2010 Election Predictions – How we rank individual races
Now that “Super Tuesday II” has come and gone, all but Hawaii have chosen their Congressional nominees (Louisiana’s “everything else” primary will be on Saturday, October 2, and early voting starts this Saturday). We are now basing our analyses on a composite of polls conducted over the last 14 days. Next month, we will compress this “look back period” to 7 days, since the tempo of campaigning will pick up even more in the last few weeks. Our rankings are based on the following criteria:
(1) Safe Democratic (dark blue on the map)/Safe Republican (dark red on the map) – either a candidate leads by 10 or more points, or a candidate has over 50% in polls;
(2) Lean Democratic (light blue on the map)/Lean Republican (light red on the map) – a candidate leads by 3-9 points;
(3) Tossup (yellow) – a candidate leads by less than 3 points;
(4) No data available/primary has not been held (gray) – In general, we don’t analyze statewide polls until its primary has been conducted. However, since pollsters have been releasing multiple polls with different Democratic vs Republican matchups for states that have not held their primaries, we will modify this rule as follows: if at least one of the major parties has a clear front runner in a contested primary, we will use the various poll matchups to get a sense of how a Senate/Governor race is leaning and, based on that composite of polls in the last 14 days, will assess which party is ahead.
(5) No Senate/gubernatorial race in 2010 for this state (black);
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John is a political consultant and blogger with JMC Enterprises with expertise in poll sample development and analysis, development of targeted voter files for phone canvassing or mail outs, campaign strategy and demographic consulting, among other things. See his site at WinWithJMC.com for more information.