27 April 2006

More Evidence of Sea Change

I have been talking for some time about an apparrant sea change in American attitudes about politics that has seen the tides of public opinion rapidly swinging away from the Republicans. Today's edition of Mile High Delphi provides the latest example of that trend. They have been following the artificial market in political predictions at Tradesports, which has a record as a fairly reliable proxy for informed opinion about the strength of political candidates using methods similar to the way a stock market communicates the strength of the companies traded.

The market at Tradesports only gives the GOP a 53% chance of retaining the US House. That is a dramatic change from the 72% probability they had in November.

Congressional Quarterly appears to concur with this trend, noting that of the nine races in which there is no clear favorite, that eight are currently seats held by Republicans.

The odds of the Democrats gaining control of the Senate, which has only a third of its seats up for election every two years, many of which are not competitive, is far smaller. Tradesports puts the chance of the GOP retaining control of the Senate at 79.7%.

The participants at Tradesports also give Democrats a 60% chance of prevailing in the closely watched 7th CD race, and give Bill Ritter a 48% chance of success compared to 51% for a Republican opponent.

Montana, which Tradesports participants give each party even odds in, is the closest Senate race in the country. Republican incumbent Conrad Burns appears to be in trouble, in part due to his close ties to Jack Abramoff. At least four Democrats are considering challenging Burns in the race. Once promising Democratic candidate and state auditor John Morrison, no longer looks so appealing in this race, but other candidates like Jon Tester do look promising. This is truly audacious, given that Montana has historically been one of the most Republican states in the nation. In 2004, George W. Bush got 59% of the vote in Montana. Burns was first elected to the Senate in 1988, and so is seeking reelection for the third time in 2006.


Sotosoroto said...

From my point of view, the Republicans are in trouble because they're acting too liberal these days. The conservative base will be so disgusted they won't bother voting in November. I mean, look at all the porkbarrel spending in Congress, laxity on national security/ILLEGAL immigration, blaming companies for making a profit (oil companies, that is), and of course all the dishonesty and lobbying that nobody outside the beltway likes (not a "liberal" trait, but disgusting to conservatives nonetheless).

Off Colfax said...

As far as the CO-7 race is concerned, I think the Tradesports figure is optimistic by a lot. O'Donnell, the more-than-likely Republican contender for the office, is really starting to feel his oats on the campaign trail and Perlmutter's numbers are probably slightly inflated by the fact that both Lamm and Rubenstein chose to petition their ways onto the primary ballot.

Right now, looking at how the trends are rolling, I'd put this race at even odds. After the primaries go through is the first real chance, aside from a major FUBAR on one side or the other, for my gut feeling to change.