What will happen on Election Day

Election 2006 is finally here and most expect a wave of Democrats to ride to victory today. But how big will this blue wave be?

As we did two years ago, The Hill asked fearless political insiders to consult their crystal balls. Not surprisingly, more Democrats were willing to go on the record than Republicans this year. The consensus among our experts is that Republicans will lose the House, but barely maintain their Senate majority.

We will honor the expert who makes the most accurate prediction in our Thursday edition.


Joe Scarborough

The former Florida Republican congressman and host of MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country” is predicting a long night for his ex-colleagues.

Democrats will pick up 30 seats in the lower chamber and the necessary six to win control of the Senate, Scarborough said.

He went on to predict Republican Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE will triumph in Tennessee, but Democrats will win Senate races in Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Of the three tough House races in Florida, Republicans have the best shot of winning retired Rep. Mark Foley’s (R-Fla.) seat compared to the races for retiring Rep. Katherine Harris’s (R-Fla.) seat as well as Rep. Clay Shaw Jr.’s (R-Fla.)

The loss of the House will cause a major shakeup in House Republican leadership, Scarborough said, adding that Democratic gains will boost Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases MORE’s (R-Ariz.) anticipated White House bid.

Bob Kerrey


Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), president of The New School in New York City, predicted that the Democrats would pick up the necessary 16 seats to gain a majority in the House. He believes Democrats will pick up five seats in the Senate, dividing the upper chamber 50-50 with Republicans still in control.

Kerrey, who headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 1996 and 1998, added that no Senate Democrat would lose and that Democrats would gain the open seat in Minnesota.

With the race between Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and state Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterGOP braces for Democratic spending onslaught in battle for Senate Former rancher says failure to restore meat labeling law is costing rural America 'billions' Tester: Our forefathers would not have tolerated Trump asking Ukraine to investigate Biden MORE (D) tightening, Kerrey believes Tester will win today.

Democrats will win just one of the three races in Missouri, Virginia and Tennessee, Kerrey said.


Max Sandlin

Former Rep. Max Sandlin (D-Texas), now the co-chairman of  Fleishman-Hilliard in Washington, D.C., believes Democrats will retake the House and pick up between 21 and 26 seats, and he is confident that  Democrats can run the table in the most competitive Senate races.

“I think that in the current environment any Republican incumbent under 50 percent is on the way out,” Sandlin said, adding that Democrat Shane Sklar, who is challenging Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), has a chance to upset the incumbent.

Sandlin believes that Democratic candidates can sweep the toss-up Senate races in Tennessee, Missouri and Virginia, and hang on to Democratic Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Senate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters MORE’s seat in New Jersey.

Lanny Davis

Former White House counsel to President Clinton Lanny Davis says Democrats will win both chambers of Congress, winning 24 in the House and six in the Senate.

Davis, author of the new book “Scandal: How ‘Gotcha’ Politics is Ruining America,” said Democrats will win seats across the country because a wave of independents will show up at the polls and reject GOP candidates.

Davis will spend today with his good friend Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) in Hartford for an expected victory party.

While he predicts two dozen pickups in the House, Davis says that number could climb to over 30.

He expects Democrats to win Senate seats in Missouri or Virginia, but is unsure if they can win both.

The story of the election will be the emergence of centrist candidates and a repudiation of the self-anointed power of the left- and right-wing blogs, Davis said.

“The election will destroy the myth of the blogosphere,” Davis said.

Grover Norquist

The president of the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) says that contrary to conventional wisdom, House Republicans will retain their majority and control the chamber 219-216 in the 110th Congress. The Senate will also stay in GOP hands, Norquist says, but Republicans will lose a net of four seats.

Norquist predicts that Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) will win, as will Republican candidate Bob Corker in Tennessee. Republicans may lose the seats of former Reps. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), Bob Ney (R-Ohio), and/or Tom DeLay (R-Texas), but will win them back in 2008, according to the ATR head.

He also notes that most Democrats running in tight races are conservative candidates, adding that many of them oppose gun control and abortion rights.


Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) looks like he’s done, Norquist said, but don’t count out Michael Steele (R) in Maryland.

Steve Elmendorf

Bryan Cave Strategies lobbyist Steve Elmendorf predicts that the Democrats will win the House today, but not the Senate.

Elmendorf, once a top aide to former Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryKrystal Ball: New Biden ad is everything that's wrong with Democrats The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats worry about diversity on next debate stage Krystal Ball: Biden's new ad is everything that's wrong with Democrats MORE (D-Mass.), believes that Democrats will pick up 27 House seats and five Senate seats.

“The sleeper races are all on our side in [places like] Nebraska-3 and Idaho- 1 where the Republicans have no business being in trouble,” he said, adding that Democrat Larry Grant would defeat state Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho).

Elmendorf forecasted that Democrats Jim Webb (Va.) and state Auditor Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGinsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle MSNBC's McCaskill: Trump used 'his fat thumbs' to try to intimidate Yovanovitch GOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' MORE (Mo.) would win their respective races while Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) would come up short against Bob Corker.

Simon Rosenberg


Democrats will pick up 25 seats in the House and the Senate will end up 50-50, according to New Democrat Network (NDN) President Simon Rosenberg.

Jim Webb and Claire McCaskill be senators next year — and don’t write off Jim Pederson in Arizona, Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg, who ran for head of the Democratic National Committee last year, said that it’s not out of the question that Democrats will pick up 30 or more seats in the lower chamber.

“Democrats have a very high floor and Republicans have a very low ceiling,” he said.

It’s doubtful that any Democratic incumbent will lose today, Rosenberg added.

The big story coming out of the elections will be the “incredible Democratic surge in the West,” the NDN chief said.

Armstrong Williams

The conservative pundit, who won this contest in 2004, believes that Republicans are in trouble, but not as much trouble as our other experts have predicted.

Republicans will hold on to the House by three seats and will control the Senate 52-48 next year, Williams said.

Reps. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) and Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) will win their races and Republicans will also hold on to the seats of retired Reps. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and Tom DeLay (R-Texas), he predicted.

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) will beat Jim Webb while Senate GOP candidate Bob Corker will defeat Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) by double digits, according to Williams.

Williams added that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) will win and Michael Steele (R) will upset Rep. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinThe Secure Act makes critical reforms to our retirement system — let's pass it this year Lawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Senate Democrats ask Pompeo to recuse himself from Ukraine matters MORE (D-Md.) for retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes’s (D-Md.) seat.