My prediction

Just for my own record, I’m plumping for Obama to win 349 electoral votes to McCain’s 189. Obama will win the Kerry states plus Ohio, Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Florida and Missouri. I wavered for a while about Indiana, Montana and North Carolina (which would bring Obama to 378), but I wanted to be conservative in my picks.

As for the Senate, I think the Democrats will end up with 59 seats. I’m not terribly bothered, as someone I met the other day, that this will mean that the odious Joe Lieberman will have the crucial 60th vote. The Democrats are going to kick Lieberman into another state, if he doesn’t leap to the Republicans before they have a chance. There may well be Republicans the administration can pick off on various issues if they need to get to 60.

Incidentally, the always interesting Kevin Drum has a valuable observation:

The upshot is that both parties get moved to the right. Most of the Democratic pickups will be in centrist states and districts, which will move the Democratic caucus moderately toward the center. At the same time, it will remove these centrist states and districts from the Republican side, which will make the GOP caucus not just smaller, but even more conservative than it is now.

It also means, as a number of others have observed, is that the Republicans will be reduced to a regional party. Outside the South, Republicans will be few and far between. That’s not a great platform for returning to national power.

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