Luge is the only sport where you can die during the event and still win.

T-1 Senate Update

November 1st, 2010 by Kevin

Ok we have a day left before the election.  Republicans are all but certain to take the House, and predictions are by increasingly large numbers.  Are both houses of Congress likely to flip to Republicans, or does the House become Great Firewall of Washington DC?  We\’ll find out on Election Day, but until then we get to play the guessing game.

Does your guesstimate match mine?? Let\’s find out….

First the safe states….no drama here, no reason to do more than list them.   The safe Republican states include Alabama (R), Arizona (R), Arkansas (D), Georgia (R), Idaho (R), Indiana (D), Iowa (R), Kansas (R), Louisiana (R), North Carolina (R), North Dakota (D), Ohio (R), Oklahoma (R), South Carolina (R), South Dakota (R) and Utah (R).  Remember, note the three Republican pickups right off the bat.  Democrat\’s safe list is Connecticut (D), Delaware (D), Hawaii (D), Maryland (D), New York (D – Gillibrand), New York (D – Schumer), Oregon (D) and Vermont (D).  Notice the conspicuous lack of Rs in that list.

California (D) – Fiorina (D) has closed even further on Boxer (D) making this effectively a dead-heat. I have my doubts that it\’s going to be enough.  Although, if this seat flips it won\’t be surprise.  By the time we start getting results here, it will be clear the Republican wave has reached tsunami-like proportions, and in fact early evidence of that may very well influence voters in this race.  I\’m still sticking with my current classification, but only by the slimmest of margins.  Leaning Democrat retention.

Washington (D) – Another close race on the West Coast but this won\’t be impacted by early reports of a Republican tsunami, as effectively voting is already over in Washington.  Most locations vote by mail so most have already cast their ballots.  Did Rossi\’s (R) momentum come in time?? Or will Murray (D) have braved the margins.  It\’ll be close regardless but I see Murray sticking this one out.  Leaning Democrat retention.

West Virginia (D) – Well shit….Raese (R) has held a very small lead over Manchin (D) for awhile now.  Now out of the blue comes….well the blue candidate.  Surging at the last minute to a lead is Manchin, who may very well be moving out of the Governors mansion and into an apartment in DC.  Leaning Democrat retention.

Illinois (D) –  Don\’t make too much of Obama\’s rally.  While this race is so close, it hasn\’t been outside the margin of error in 8 months, it\’s also been notable for having an extremely low number of undecided voters.  Illinois voters have long since decided who they want, they just haven\’t been overly keen on sharing it with the rest of us.  While it\’s obvious that voters don\’t like either candidate, Kirk has held a lead, albeit statistically insignificant, for awhile now.  I suspect there is something to that and Obama\’s former seat will be one of the cornerstones of that Republican wave.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Nevada (D) – It\’s hard to think it\’s just coincidence that over the span of the last seven days, three different polling agencies, have generated that EXACT same results….Angle 49, Reid 45.  I think that pretty much tells the story there and I see no reason to argue with Nevada voters.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Colorado (D) – Whew!  Well that was close.  Buck (R) seems to have weathered his little screw-up and now hold a slight lead over Bennett (D) again.  This still comes down to turnout but in this climate that also favors Buck.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Pennsylvania (D) – This has tightened up lately but Toomey (R) appears to have stabilized his lead over Sestak (D).  Turnout will be key but I think Toomey has this in the bag.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Alaska (R) – This state has causes a lot of Republicans to collectively wet themselves these part couple days.  Murkowski (I) is suddenly polling neck and neck with Miller (R).  And McAdams (D) is now gaining support.  However, I\’m sticking to my guns here.  Murkowski is running a write-in campaign so there\’s that, plus she doesn\’t exactly have an easy name to spell. I still think Miller has got this one.  Leaning Republican retention.

Wisconsin (D) – With even the White House giving up on this seat, this is all but a safe Republican seat now.  Feingold (D) is out, Johnson (R) is in.  Sounds good to me!  Likely Republican takeover.

Kentucky (R) – Game. Set. Match.  Paul (R) has got this.  Likely Republican retention.

Missouri (R) – Blunt (R) over Carnahan (D).  Done deal.  Likely Republican retention.

New Hampshire (R) – Not even close.  Ayotte (R) over Hodes (D).  Likely Republican retention.

Florida (R) – Rubio (R) has it.  Even if every Meeks (D) voter jumped to Crist (I), Crist would still lose.  And with the shenanigans Crist has played, he deserves to lose.  I can\’t believe there is a single voter in Florida even considering voting for Crist??? If Crist doesn\’t come in dead last I call a pox on all of Florida and offer it up for sale to Cuba.  Likely Republican retention.

Okay so what’s the final score??

