Here are what I believe will be the last set of ratings from whom I consider the best political handicappers in the business.
The Rothenberg Political Report has MS-01 rated Tilt Republican (where it has been for months) and MS-04 a pure toss-up (which is a recent move in Steven Palazzo’s favor).
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has MS-01 rated Leans Republican and MS-04 rated Leans Democrat. Sabato has now toss-ups in his final predictions.
The Cook Political Report has both MS-01 and MS-04 listed as a toss-up. MS-01 has been there for months, while MS-04 recently moved there.
Nate Silver with FiveThirtyEight gives Alan Nunnelee an 87 percent chance of defeating Travis Childers (to put it in the Likely Takover category), while giving Palazzo a 68 percent chance of defeating Gene Taylor (which puts it in the Lean Takeover category).
The rest of the numbers. Here are predictions on how many seats they believe the GOP will pickup. Charlie Cook is predicting 48-60 seats, Larry Sabato is saying 55, Stu Rothenberg is saying 55-65 and Nate Silver is predicting 53.
**As of this morning, the Real Clear Politics average of the generic congressional vote has the GOP up six. Excluding a suspicious Newsweek poll that actually had the Democrats up three, the Democratic vote total has been ranging from 40-44; obviously not ideal any way you spin it.
Tegerdine defends his decision on Gallo. Joe Tegerdine was on the Gallo show earlier this morning discussing his decision to endorse Gene Taylor. A couple points of note. Tegerdine said that he had been in discussion with Taylor’s staff; I’m assuming that meant before the announcement was made. He said he had not spoken directly with Taylor however. He also said that he had not accepted any type of job in exchange for the endorsement.
Gallo told him his future in the Republican Party is over, and Tegerdine responded by saying he didn’t want to make this a career. I agree with Gallo’s statement, but have heard a number of people talk about an independent run in the future. On many occasions Tegerdine has said the timing is not right for a third-party candidate in 2010, will it be in 2012?
Haley’s money. Haley Barbour’s PAC (Haley’s PAC) sent out an email yesterday announcing the individual races or parties where they have split up some $440,000. And Barbour did a great job of splitting the money up to something like 75 or so candidates (for House, Senate and governor) and about 20 party organizations.
For his Mississippi donations, Barbour contributed to all four Republican House candidates, the Mississippi Republican Party, the Mississippi House Republican Conference, and the Mississippi Republican Party Victory 2011.
About tonight’s debate. Regarding the MS-04 debate tonight that Taylor claimed Steven Palazzo had backed out of; we’re still hearing it’s on and a Republican in South Mississippi told me he was invited to a reception prior to the debate and to watch the debate from the station.
Is Shuler Childers’ man? In previous statements Travis Childers has said he hopes to have a more “moderate” speaker than Nancy Pelosi. He has also brought up the possibility of a fellow Blue Dog running, but didn’t name any names. As we noted, North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler joked in the past that he may run, but recently seemed to indicate he will if the only other option is Pelosi. Perhaps Shuler is the individual Childers hopes to get a chance to vote for.