The 2014 midterm elections are now a week away, and it’s time for a prediction on how the election will turn out. (My 2012 attempt at prognostication indicates this may be an exercise in futility, but here goes.)
In Colorado, we have a new mail voting system, so results will be different from prior years. Even so, I’ll provide two charts for comparison.
The first is for 2012, and has Colorado turnout results from October 31, just under a week prior to the 2012 General Election. The second is for this year, and has Colorado turnout results from October 27, just over a week before our midterm election. Because of the timing difference and the fact that turnout for midterm elections is generally lower than for general elections, the overall voting for Colorado so far this year is about one-half (660,113) of what it was in the 2012 report (1,150,698).
For comparison, let’s assume that if 2012 behavior occurred in 2014, we would have about twice the number of votes in place for 2014. I’ll compare three counties: Douglas, Denver, and Boulder. Douglas has a majority of Republican voters; Denver and Boulder are Democratic Party strongholds.
Here’s a chart of numbers for 2012 and 2014, with 2014 numbers doubled (approximately) to facilitate a comparison with 2012:
County 2012D 2014D (actual) 2012R 2014R (actual)
Douglas 18,158 20,000 (9,864) 44,487 55,000 (27,672)
Denver 68,204 74,000 (37,296) 21,483 30,000 (15,048)
Boulder 38,672 37,000 (18,512) 16,440 20,000 (10,239)
TOTAL 125,034 131,000 (65,672) 82,410 105,000 (52,959)
Comparing the three counties, we see that 2014 Democrats are voting in slightly higher numbers than they did in 2012 (about 5 to 10% greater turnout) while 2014 Republicans are voting with greater intensity (about 25 to 30% more). If turnout is a guide, Republicans have a good chance of making Colorado “less purple” in 2014.
But what about other state elections? Two polling services worth a look are RealClearPolitics.com and FiveThirtyEight.com.
Real Clear Politics gives a listing of public polling results, with an average (RCP Average) calculated for the last five polls. Five Thirty Eight uses roughly the same polling results, but “handicaps” the data based on the voting fundamentals of a given state and the past performance of the various polling agencies. Here is a listing of the ten “battleground” states that will determine control of the U. S. Senate next year:
State 538 RCP Average
AK R+1.8 R+2.2 (R=Sullivan; D=Begich)
AR R+3.7 R+5.0 (R=Cotton; D=Pryor)
CO R+2.1 R+3.3 (R=Gardner; D=Udall)
GA R+0.6 R+0.5 (R=Perdue; D=Nunn)
IA R+0.9 R+2.1 (R=Ernst; D=Braley)
KY R+3.5 R+4.4 (R=McConnell; D=Grimes)
KS I+0.4 I+0.9 (R=Roberts; The “Independent” is Orman)
LA R+4.7 R+4.5 (R=Cassidy; D=Landrieu)
NC D+1.6 D+1.0 (R=Tillis; D=Hagan)
NH D+2.6 D+2.2 (R=Brown; D=Shaheen)
With one week until the election, here are two things we know:
--Real Clear Politics seems to have a slight polling bias in favor of Republicans.--Four races (GA, IA, KS, NC) are within the “Margin of Fraud.”
That “Margin of Fraud” terminology might need some clarification. It is a term promoted by Glenn Reynolds to describe the fact that close races are routinely decided in favor of the Democratic Party. Republicans, unfortunately, have to win elections by at least a 2% margin.
Here in Colorado, we see the Margin of Fraud potential in places like Boulder. With our new mail voting system, the only check on widespread fraudulent voting is Signature Verification. Without a dual-party control mechanism, those counties dominated by one political party can easily manipulate voting. And keep in mind you don’t have to be a citizen to vote in Colorado.
We will know the results of the 2014 election next week (assuming no run-off in Georgia or Louisiana), and my prediction is that Republicans will take control of the Senate by a 51 to 49 majority.
That means Republicans must win six of the ten races shown above. Maybe Colorado’s Cory Gardner will be one of the six!
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