at the website.)


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: khr; sabato; ushouse; ussenate
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Put your expert hat on. Do you agree or disagree? And why?
1 posted on 10/28/2010 5:49:07 AM PDT by randita
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To: Impy; InterceptPoint; Clintonfatigued; CPT Clay; Coop; AuH2ORepublican; fieldmarshaldj; Crichton; ..

The final Sabato tally - sounds pretty good, but others are projecting even bigger gains. Cook is up to 60 now.


2 posted on 10/28/2010 5:51:16 AM PDT by randita (Visit keyhouseraces.com to find GOP House candidates who need your support to knock off a DEM.)
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To: randita

Larry Sabato is hedging his bets as usual. No one knows what’s going to happen on Tuesday.


3 posted on 10/28/2010 5:51:26 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: randita
It looks reasonable, but let us wait and see.

I'm still hoping and praying for a miracle in Delaware.

4 posted on 10/28/2010 5:54:18 AM PDT by Tribune7 (The Democrat Party is not a political organization but a religious cult.)
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To: randita

It is a shame that conservatives did not find decent candidates in NY, IL, DE and AK. I’m sure there were good conservative candidates.


5 posted on 10/28/2010 5:56:46 AM PDT by heiss
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To: randita

90 House
11 Senate


6 posted on 10/28/2010 5:57:47 AM PDT by wilco200 (11/4/08 - The Day America Jumped the Shark)
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To: randita

Gains for the GOP/Tea Party team can be much larger if everyone on “our team” gets out, goes to the voting booth and votes to destroy and defeat all Democrats. There are no good, decent Democrats, period. They all are working to destroy America, hand in hand with America hater, POTUS Barack Hussein Obama!!! IMHO, I really believe that Obama is not all there upstairs. His weird behavior and comments suggest he is becoming totally unglued from reality. Whether that is true or not, he and his Democrat Party must be taken down by, we, the people, on Election Day, November 2, 2010. Remember November!!!! Destroy the entire Democrat Party at the the voting booth!!!


7 posted on 10/28/2010 5:58:35 AM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX
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To: randita

“Joe Miller’s constant gaffes and controversies”

Hype or truth? I haven’t heard of any. Am I just uninformed?


8 posted on 10/28/2010 5:59:00 AM PDT by listenhillary (A very simple fix to our dilemma - We need to reward the makers instead of the takers)
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To: randita

72 House, 11 Senate, 12 Gov.

If we get over 65 in the House, the Senate will follow. Just has to.


9 posted on 10/28/2010 5:59:48 AM PDT by Reagan69 (Let me know when those health insurance premiums go down.)
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To: randita

Rush yesterday predicted a pickup of 69 “because I like that number”. 60 House seats and 9 Senate seats. However, I don’t believe he was being serious.


10 posted on 10/28/2010 5:59:58 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: randita

What does the Crystal Ball say about Krystal Ball?


11 posted on 10/28/2010 6:00:41 AM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: saganite

Sabato left one state off his list - that makes it 15+ Governorships.

No one in MA likes Deval Patrick. They can’t simply stand him.


12 posted on 10/28/2010 6:02:14 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: randita

The Crystal Ball has also projected that Republicans will gain 500+ new state legislative berths, and will probably capture at least a dozen additional state legislative chambers.


It’s a start.


13 posted on 10/28/2010 6:03:17 AM PDT by Freddd (CNN is down to Three Hundred Thousand viewers. But they worked for it.)
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To: wilco200

GA 5th Congressional race is under the radar.. Career politicial icon John Lewis is actually campaigning against his republican challenger...Fenn Little. Atlanta Georgia has never before seen Lewis bother signs, street picketing. Until now, Fenn Little is a white (color-blind civil rights attorney. An intelligent veteran Alliance Defense Fund lawyer. He remains below the national radar like a jack in-the box.


14 posted on 10/28/2010 6:04:06 AM PDT by Broker (Welcome the Holy Spirit)
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To: randita
A couple of comments:

Nancy Pelosi will not only lose the Speaker of the House chair, but she might seriously consider not running again for Congress--the 112th Congress will be her last term.

