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Conservative Columnist Opinion: Election 2014 Predictions

Storm Paglia is the General Manager of WGMU and MasonVotes Conservative Columnist

Midterm Election 2014 Predictions

There is still decent uncertainty as to how to chips will fall for this year’s midterm election. The fundamentals of the political environment would indicate a Republican wave, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. However, the electorate in midterms usually tend to favor the GOP. Let’s take a look at how I believe the hotly contested Senate races around the country will go on November 4th. Keep in mind; the GOP needs six seats to take control of the Senate, which is 62% probable as forecasted by FiveThirtyEight.

The 10 toss ups (incumbents listed) are: Alaska: Begich (D), Arkansas: Pryor (D), Colorado: Udall (D), Georgia: Open (R), Iowa: Open (D), Kansas: Roberts (R), Kentucky: McConnell (R), Louisiana: Landrieu (D), New Hampshire: Shaheen (D), North Carolina: Hagan (D).

In Alaska, it seems as if Republican Dan Sullivan may unseat incumbent Democrat Mark Begich. Sullivan is running ahead by 3.2 points on the RealClearPolitics average of polls. However, Alaska doesn’t have many polls, as you can imagine, and one poll released yesterday has Begich up by two. Definitely one to watch in the early morning hours of next Wednesday, but fundamentals point to a GOP win.

In Arkansas, Republican Tom Cotton is running ahead of incumbent Mark Pryor by an average of 5 points. This is a seat that will most likely flip red on November 4th, as it’s been trending that way recently.

In Colorado, Republican Cory Gardner is running ahead of incumbent Democrat Mark Udall by an average of 3.5 points. President Obama’s brutally low approval rating in Colorado is without a doubt having an effect on a seat Democrats thought would be safe this cycle.

In Georgia, Republican David Perdue is running ahead of Democrat Michelle Nunn for the open seat by an average of .75 of a point, obviously well within the margin of error. There is a Libertarian in the race currently drawing 4%, and if no candidate gets 50% it goes to a January runoff which heavily favors Perdue and the Republicans.

In Iowa, Republican Joni Ernst is running ahead of Democrat Bruce Braley for the open seat by an average of 2 points. This race has been back and forth throughout, however Ernst has held a steady lead for the past month. This one will be a squeaker depending on turnout, but will most likely be Republican.

In Kansas a very interesting race has evolved. The Democrat dropped out and that has led to “Independent” Greg Orman’s surge against incumbent Republican Pat Roberts. Orman currently leads by an average of 0.8 of a point, but logic and fundamentals indicate the GOP should win.

In Kentucky, incumbent Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is locked in a tight race with Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes, but leads by an average of 4.5 points. Over $100 million dollars has been spent on the campaign, but this should remain in GOP hands.

In Louisiana a runoff is required for less than 50%, meaning once the second Republican is removed from the ballot in the December runoff, Republican Bill Cassidy is running ahead of heavily unpopular incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu by an average of 4.5 points. Again, the runoff electorate will be deeply GOP and the seat should swap parties.

New Hampshire has become a tightening race in the past two weeks. What seemed to be a long shot for Republicans is now in sight, with popular Republican Scott Brown running against incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. Shaheen’s average lead of 3 points has been steadily shrinking, and a poll yesterday showed Brown up by one. This is one of the races I’ll be watching closely on election night. The driving force in this race is President Obama’s unpopularity and Shaheen’s partisan voting record. For now I’ll keep this one in the blue column, but would not be surprised at all to see it go red.

North Carolina is also a tightening race. One month ago it looked to be a fairly safe Democratic seat, but incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan’s average lead over Republican Thom Tillis has shrank to 1 point, and two consecutive polls have now shown a tie. This is also a top race on my list, and I am apprehensive to predict a GOP win only because of the massive amount of resources the national Democratic committees have poured in. However, I do think the GOP flips this seat, completing a solid Republican takeover of the Senate.

There are my predictions for Tuesday. Keep in mind the dust won’t completely settle until Lousiana and Georgia’s runoffs complete in December and January, respectively. That would place the GOP command at 54-46, reflecting a GOP +9 change. That may be optimistic for Republicans, but I do believe this year’s electorate across the board will heavily favor them. Democrats’ job approval numbers are generally worse than they ever have been before, and they also have the anchor that is President Obama dragging them down.

Be sure to tune into Student Media’s Election Night Coverage at 6:30 pm Tuesday to stay up to the minute with results, and get student insight into what this election will mean for you and our Country.

Storm Paglia is the General Manager of WGMU and MasonVotes Conservative Columnist

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