If you’re looking for insight into how the local congressional races will go, you could do worse than Nate Silver’s 538.
538 remains one of my favorite sites for statistical insight into elections, even if Nate missed on President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
Of course, who didn’t, right?
In fairness, 538 picked up the trend toward Trump on election night and began adjusting its projections toward him before the final result. Silver remains only as good as the polls underlying his projections and a lot of polls failed to pick up Trump’s rise for lots of reasons. So did lots of reporters.
What I’m saying is take these latest 538 projections with lots of salt. Election Day, Nov. 6, remains a bit less than eight weeks away, and plenty can happen. I can’t think of a more volatile era since I’ve covered politics.
In the House races, 538 has no polls to rely on so it’s projections are based on past voting patterns and things like that.
For now, 538 projects:
— U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-17, Moosic, as the likely winner of the 8th Congressional District seat. It says he will receive 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent for Republican investment company co-owner John Chrin, who moved from New Jersey last year to run in his native Pennsylvania. It also pegs Cartwright’s chances of winning as 9 in 10 and Chrin’s as 1 in 10.
If Chrin wins, he’ll win 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent, according to the 538 forecast.
This forecast looks especially interesting because Chrin has pinned his hopes on issues that rally Trump voters, especially immigration, and Trump won the 8th by 10 points.
This relatively easy Cartwright win also contrasts with the view of two Washington, D.C.-area based forecasters of House races. In the last few months, Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Inside Elections have downgraded Cartwright’s chances from “likely Democratic” to “leans Democratic.” The Cook Political Report still sees the race as “likely Democratic.”
— Dan Meuser as the almost certain winner of the 9th Congressional District matchup between former governors’ cabinet secretaries. Meuser just moved to Dallas Borough, which is in the 9th from the 8th. Redistricting earlier this year moved district boundary lines forcing candidates like Meuser and Chrin to move. Chrin moved twice after originally relocating to the state.
Meuser, a Republican and former state secretary of revenue under Gov. Tom Corbett, will will receive 60.6 percent of the vote to 39.4 percent for Denny Wolff, a Democrat and secretary of agriculture to Gov. Ed Rendell, according to 538’s latest projection.
— U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-10, Lycoming Twp., to overwhelm Democrat Marc Friedenberg, 66.3 percent to 33.7 percent in the 12th Congressional District. Marino’s chance of winning is also 99 in 100. All three forecasters — Cook, Inside Elections and Sabato — have this as “safe Republican” or “solid Republican,” too.
— U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, the Scranton Democrat, to soundly defeat U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11, Hazleton, by 55.4 percent to 42.5 percent. Casey’s chance of winning is 29 in 30. Inside Elections and The Cook Political Report have the race as “likely Democratic” and Sabato has it as “safe Democratic.”