October, 2014

Bet on a GOP Majority

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “While many races remain close, it’s just getting harder and harder to envision a plausible path for the Democrats to retain control of the Senate. Ultimately, with just a few days to go before the election, the safe bet would be on Republicans eventually taking control of the upper chamber.”

“We say eventually because there’s a decent chance we won’t know who wins the Senate on Election Night. Louisiana is guaranteed to go to a runoff, and Georgia seems likelier than not to do the same.”

Democratic Ads in South Focus on Race

“In the final days before the election, Democrats in the closest Senate races across the South are turning to racially charged messages — invoking Trayvon Martin’s death, the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and Jim Crow-era segregation — to jolt African-Americans into voting and stop a Republican takeover in Washington,” the New York Times reports.

“The images and words they are using are striking for how overtly they play on fears of intimidation and repression. And their source is surprising. The effort is being led by national Democrats and their state party organizations — not, in most instances, by the shadowy and often untraceable political action committees that typically employ such provocative messages.”

Intrade Founders Launch New Prediction Market

Wall Street Journal: “Founders of political wagering site Intrade are back with a new forum for electoral prognosticating, minus one big thing: the wagering.”

“Pivit, a web and mobile application, is launching prediction markets this week for the midterm U.S. elections… Pivit’s contracts are based in percentages, not dollars. Participating doesn’t require any money or pay out any rewards. Instead, the new market aims to attract people with rankings of the best predictors.”

Does Edwin Edwards Have a Chance to Win?

New Orleans Times-Picayune: “Political observers say even if he never bothered to leave his house in Gonzales, the inclusion of ‘Edwin Edwards’ on the ballot in such a crowded field of Republicans with low-to-moderate name recognition would propel the ex-governor and former federal inmate into the runoff for Senate candidate Rep. Bill Cassidy’s seat.”

“But Edwards hasn’t stayed home. He’s been on the road at voter doorways, shaking hands with restaurant patrons on the way to his table, dropping one-liners and platform ideas at candidate debates and popping by council chambers and church fairs with regularity.”

Will Cutler Drop Out In Maine?

Maine candidate for governor Eliot Cutler (I) will hold a press conference this morning to address his chances in the race, the Portland Press Herald reports.

“The independent, who narrowly lost to Gov. Paul LePage four years ago, has been unable to make any gains in public polls to date and also has scaled back on advertising in recent weeks. Supporters of Democrat Mike Michaud have been calling on Cutler to drop out of the race for weeks over fear that he will only help re-elect LePage if he stays in.”

Public Policy Polling: “The biggest factor in this race remaining so close is that Cutler, consistently in a distant third place, is continuing to siphon off enough of the anti-LePage vote to keep the contest in toss-up range.”

Souls to the Polls

“Early voting on Sundays has been one of the biggest fronts in the voting wars of recent years. Some of this past Sunday’s early voting numbers make the reason quite clear,” the New York Times reports.

“‘Souls to the Polls’ drives are a big part of the explanation. Black churches often promote voting after services, sometimes even taking church members directly to the polls. Such drives are traditionally most popular on the Sunday before an election, when black turnout might be even higher than it was on Sunday. A good portion of these voters would have probably cast ballots anyway. But given the margins that Democrats run up on Sundays, it is not hard to see why so many Republican election officials have sought to restrict early voting on Sundays.”