Monday, October 18, 2010

Carville's Hurricane Scale: A guide to Democratic devastation

H/T Hot Air Headlines

George Stephanopoulos pulls the headline, "Carville Concedes: Pelosi May Be Out Even if Dems Hold On," from the interview embedded below with James Carville.  An interesting thought but honestly, it seems incredibly unlikely Democrats hold on to the House at this point. Carville almost concedes as much himself and finds the best case scenario for Dems is one in which Dems hold on to power by a scant few votes.
As you will see in the video, Carville predicts there would be plenty of party-switching deals bandied about behind closed doors. That is the type of "fun" Democratic pollsters and pundits like Carville are dreaming of these days speaks volumes about how far the mighty Democrats have fallen in a mere two years.

I found the rest of Carville's analysis much more interesting frankly. Granted, I like these tea-leaf reading discussions anyway but Carville offers an interesting insight in this one. He offers us a scale to determine, from a Dem perspective, what constitutes a wipe out this year. They are going to spin like tops afterward so I thought it would be useful to have this scale for comparisons sake.  As a native of New Orleans, it somehow seems fitting Carville converts the standard hurricane scale to size up the best and worst cases for Dems. Note the scale starts at Category 3, which on the Saffir-Simpson Scale describes a hurricane that produces devastating damage. None of this is pretty for Dems:
Category 3 hurricane: “30-40” Dem losses in the House. “And in the Senate you’re looking at maybe five Senate seats. That’s the best you can look for.”

Category 4: “Lose 40 to 50 seats, that’s a Category 4.” “You hang on to some things, you know Carl Paladino won’t win.” (And Democrats hold Senate, losing 8-9 seats)

Category 5: “If we lose 56 or better, that’s a Category 5. Then you’re going to be looking at 11 Republican Senators.”
 I still have a hard time seeing the Republicans picking up the Senate but have no trouble believing the Democrats will lose over 50 seats. It will be interesting to see if Carville's prediction holds true. Given how close the toss-up seats are these days in the Senate contests, it does seem plausible the Senate will follow the historical trend in wave elections and flip along with the House.   In other words, the wave gets the deciding vote.

Personally, I am not looking forward to Photoshopping Chuck Schumer into the new Wicked Witch on this blog.  I am rooting for the Category 5 storm scenario.  If the latest Gallup generic ballot holds true I might just get my wish.

More on Gallup at Memeorandum

Be sure to read the adventures of The Other McCain and Da Tech Guy  who are reporting from PA-10 tonight.  This is their first stop in what McCain calls "Ground Zero" if the "Big Red Wave hits:"
Pennsylvania’s 10th District is the first stop on this tour that’s actually rated “leans Republican,” and the most recent poll shows Republican Tom Marino leading 44-38 over Democrat Chris Carney. Currently, five Democrat-held seats in this state – PA-3, PA-5, PA-8, PA-10 and PA-11 – are rated “lean Republican” by Real Clear Politics, so if the Big Red Wave hits on Nov. 2, Pennsylvania will be Ground Zero.

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