Harry Reid could lose the this election. Even if he survives (barely!), there will be a movement to replace him in whatever role he could get (whether Senate Minority or Majority Leader). Don't be surprised that Charles Schumer--despite his liberal politics and his penchant for getting on camera a tad too much!--gets the Senate Minority or Majority Leader role.

15 posted on 10/28/2010 6:04:23 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: heiss

And TN around Memphis..Cohen should be thrown out on his ass.


16 posted on 10/28/2010 6:06:23 AM PDT by My Favorite Headache (In a world where I feel so small, I can't stop thinking big.)
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To: RayChuang88

Nancy Pelosi is done.

Chuck Schumer will become the next Democratic Senate leader. Harry Reid is gone.


17 posted on 10/28/2010 6:08:59 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: randita
What has been the accuracy of this fine group over the last four election cycles?

If they are above 95%, then this has relevance. If below 95%, then this is no better than mine...and mine are pure guesswork.

18 posted on 10/28/2010 6:10:18 AM PDT by Logic n' Reason (You can roll a turd in powered sugar; that don't make it a jelly donut)
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To: randita

What’s the adjustment for stuffing-the-box?


19 posted on 10/28/2010 6:10:47 AM PDT by pointsal
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To: randita

the new gallup poll, which is closing in on reality, is showing much, much more GOP strength going in than in ‘94, so the sky is the limit!


20 posted on 10/28/2010 6:15:15 AM PDT by stickywillie
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To: pointsal

democrat fraud going to be like a f*rt in a hurricane this time


21 posted on 10/28/2010 6:16:15 AM PDT by stickywillie
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To: stickywillie

55 is very low. More like 70.


22 posted on 10/28/2010 6:16:38 AM PDT by Galtoid ( .)
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To: randita

Sabato is cautious. He is not a right-wing ideologue. His numbers are the absolute minimum that we can expect.


23 posted on 10/28/2010 6:16:55 AM PDT by jimfree (In 2012 Sarah Palin will continue to have more relevant quality executive experience than B. Obama.)
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To: randita

Since Larry the wig second source of income comes from Demmies, my guess is he is lowballing to insure continued cash flow from dead Demmies who still think they have a chance. Just my opinion. Larry is a sleezeball Dem here in VA.


24 posted on 10/28/2010 6:22:29 AM PDT by equalitybeforethelaw
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To: randita

Way to low. We are going to do much better than what he is predicating.


25 posted on 10/28/2010 6:22:37 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
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To: randita
I agree with the TN governor's race. Halsam is polling 2-1.

VOTE LIKE IT'S 1776 LIBERTY & FREEDOM DEPEND ON IT!

BOOTS ON THE GROUND

TIME FOR YOU TO GO

WE THE PEOPLE BY RAY STEVENS

WHEN AMERICA IS NOT AMERICA ANY MORE

Dr. David Janda explains rationing (obamacare)

Listen to Krauthammer on Omamacare impact on the USA, (you have to put up with the commercial)

26 posted on 10/28/2010 6:22:46 AM PDT by GailA (obamacare paid for by cuts & taxes on most vulnerable Veterans, retired Military, disabled & Seniors)
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To: jimfree

Sabato is cautious. He is not a right-wing ideologue. His numbers are the absolute minimum that we can expect.

**********************

What interested me was that despite a relatively modest Republican gain in the house, he projects what is pretty much an optimum figure for the xenate. Senators are hard to take down.


27 posted on 10/28/2010 6:22:48 AM PDT by Psalm 144
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To: heiss

They did field a good candidate in O’Donnell, she saved us from Castle.


28 posted on 10/28/2010 6:23:29 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
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To: goldstategop
No one in MA likes Deval Patrick. They can’t simply stand him.

Ah but they despise Regnantons there which is why Patrick set up Cahill... to tap off votes from Charlie Baker. I fear Cadillac Duval will win with a plurality.

