Las elecciones al Senado y a gobernadores son fáciles de seguir porque son relativamente pocas. Lo complicado es ir siguiendo las elecciones de la Cámara de Representantes sin perderse y teniendo más o menos claro lo que significa cada resultado. Para hacerlo más fácil, Nate Silver (New York Times) nos ha facilitado una completa guía que nos dice en qué distritos debemos fijarnos en cada hora de cierre de urnas (desde las 6 pm hasta las 12 am), y cómo interpretar los resultados en cada uno de esos distritos. Tenerla a mano esta noche.
(...) The one thing that I’d like to draw your attention to is the statistic in parenthesis in the lower left-hand corner of the box: this is what we call the magic number. What this statistic indicates is how many seats we’d expect the Republicans to gain on the Democrats over all if they won this particular seat and all seats in which we have them favored by a larger margin.
In this particular example, for instance — the New York 19th congressional district, in which we have the Republican Nan Hayworth favored by 3 points — the magic number is 43. That means that if Republicans won this seat — and all other seats in which they were favored by more than 3 points, but none of the seats in which we had them favored by fewer than 3 points — they would finish with a gain of 43 seats on Democrats over all on the night. Another way to look at the magic number is that it’s the number of seats we’d expect Republicans to win nationwide if they won this particular district by exactly 1 vote (and we had no information about what had taken place in any other district).
Occasionally, the magic number will be negative; these are seats that, if the G.O.P. lost them, would imply that it were actually going to lose seats in the House overall.
What you should be looking for is whether Republicans are consistently winning seats with magic numbers in the 60s, 70s, 80s or higher. If so, they could be in for a very big night. Conversely, if Democrats are holding onto seats with magic numbers in the teens, 20s, or 30s, that means they are overperforming their forecasts and could hold the House.
(...) All right, that’s enough buildup. Let’s show you what to look for beginning at 6 p.m., when we’ll begin to see the first results from Indiana and Kentucky.
Baron Hill’s seat, the Indiana 9th, has long been one of the most competitive in the country. I don’t think you should get too swept up in the results of any one particular congressional district — not when there are 435 of them in every corner of the country. But Mr. Hill, a middle-of-the-road Democrat who ordinarily performs strongly in his fairly rural, somewhat Republican-leaning district, but who voted for the health care bill and the stimulus, is in a position that is fairly typical for Democratic incumbents around the country this year. Also, the district has a magic number of 41, which means that it’s right at the cusp of what Republicans would need to take over the House. If they fail to win it, that could be the first sign that they’re liable to do a hair worse than expected. If they win it by a margin in the high single digits or the double digits, however, it could suggest that a lot of Democratic incumbents, many of whom are less skilled than Mr. Hill at understanding how to run a strong campaign in their districts, are going to be in trouble.
Joe Donnelly, in the Indiana 2nd district, is one Democrat whose polls have held up fairly well in spite of the Republican wave. Our model has him favored by just 2 points, however, and if he were to lose, that would be a good early sign for Republicans.
Indiana’s 8th district, vacated by Brad Ellsworth, is very likely to be a Republican pickup. If they’re having trouble winning it, that’s a reasonably bad sign for them.
Indiana’s 7th and 3rd congressional districts are not likely to be especially competitive. If these races wind up within the single digits, something really weird might be afoot.
I’d be a little bit more cautious about reading too much into the two Kentucky districts on our chart, the 6th and the 3rd, just because Kentucky is a fairly idiosyncratic state to begin with, and both the polling and the Senate race have been strange there. Still, John Yarmuth’s 3rd district, which encompasses Louisville, reflects a strong potential upside case for the G.O.P. if they were to win it.
At 7 p.m. polls will close in most of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.
Continuar leyendo. (...)