Not being a specialist in American politics, I thought I'd prevail upon those in my department to give their election predicitions:
I think that Daniel Ortega will win the Nicaraguan presidency. Here is a
prediction about a country I know little about that will turn out right.
Now let me try the country I know something about.
House predictions are perilous given how tight many contests are and the
financial and other advantages of incumbents facing unexpectedly stiff
challenges. Add to this the recent Republican surge, and it's a tough
call. I say the Democrats will win a narrow majority in the House; if I
have to pick a number of seats, I'll say 19.
The Republicans should retain control of the Senate.
Webb over Allen in VA: I can't see Allen holding on against the damage
he has suffered in this campaign, against a populist conservative
Tester over Burns in MT: Democrats will then control the governorship
and both Senate seats in the Big Sky.
Talent over McCaskill in MO, though this is a dead heat; word has it
that Talent has been an effective campaigner, and I think this gives the
well-funded incumbent the nudge
Corker over Ford in TN: Tennessee is Republican country, and the
failure of an extremely conservative D in this state in a year like this
confirms the problems Ds have in the state and in large parts of the
Whitehouse over Chafee in RI: Word has it that Lincoln Chafee is (like
his father) a person of considerable integrity and that he is growing
into the job. But the (R) by his name will finally do him in Democratic
RI, given the partisan 2006 political climate.
Cardin over Steele in MD: probably close; divisive Democratic primary
hurts Cardin and Steele has appeal across party lines.
Menendez will carry NJ, Kyl should hang on in AZ.
A more terse prognostication:
Please note that I profess no special knowledge, despite what Puget
Sound pays me to do.
DA HOUSE becomes 228 Dems and 207 Repubs
DA SENUT becomes 49 Dems 51 Repubs
DA GOV'NERZ go 25 Dems 25 Repubs
Let's see what turns out. Professors Haltom and Sousa are similar in their predictions, expecting a Democratic majority in the House of somewhere around 20 seats.