29 posted on 10/28/2010 6:23:40 AM PDT by rhombus
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To: Psalm 144

One loss I think the GOP will have in CA gov. Not that Arnold was really a GOP, but I can’t see Meg Whitman pulling this off. I really thought she was a pretty good candidate for CA.

I do think Carly will squeek out a win... I hope.


30 posted on 10/28/2010 6:26:34 AM PDT by Reagan69 (Let me know when those health insurance premiums go down.)
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To: randita
Sabato is going off of RCP averages and polls. What he is not considering, is the fact that historically, about a third or less of the population actually votes for President and fewer yet, vote during the midterms.

The potential for an Iraq like election where 85% of the adult voting age public goes to the polls is always a possibility.

If the American people are angry enough at how they are being lied to by MaObama, the Democrats and the Media, particularly, they see the real truth about this economy, it will be Democrat road kill. This thing has the potential to set a new historical record.

31 posted on 10/28/2010 6:27:01 AM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP ( Give me Liberty, or give me an M-24A2!)
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To: jimfree

Si why do the MSM’s ABCNNBCBS not see this? Why are they not “expecting” 50-60 repubbie house seats, and laughing at Pelosi’s propaganda?

8<)


32 posted on 10/28/2010 6:27:05 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: goldstategop

Dick *head* Durbin might disagree with schuck replacing Reid


33 posted on 10/28/2010 6:28:09 AM PDT by slapshot ("Were not gonna take it anymore" Twisted Sister)
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To: equalitybeforethelaw

You obviously have a higher opinion of him than I do here in the Commonwealth.


34 posted on 10/28/2010 6:28:37 AM PDT by 103198
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To: randita
Put your expert hat on. Do you agree or disagree? And why?

If Obama continues to campaign it could go up substantially. He has a reverse effect on this election. When he tries to stir up his base, the right becomes more aroused.

35 posted on 10/28/2010 6:30:07 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: randita

I hope he is on the low side. I’d really like to see the Senate go Republican.

Anyone see Drudge’s report on the Gallup poll? 55% are vote or lean Republican—the HIGHEST for any party since before 1992.

If this holds, it’ll truly be a tidal wave—and we could see Coons and Boxer and Murray go overboard as well.

Pray, work, vote.


36 posted on 10/28/2010 6:32:36 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: 103198
Whoops! I forgot the </sarcasm>
37 posted on 10/28/2010 6:33:00 AM PDT by 103198
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To: wilco200

From your lips to God’s ears.


38 posted on 10/28/2010 6:34:14 AM PDT by traderrob6
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To: randita
My best guess is 65 in the house and 7-9 in the senate.

Linda Muclusky or whatever her name is, will lose in AK.

If we can get 9 in the Senate, I expect to see a demonrat “Jumping Jim Jeffords” by March of 2011. Rats hate to have little power, and a ‘jumper’ will gain tons of it.

39 posted on 10/28/2010 6:41:15 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: randita

55 in the House is probably near the bottom of what is likely. My view is that 50 is the floor.

I think that 60 is more likely than 55, but probably also a little more likely than 70.

However, if Republican-leaning voters are as fired up as some polls suggest, 80 or 90 wouldn’t be surprising.

I’m betting 55 - 65. My younger son says 70 is the floor. My older son says, well, if the Republicans weren’t the stupid party, they’d get 70, so they’ll likely only get 50. I point out that if the Republicans weren’t the stupid party, they’d get 100+.

In the Senate - I’m still hoping for 9 or 10, but 8 may be more realistic.

Governorships - Haven’t followed them at all closely.


40 posted on 10/28/2010 6:49:11 AM PDT by sitetest ( If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: randita

The number “79” has stuck in my mind for about 6 weeks as a gain in the house. No specific information, just a hunch.

I have no clue what will happen in the senate. I expect heavy and widespread democrat cheating in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and California.


