Nate Silver Ratings: Virginia


    Over at his new home, the New York Times, Nate Silver of fame is out with his latest House forecast. Overall, it’s not pretty, with Republicans having a “two-in-three chance of claiming a majority of House seats in November.” Also, after 100,000 model simulations, Nate Silver forecasts 225 Republicans and 210 Democrats in the House of Representatives next January. Let’s hope he’s wrong, but he’s usually right.

    Anyway, what about Virginia? According to Nate, the “likely takeover” chances for Republicans are:

    *5th CD (Tom Perriello vs. Robert Hurt and Jeffrey Clark): 88%

    *2nd CD (Nye vs. Rigell and Golden): 59%

    *11th CD (Connolly vs. Fimian): 24%

    *9th CD (Boucher vs. Griffith): 22%

    *3rd and 8th CDs (Scott and Moran vs. 2 guys you never heard of): SAFE

    In sum, it looks like Nye and Perriello are in trouble, the other Democrats are looking pretty good. So, what do you think of these ratings? I don’t have a model of my own, but it’s hard to argue with Nate Silver.

    • leftspace13

      i know OFA is pulling 8th vols to the 11th, but i’d also urge 8th dems to pitch in a bunch of calls for tom in the 5th– down only 8 (ignore SUSA) according to nate, btw.  it galls me to say this as a hokie, but i think fall is a splendid time to visit charlottesville and knock on doors!

    • VADEM

      won’t be the problem. Southside and the outer counties are the problem. Conservative, mostly white, evangelicals-they are Tom’s problem. Plus the 5th is huge.

      But 88%????? I know Nate is usually on target but that seems a bit high.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Perhaps the most telling comment is toward the end:

      “On the other hand, it is also the case that even if the Republicans are likely to enjoy substantial gains over all, the outcome is hardly so certain in any individual Congressional district. Although the model regards almost three dozen Democratic incumbents as being underdogs to retain their seats, for instance, it is by a slim margin in almost all cases.”

      Let’s not paint such a dismal picture.  

    • kindler

      …Is premature, unfair and highly destructive. Yes, it’s based on scientific polling, and Nate’s a smart guy — I’m not blaming him — but you’ve got this whole self-fulfilling prophecy, bandwagon effect that will make things much worse if the media continues to tell a one-sided story, Dems give up and Repubs get more enthused.

      It’s like one of those college basketball games that is painful to watch because it’s so obvious that the side that’s down has already thrown in the towel. But the teams we remember are the ones that never lose their fighting spirit — and yes, those are the ones who get the mythological, come from behind victories.

      That’s the spirit we need right now. Even if Repubs are ahead, the number of seats — and which ones –that they win or lose is crucially important. We’re basically at half time right now — so c’mon, people, act like you want to win, not like a bunch of losers!

    • NotJohnSMosby

      but I see a lot more Democratic energy and a much more positive attitude this year than last year.  I think Nate has it right as far as Virginia goes, I’m actually surprised that the 2nd is pretty much a toss-up with a slight edge to the Republican.  The Connolly assessment seems about right, regardless of local Republicans’ bullshit about how great Fimian is doing.  Fimian is going to do well in Prince William but I don’t see him doing well at all in Fairfax.  I think it will be closer than last time, but Gerry will win by a 6-9 point margin.  

      Boucher seems right, as far as the 5th goes, I really, really hope that Tom wins but I don’t expect him to unless the Republicans go off the deep end – or the teabagger candidate really siphons off some votes, which is quite possible.  88% may be high, I’m thinking more like 66-75% chance of Republican victory.  

    • Glen Tomkins

      “it’s hard to argue with Nate Silver”

      He may be the best aggregator of the best data now available on who will win on Election Day.  But no matter how skillfully the best data available today is mined and parsed for its last drop of information, that data suffers the inherent limitation that it is only a sampling, today, of which candidate people think they may or may not vote for, people who may or may not even vote on Election Day.

      None of these races is beyond movements we often see even in normal years.  And I mean movement in both directions, in the sense that I would not get complacent about Connolly, or even Moran.  And I don’t think that it’s really out there to claim that this is likely to be an unusually volatile year, a year when we see an unusually large number of especially large movements even in the last 7 weeks of the campaign.  I’m not even sure that Frank Wolf is safe.  I sure hope not.