The Washington Post looks toward Tuesday:
Two days before a bitterly fought midterm election, Democrats have moved into position to recapture the House and have laid siege to the Senate, setting the stage for a dramatic recasting of the power structure in Washington for President Bush’s final two years in office, according to a Washington Post analysis of competitive races across the country.
In the battle for the House, Democrats appear almost certain to pick up more than the 15 seats needed to regain the majority. Republicans virtually concede 10 seats, and a split of the 30 tossup races would add an additional 15 to the Democratic column.
The Senate poses a tougher challenge for Democrats, who need to gain six seats to take control of that chamber. A three-seat gain is almost assured, but they would have to find the other three seats from four states considered to have tossup races — Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Montana.
Other sources, however, have noted that Republicans have been picking up momentum in the past few days. And Karl Rove is staking his reputation on the GOP playing a much better ground game again this year, as the party has in recent cycles. One other factor is going to help the Republicans and hasn’t been sufficiently noticed: absentee ballots. Whether or not they vote often, the GOP puts a high premium on its people voting early. Reports so far from Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Pennslyvania, and elsewhere say that absentee ballot requests have been unusually high. Republicans should do better among absentees than among election-day voters.
That probably won’t be enough to keep the House Republican. In the Senate, I expect Talent to pull through in Missouri, where polls typically underestimate Republicans’ performance; Allen might survive in Virginia, too, although the Democrats have built up a pretty good GOTV effort here in the last couple of cycles. If I had to stake my life’s savings on it, I’d have to put my money on Allen, even though I hope he loses. Tennessee and Montana I don’t have much insight into: my guess would be that Burns’s last-minute comeback peters out and he loses, while Corker pulls through in Tennessee.