by John Hawkins | October 13, 2006 7:27 am
Question: “John, what’s your assessment, now that we are closer to the election, of the Republicans maintaining control of both the House and the Senate?” – N. O’Brain
Question: “John I just have a hard time believing anything the liberal news media says, but it seems a lot of conservatives still do kinda,even though they know how wrong and biased the liberal media is.I believe the republicans are going to keep both the house and the senate simply because I know the news media is always wrong.They are creating polls to imply a democrat victory,etc. What do you think? Do you think republicans are going to win?” — abel
Answer: Make no mistake about it, when election day rolls around, the GOP is going to get hammered hard. The only question at this point is how bad of a beating we’re going to take.
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In the Senate, there are still 3 Republicans in deep, deep trouble: Conrad Burns, Rick Santorum, and Lincoln Chafee. Then, there’s Mike DeWine, whose race is a complete toss-up at the moment. After that, there are two toss-ups that appear to be barely leaning towards the GOP: Jim Talent and Bob Corker. There’s also at least one toss-up race where the GOP has a chance to pick up a seat: Tom Kean.
Of course, all of this can and quite possibly will change in the next few weeks. For example, Michael Steele, Mike McGavick, and Mike Bouchard still have a chance to win their races if they can close fast. But, at the moment, the Dems would probably have to run the table on every one of these seats to take control of the Senate and that seems unlikely. So, what will probably happen in the Senate is that the GOP will barely hold onto control.
Because you have so many races to track, the House is harder to predict, but it’s not quite as bad as you’re hearing right now (although, it’s certainly not good either). There are maybe 3-5 seats where the GOP is in deep trouble. Then there are maybe another 5 or 7 seats that could fairly be called toss-ups, that are leaning toward a Democratic takeover at the moment, although of course, the GOP candidates could still pull out a win. But, after that, what you run into is maybe another 15-18 seats that are competitive, but leaning towards a Republican retention. Then once you get beyond that point, there aren’t very many good pick-up opportunities for the Democrats.
So, when you hear people speculate that the GOP is going to lose 30 seats, what they’re essentially saying is that the GOP will lose everything that’s even close in a gigantic wave. That seems really unlikely. To the contrary, given the strength of the GOP GOTV effort and the cash advantage we have, it seems likely that a lot of these seats will move towards the GOP in the home stretch. We’ll see how it works out. At the moment, I’m sticking with an estimate of 11-19 seats lost, with 15 needed for the Dems to takeover. So, whether the GOP holds onto the House or not is basically a coin flip at the moment.
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