Prognosticators Offer Final Predictions

Millions of American voters head to the polls today, extending, starting, and ending political careers in the process. Democrats need a net gain of 15 seats in the House to gain control, and six in the Senate.

On the sidelines of this sure-to-be close national race for control of Congress, a myriad of pundits and amateur politicos are placing bets on the outcome of the rumble.

We’ve filtered through the garble, leaving the predictions of the best in the business. Here are the predictions from the predictors that matter.

John Gizzi
Political Editor, Human Events

Gizzi is a brave man, a “lone ranger” of sorts—one of very, very few forecasting a Republican House retention. “In my view, the Republicans will lose a net of 12 seats, resulting in a House that has a 220-to-215 Republican majority,” says Gizzi, who also predicts a 53-47 GOP Senate in January. Foreseeing a late Republican bounce due to conservative fears of a Democratic congressional majority, Gizzi notes that the GOP hurt from former Rep. Mark Foley (R.-Fla.) has likely faded, and now it’s all about one question: Will Republicans turn out? His answer is “yes.”

House Tally Shift Senate Tally Shift
220-215 (GOP) +12 Dem 53-47 (GOP) +2 Dem

Robert Novak
Editor, Evans-Novak Political Report

Novak is less optimistic about Republican chances, calling for a 19-seat GOP loss in the House, and a 221-to-213 Democrat majority, and a two-seat GOP loss in the Senate. Novak does, however, make note of recent GOP good fortunes, including a drop-off in Foley coverage, Sen. John Kerry’s (D.-Mass.) troop-insulting blunder, and a quick influx of RNC money for a spurt of ad buys in close races.

House Tally Shift Senate Tally Shift
221-213 (Dem) +19 Dem 53-47 (GOP) +2 Dem

Larry Sabato

Professor, University of Virginia

Sabato, using his renowned Crystal Ball, is calling for a landslide, being one of the few political weathermen betting on a six-seat Senate swing to give the Democrats the Senate. According to Sabato, Republican Senators Rick Santorum (Pa.), Mike DeWine (Ohio), Lincoln Chaffee (R.I.), Conrad Burns (Mont.), Jim Talent (Mo.) and George Allen (Va.) are going down, giving the Democrats a one-seat majority. He’s also predicting a Democratic field day in the House, a 29-seat swing, giving them a 232-to-203 majority. Thinking that the Saddam story (good GOP press) and Rev. Ted Haggard’s homosexuality (good Democrat press) cancel out, the Republicans’ bad fortunes will be about they same as they were a little over a week ago.

House Tally Shift Senate Tally Shift
232-203 (Dem) +29 Dem 51-49 (Dem) +6 Dem

John J. Miller

National Political Reporter, National Review

Miller is guessing the Republicans stave off a bold Democratic challenge to the GOP Senate majority. According to Miller, Sen. Allen squeaks by Democrat challenger Jim Webb, in spite of a poorly run campaign. Sen. Talent will also eke out a close victory in Missouri, says Miller. It’ll be a 51-49 Senate when all is said and done.

House Tally Shift Senate Tally Shift
224-211 (Dem) +21 Dem 51-49 (GOP) +4 Dem

Michael Barone

Senior Writer, U.S. News and World Report

Though refraining from outright prophesizing, in-the-know political observer Barone is cautiously pointing out a potential momentum shift in favor of the GOP. Sen. Kerry’s ill-advised remarks on troop stupidity took the Democrats off-message for a few days. Now, Gallup, Pew, and Washington Post polls show the Democrat advantage in the generic ballot question has shrunk to single digits—historically insignificant by most standards (Republicans rarely lead in such polls). Does this mean victory for the GOP? Not necessarily. But Barone doubts the slam-dunk mentality exhibited by many on the left.

Real Clear Politics

The online home of polling averages, RCP has six Republican Senate seats polling as Democratic gains. Officially, RCP has four of those six vulnerable seats—Virginia, Missouri, Montana and Rhode Island—listed as tossups; the first three remain under-five-points-close races. If all six went Democrat, the GOP would find itself on the short end of a 51-49 stick. On the House side of things, RCP lists 28 current GOP seats as either tossups or Democrat-leaning. If the leaners and the slight-Democrat-lead seats are combined, a full 25 Republican seats could go down.

Dick Morris
Syndicated Columnist, New York Post

The former adviser to President Clinton and current pseudo-Republican commentator isn’t drinking red Kool-Aid. In fact, his day-before thoughts on the elections (which make no numeric predictions) are titled, “A GOP Massacre: A Bloody Tuesday.” Morris blames the usual suspects: Iraq, corruption and scandal. He also laments the loss of Reagan Republicans, to whom the latter two faults were rarely attributed. Finally, Morris sees a Republican loss as a boon to Democratic presidential hopes in 2008.

Bill Kristol
Editor, Weekly Standard

House Tally Shift Senate Tally Shift
243-192 (Dem) +42 Dem 52-48 (Dem) +7 Dem

Quin Hillyer
Senior Editor, The American Spectator

House Tally Shift Senate Tally Shift
218-217 (GOP) +14 Dem 53-47 (GOP) +2 Dem

John Hawkins
Blogger, Right Wing News

House Tally Shift Senate Tally Shift
226-209 (Dem) +25 Dem 50-50 (GOP) +5 Dem