41 posted on 10/28/2010 6:52:39 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: randita

There was a column on national review online a few week ago..”The 70% rule”...looked back at all the wave elections..the ones where both the House and Senate switched..in every case...about 70% of the “seats in play” changed hands..Now, admittedly, “seats in play” can be vague..but this year, we see, from many political analysts, a range from 80-110...so that could give us a 56-77 seat pick-up...


42 posted on 10/28/2010 6:53:18 AM PDT by ken5050 (I don't need sex.....the government screws me every day..)
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To: randita

On the House, I think he’s low. I’m thinking GOP picks up 80+ seats, and it could be quite a few more, possibly 100.

On the Senate I think he’s close, but I think WV will be a GOP pickup, and I think WA is a likely pickup for +9. The X factor is voter fraud in King County which could wind up stealing it for the rats.

I just don’t see CA going GOP although I would dearly love to see Boxer go down.

These are gut feel calls...your milage may vary.


43 posted on 10/28/2010 6:53:46 AM PDT by 6ppc (It's torch and pitchfork time)
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html

The percentage of voting-age citizens who actually cast ballots has been in the low to mid 50 percent range in presidential years, and in the high 30s in elections like this one. You are, I believe, quite correct in noting that there is a lot of room on the upside.

That means that about 1/6 or 16% of voters think enough of the process to drag their butts to the polls to vote for President, but they can't be bothered two years later. Assuming that about half of that 16% are republicans (or independents who are now leaning republican) who are extremely motivated, we could get an off-year number that could be as high as 45% (or even more.) That would make all of the current predictions south of optimistic Dick Morris seem way too conservative and not Conservative enough.

44 posted on 10/28/2010 6:54:55 AM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree (If not for the double standard, liberals would have no standards at all.)
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To: fortheDeclaration; heiss

They did field a good candidate in O’Donnell, she saved us from Castle.

**********************

Christine O’Donnell has already done two superb things, one which will have a long lasting effect. She has ousted Castle, and she has outed Rove. The GOP “insiders” are revealed for the backstabbing Democrat fifth column that we have increasingly suspected. Now there is zero doubt.

The revelation of Rove’s et al’s determined opposition completely changes the way things go forward. From now on, the fight against the statist ruling class within the GOP will be as fiercely fought as the battle against the leftist-statist Democrats. Crist and Murkowski helped this along, but they were self interested officeholders. Rove reveals the corrupted institution, the quislings within. Now the masks are off and the daggers drawn.

THANK YOU ROVE, YOU MAGNIFICENT TURDBLOSSOM!


45 posted on 10/28/2010 6:56:26 AM PDT by Psalm 144
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To: fortheDeclaration

don’t get me started..

We could have found a strong conservative candidate instead of O’Donnell (let’s be honest, she is an awful candidate and losing by a landslide).

Even Castle would have been better than the Marxist-D candidate (vote for Senate Majority Leader is the most important one, along with voting with conservatives 40% of votes).

Losing the control of Senate by 1 seat (because of DE disaster) may be fun for you, but I’m not amused. Nor is the country.


46 posted on 10/28/2010 6:56:48 AM PDT by heiss
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To: heiss
We could have found a strong conservative candidate instead of O’Donnell

So WHY DIDN'T THEY?
47 posted on 10/28/2010 6:59:50 AM PDT by beezdotcom
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To: fortheDeclaration

...and delivered us unto Coons.


48 posted on 10/28/2010 6:59:50 AM PDT by Raider Sam (They're on our left, right, front, and back. They aint gettin away this time!)
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To: randita

I say 65+ in the House
7-8+ in the Senate
Governors +7 (but don’t know this too well... have been paying more attention the House and Senate)

***** Anyone want to start a predictions thread?


49 posted on 10/28/2010 7:00:54 AM PDT by dennisw (- - - -He who does not economize will have to agonize - - - - - Confucius.)
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To: beezdotcom

“So WHY DIDN’T THEY?”

This is the question we all can think for the next two years, under the rule of Senate Majority Leader Schumer.


50 posted on 10/28/2010 7:01:22 AM PDT by heiss
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