If it rains in Las Vegas on election day, Sharron Angle will win the U.S. Senate seat from the Silver State by a comfortable margin.
Seems everyone is trying to speculate how big the Republican wave will be this fall. While no one really knows who’s going to vote, one thing we do know is that the Republicans are far more enthusiastic about voting than are Democrats. In Nevada, Angle’s supporters would go through hell and high water to vote for their gal. Most of Reid’s supporters are only voting for the four-term Democrat because he’s been portrayed her as a bat out of hell. Or a witch. Or something really, really, really bad. But, they’re not really dead set on voting.
CBS News, whose polls tends to skew left, rates GOP enthusiasm level about 20 points above that of the Democrats (just about where most polls put it):
Sixty percent of Republicans said they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year, while only 40 percent of Democrats said the same. Last month, 47 Democrats and 58 percent of Republicans said they were more excited than usual to vote.
And Stacy McCain reminds us that some seats not even on the prognosticators’ radar may be more competitive than their partisan breakdown might suggest:
Progressive pollster Nate Silver notes that an “uprecendented number” of House seats (87 in all) are now rated as competitive by the Cook Political Report — and AZ-7 isn’t even on Charlie Cook’s radar! So if a poll shows a “safe” Democrat in serious trouble against an underfunded challenger the “experts” haven’t even noticed, what percentage of those “competitive” Democratic seats will go Republican?
How many more allegedly “safe” Democrats are actually in danger?
So, with Republicans fired up and rarin’ to vote, a district that Obama by a comfortable margin could tip Republican come Election Day 2010. And if it rains in Democratic jurisdictions like Las Vegas, well, the Republicans will make their way to the polling places while Democrats will ask, “Why bother?”
*and the weather.
UPDATE: Nate Silver shows how widely the numbers could fluctuate, “the confidence interval on this forecast is very wide. Its margin of error is about ±30 seats — meaning that a gain of as few as 17 seats, or as many as 78, is entirely possible — and there is a small chance of even larger or smaller gains.” With an enthusiastic GOP base, 78 could become the floor, not the ceiling.