Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Today's Magic Numbers

Since the exit polls are being sequestered (read: hidden, secreted, so that there will be no disturbing questions when the actual numbers are released) until tonight, the best I can offer at the moment is a short primer for election night.

There are two big numbers to remember: 15 and 6.

15 is the number of seats the Democrats need to gain to take control of the House of Representatives. According to most polls and pundits, that number should be a cakewalk. Most experts are putting the overall pickup for the Dems at somewhere between 20 and 35, though a real landslide could result in 40 or more seats gained.

6 is the number of Senate races the Dems must win in order to take control of the Senate. The polls indicate that the Democrats will easily take Pennsylvania and Ohio. After that, there are the two seats the Democrats must hold, in New Jersey [Menendez (D) vs. Keane (R)] and Maryland [Cardin (D) vs. Steele (R)]. That leaves 6 seats in contested states, two of which look good: Rhode Island and Montana. Virginia is also close to going into the Democratic camp, but the Republicans are pulling out all the stops. The two closest are in Tennessee and Missouri. One, Arizona, may be closer than some expect, though a win by the Dems would be indicative of an outright tsunami.

If the Dems can hold NJ and MD, win OH, PA, RI, MT, and VA, that leaves three possibilities, TN, MO and AZ, the best of which would be Missouri. There's the math for a complete Democratic sweep. Stay tuned. Back in about an hour with more.

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