Predicting Tuesday

“Republicans prepare for the worst as disaster looms in midterm elections”
Such a typical headline that we have seen lately; the Left and the media (but I repeat myself) seem utterly certain of a GOP collapse.
There are a lot of reasons to question that certainty, which I won’t get into here except to say that while it could be the case, way too many people have been way premature on the Democrat side in declaring victory in the Congressional races (the governor’s races are, in fact, trending strongly Democratic). And the foreign press has been the worst of all, and will face the rudest awakening Wednesday morning if the GOP manages to hold on against the tide with a majority in the House and 52 or more GOP Senators.
If you put a gun to my head, I’d say the most likely result is a Republican setback of a lower order than, say, 1986 – a net loss of between 20 and 25 House seats, giving narrow control to the Democrats, and of 4 Senate seats, leaving a 51 seat GOP majority (how stable that would be depends on whether Lincoln Chaffee is one of the survivors). And as this RedState diary aptly explains, at least a handful of the potential Democratic gains are odd one-off races like Bob Ney’s seat, Tom Delay’s seat and Mark Foley’s seat, heavily Republican districts that are likely to come home in 2008.
Anyway, I’m not ready to do the postmortem on why Republicans did so badly or did better than expected until we see what actually happens. But I do think the people taking victory laps before the race has been run are the ones who seem most likely to regret it.