the midterm snapshot

The Midterm Snapshot: November 1

Tomorrow night, we will have all the answers — or at least begin to have all the answers; there will likely be a handful of recounts — but tonight, we only have questions. With various polls showing the Republicans leading the Democrats in the generic ballot by anywhere from zero points (McClatcy/Marist) to fifteen points (USA Today/Gallup), it’s pretty difficult to tell exactly what is going to happen on Election Day. Still, most polls agree that there will be some kind of Republican victory on Tuesday describable in terms of natural phenomena, be it a wave, a hurricane, a tsunami, a nor’easter, or something else. As for what that means in actual seats, the Cook Political Report now predicts that “Democrats are headed for losses of 50 to 60 seats or possibly more.”

Meanwhile, in races across the country, Lisa Murkowski hedges on caucusing with the GOP if she makes it back to the Senate, a Democratic Senate candidate says he’s friends with Sarah Palin, and a veteran political reporter is predicting that Harry Reid will eke out a victory.

• A new poll out today shows that all that “stick a fork in Joe Miller” talk was premature. The Public Policy Polling survey shows Miller leading both write-in Republican Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams by 7 percent each, even as 59 percent view Miller negatively. Meanwhile, Murkowski wouldn’t commit to caucusing with the GOP if she’s elected, telling Fox News, “I am still a Republican. I have not changed that. But I think it’s important to recognize I am not my party’s nominee.” A spokesperson later claimed Murkowski “fully intends to caucus with Republicans.”

• How far to the right has West Virginia’s Democratic Senate nominee (and current governor) Joe Manchin shifted in an effort to win his close race with John Raese? He’s even cozying up to Sarah Palin. “We get along; we’re friends,” he said yesterday. Manchin has retaken the lead over the past week and now polls about 4 to 5 percent ahead of Raese.

• In California, two fresh polls show that Democrats Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown are ahead by a lot in their respective races, or by a little. Guess it’ll be a surprise!

• The latest poll out of Nevada shows Sharron Angle edging Harry Reid by a single point. And even though Reid hasn’t led a poll in over three weeks, veteran Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston predicts that he’ll eke out a two-point victory tomorrow, partly because his “formidable turnout machine” was hitting the streets hard yesterday.

• Things are also exciting in Colorado, where Republican Senate nominee Ken Buck leads incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet by four points in the latest Fox News poll, while American Constitution Party nominee Tom Tancredo is only down by three points to Democratic Denver mayor John Hickenlooper in the race for governor. Another poll has Hickenlooper up by five.

• And in Ohio’s 9th district congressional race, Rich Iott, the Republican candidate who dresses up like a Nazi sometimes for fun, won’t even commit to supporting John Boehner for speaker of the House, despite Boehner’s continued financial support of Iott even after he became an embarrassment. Some people.

The Midterm Snapshot: November 1