Monday, November 2, 2009

Predictions for Tomorrow’s Elections

Tomorrow is Election Day for residents in New Jersey, Virginia, Maine, New York City, and New York’s 23rd Congressional District. Last week we analyzed the gubernatorial race in Virginia and found Republican Bob McDonnell to be the likely winner.

Today we take a look at the big races in the other four elections.

New Jersey

Big Race: Governor

Candidates: Jon Corzine (D), Chris Christie (R), Chris Daggett (I)

Analysis: While Corzine has not been a popular incumbent throughout the race, he has been gaining in the polls over the past month or two. Nate Silver suggests the race is largely up in the air at this point, with Christie being a 4:3 favorite. The race has been very negative, and no matter who the undecided voters choose, they’re going to have to select a politician that they’ve heard a lot of bad things about. Largely, this race could come down to which campaign has the best organization for tomorrow - and in New Jersey, it’s typically the Democrat.

Predictions: I would put my money on Corzine, but it is certainly possible that Christie will pull an upset victory. Either way, expect Daggett to do fairly well - perhaps even better than the polls up to this point suggest he will do.


Big Race: Question 1

Options: A “Yes” vote is to overturn the legalization of gay marriage in Maine, a “No” vote supports gay marriage.

Analysis: This question was thrown on the voters at the last minute, and for a referendum concerning an issue as progressive as gay marriage, it should theoretically be a bad sign for “No on 1” supporters. That being said, “No on 1” has raised significantly more money - including from in-state contributors - and past analysis suggests the electorate will vote this question down. Silver predicts there is an 80% chance that the “No” vote will win. However, a recent Public Policy Polling survey found that Maine voters supported Question 1 at a 51% - 47% margin.

Predictions: If any state can vote this down, it’s a New England state - however, the polls don’t look good. I think it will come down to the youth vote. Young voters were far more opposed to the referendum than older voters, and older voters typically make it to the polls more often. Yet gay marriage is one issue that young voters are extremely passionate about, and they might rally a “No” vote better than conservatives can rally a “Yes” vote tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see.

New York City

Big Race: Mayor

Candidates: Michael Bloomberg (R,I), Bill Thompson (D)

Analysis: Unfortunately, this race has been a lot less exciting than we hoped. While NYC is an incredibly Democratic city, voters tend to approve of Bloomberg’s pragmatic style of governance. Silver sees Thompson as a 35:1 underdog, with only the Bronx as a winnable borough for him. However, voters in NYC are still upset over Bloomberg’s moves last year to extend term limits and still others are frustrated with his lack of attention towards low income residents. Additionally, Bloomberg’s campaign has been using robo-calls so frequently it’s getting on everyone’s nerves. Nonetheless, voters will probably look past these issues, and Bloomberg’s wealth has made him a very difficult candidate to beat in logistical terms.

Predictions: While I suspect Bloomberg will win, I have some feeling it will be closer than most pundits are saying it will.


Big Race: Representative to Congress

Candidates: Bill Owens (D), Doug Hoffman (C)

Analysis: Until this weekend, I would have expected the conservative vote to split about evenly between Republican Dierdre Scozzafava and Hoffman - running on the Conservative Party ticket - allowing Owens to squeak by with a slim victory. On Saturday, however, Scozzafava dropped out - leaving a mass of conservatives to support Hoffman. Of course, she did endorse Owens upon exiting the race, and the district as a whole is far more moderate than Hoffman. Nonetheless, the conservative base is fired up and likely to bring in way more support for Hoffman on Election Day than Scozzafava can do for Owens. In fact, DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen appears to be conceding on that point already.

Predictions: Hoffman will win, and probably by a substantial margin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was curious to see how these turned out. Low voter turnout probably doomed the Democratic candidates, save for in the NY-23 race. I was surprised to see Deeds win that one. Rather, it was more unexpected than surprising, if that makes sense.