Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Republicans Will Take Over the Majority of Governorships (probably)

How's that title for a hedge? Just as I did with the House and Senate Forecasts, I collected some of the major forecasts about Gubernatorial elections. Once again, these forecasts are one based on what Political Scientists call the "fundamentals"--factors like the state of the economy, the approval of the President, etc. There's not much candidates can do to influence these forecasts, which is why so many people are frustrated by them. The truth, however, is that despite taking very little about the individual candidates into account, they're pretty accurate.

Each line above is a forecast and the one marked average is..well...the average of the forecasts presented here. The big red line represents the number the Republicans need to reach to take the majority of the Governor's seats.

These forecasts clearly suggest that the Republicans are likely to gain the majority of Governorships, although not by a lot. So, given the nature of these forecasts, why did I hedge so much in my title? The answer: independents. The guy who I consider to be the Michael Jordan of Gubernatorial Scholars, Thad Beyle* recently shared some data with me showing that there are far more independents running for Governor in this election than anytime in recent memory. These independents may very well wreak havoc on election outcomes. If a few get elected, it also moves that big red line a bit. 

So--I expect the Republicans will win some governorships, but I would take these forecasts with a little more salt than I would the House or Senate forecasts.

*By that I mean that he's really, really good. Not that he has a gambling problem or that he invests in questionable basketball teams.

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