House: Major Democratic pick-ups, but I won't quote a number. I'll just extrapolate two Michigan campaigns to the average Republican incumbent: MI-07 and MI-09, held currently by Tim Walberg and Joe Knollenberg respectively. Both face almost certain defeat--Knollenberg in middle-of-the-road Oakland County, where he should really be cruising to another victory (but for the war, the economy, the bailout, etc.). Tonight on the local news, it was reported that Obama had EXPANDED his lead in Michigan, and this can't help these two very much. A very favorable weather report for Election Day also bodes well for Michigan Democrats.
Senate: I expect the Democrats to pick up seats, but I am more optimistic than just about anyone else out there. My gut tells me that the democrats will pull off a 60-seat majority in the next Congress. Most are predicting an 8 or 9 seat gain, putting them at 58 or 59 seats. I have faith that three candidates really stand a chance to beat the odds and pull off victory.
First, Al Franken in Minnesota, because Norm Coleman has worn out his welcome, topping it off with a very negative campaign against Franken. The polls have placed them in a bitter struggle over one or two percentage points, but I anticipate Obama's coattails, as well as dissatisfaction with the GOP in general, will break the race in Franken's favor. Additionally, the weather for Election Day looks to be fair through much of the day.
Second, Ronnie Musgrave in Mississippi. In this case, I think that a surge in African-American voters coming out for Obama will help out.
Third, Jim Martin in Georgia, for the same reason as Musgrave. I really feel that there is a vastly underreported and underanticipated surge in African-Americans who haven't had a reason to go to the polls quite as special as Obama's campaign, and I don't expect them to split their tickets. Additionally, this one could go to a run-off election. I don't anticipate Chambliss to be victorious after Obama's sure-to-be victory.
If two of these three win, they hit 60 seats. If John Cornyn (R-TX) loses, then it would be 61, and they can safely cut loose the dingy called Lieberman.
President: This is a no-brainer. Obama wins. However, rather than win with the 353 that seems to be a good average from the various sites, I think it is possible for him to break 400 electoral votes, based on six close states:
1. Indiana (11 EV): the polls are tightening in Obama's favor, and I think undecideds are going to break for the candidate of hope.
2. Missouri (11 EV): Obama has been running ahead with occasional hiccups in polling data for some time.
3. Georgia (15 EV): Georgia really seems to want to go for Obama. I have a feeling that African American turnout will, again, put Obama over the top.
4. North Dakota (3 EV): ND has been flirting with Obama, making it appear to be a Red-turned-Blue-state candidate. The polls are close enough that I feel an energized turnout of first-time voters will swing it for Obama.
5. Montana (3 EV): See ND, above.
And, the potential icing on the cake:
6. Arizona (10 EV): McCain only leads by 4-5 points in his home state, which is NOT a good sign. That, alone, heartens me enough to consider AZ a possible 'get.'
So, adding up the EVs, we get 52 Electoral Votes for Obama from these States. This brings him to 405 Electoral Votes.
Of course, all of this comes down to who has the better GOTV operation, and I have been very impressed by the Obama organization for some time. I have no doubt that they will bring a lot of people out to vote, a lot more than usual. The only question is will it be "a lot more" enough?
Thems my prognistications. Take them as you will. I will probably be proven wrong in several ways by Tuesday night, but I think I am safe in making most of the important calls. ;-)