The Corner

Mark Steyn’s Election Predictions

From our symposium today:

Well, my petard was hoist a long time ago. I said months back that the Republicans would hold both houses, and I’m stuck with that even if the polls show Rosie O’Donnell winning the Utah Senate race by a landslide. But fortunately for me the GOP will come out ahead on the night, more or less. I figure a Republican majority in the House of three-to-five seats, and the Senate not so different from what it is now, except for the loss of Lincoln Chafee’s seat.

To be honest, I’m not even sure Chafee will lose, but he ought to. This is beyond partisanship: If only 100 citizens from a population of 300 million get to be senators, Lincoln Chafee should not be among them. On the other hand, if Rick Santorum loses, he will nevertheless emerge from this election with a reputation more enhanced than the winner — and, for the party, the loss of the Pennsylvania seat will be offset by gains elsewhere, either in Maryland or Washington State. In the House, I think both the Foley and DeLay seats will be retained.

If I’m wrong, of course, it will be a sobering moment: The American people will have chosen to reward a September 10th party mired in sour oppositionism and cobwebbed boomer pieties. Don’t get me wrong. Both wings of the political class have underperformed since 9/11, and this unlovely election is the consequence. But even a narrow Dem victory will embolden the media: Unlike 2004, they’ll have succeeded in dragging the dead horse of the Democratic party across the finish line, and they’ll be even more audacious in two years’ time.