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My past predictions were 49, 48, 48, 47, 47, 48, 49 and 50 and now I\’m predicting 49.  On the plus side, I\’m no longer uncomfortable about calling Illinois and Colorado for Republicans.  On the other hand, West Virginia took a hard left turn ended up in Olbermann, Obamaland.  So the road to majority got a little tougher.  Normally I\’d say West Virginia needs to be recalled from it\’s AWOL status and then either Washington or California need to be flipped.  However, oddly enough, the West Virginia part of that seems to be the toughest part.  So the most realistic route is probably flipping both California and Washington.

With both Washington and California on the West Coast, the potential Republican tsunami has acquired stealth ability.  You\’re not going to see it until it\’s on top of you dropping the R-Bomb all over the place.  Although if West Virgina surprises and goes Republican, the West Coast may as well start heading to higher ground, as that Republican tsunami may very well have a Slurpee-sipping Godzilla surfing on it.  I\’m going to stop there as I don\’t dare stretch this metaphor any further.

And I continue in my belief that strategically we don\’t want Republicans to get to 51.  We\’re not going to accomplish anything with 51 we can\’t accomplish with 49.  In both cases, the Senate is effectively closed for 2 years.  And with Republicans controlling the House, Republicans will control any budget that gets sent to the Senate.  A Democrat majority can\’t assert itself for fear of it killing everything in conference.    Ideally Republican unfund most of the Obama agenda, toss a few scandal grenades at the White House and then call it a day and wait for 2012.

For those of you thinking that\’s an awfully shitty way to want your government to work, I\’d like to point out a couple things.  A stalled Congress is a good Congress.  And historically the economy has always performed it\’s best with a split Congress.  You want economic recovery?  Then you want Republicans throwing monkey-wrenches in every Congressional gear.  Embrace the stalemate!


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T-7 Senate Update

October 27th, 2010 by Kevin

Ok we have a week left to go.  Things are getting very interesting and at the same time very frustrating.  A lead of 5 or 6 points can be eliminated overnite by a sensational news report of something stupid a candidate did.  But in many cases the number of undecided voters is actually very low and these candidates are professionals.  Actually what\’s most frustrating about this stage is that a lot of polling agencies (such as PPP) with well-documented biases (again PPP) play all sorts of silly demographic games to try to engineer the results they want to push their agenda, more on that below, but the point being it makes it hard to get a coherent picture of what\’s going on on the ground without actually being there??  So who\’s up for donating a few grand so I can go on a tour of the country….especially places like Florida and Hawaii??

No? Okay well instead let\’s take a look at where we stand with the US Senate elections.  Notice I\’ve started moving more than a couple states into the safe categories….just not enough time for any fairy tale endings in some of these races.  And I\’m implementing a self-imposed \”no-tossup\” rule….it\’s time to stop getting wishy-washy and \”man up\” as the parlance of our times goes.  So let\’s get started….

First the safe states….no drama here, no reason to do more than list them.   The safe Republican states include Alabama (R), Arizona (R), Arkansas (D), Georgia (R), Idaho (R), Indiana (D), Iowa (R), Kansas (R), Louisiana (R), North Carolina (R), North Dakota (D), Ohio (R), Oklahoma (R), South Carolina (R), South Dakota (R) and Utah (R).  Remember, note the three Republican pickups right off the bat.  Democrat\’s safe list is Connecticut (D), Delaware (D), Hawaii (D), Maryland (D), New York (D – Gillibrand), New York (D – Schumer), Oregon (D) and Vermont (D).  Notice the conspicuous lack of Rs in that list.

California (D) – Ok polls show Boxer (D) pulling away from Fiorina (R) but the pollsters showing most of that are pollsters I\’ve learned to not trust unless their findings are supported by several more reputable agencies.  So I\’m going to discount most of that.  Besides, would Democrats like Dianne Feinstein be hitting the campaign trail for Boxer if she were really running away with it?? No.  Actually the biggest factor here is entirely non-political. Fiorina has been hospitalized due to an infection as a result of post-breast-cancer surgery, although sounds like the cancer is still in remission (Get Well!).  Okay what\’s the political impact?? Sure Fiorina is losing valuable time in the most critical phase but this has been a high profile race…does anyone really need to see Fiorina to know what she\’s about anymore??? I\’m thinking this may actually be a net-benefit as it eliminates the chance of a potential last minute gaffe and also probably gains her a few sympathy points.  But I don\’t think it\’ll be enough.  Leaning Democrat retention.

Washington (D) – Recent polls show Rossi (R) closing on Murray (D) again….and that\’s critical because there is another factor at work here that doesn\’t exist in most other states.  Only in very few places to Washintonians actually go to a polling booth.  Most send in their ballots by mail, so the fact that polls show Rossi closing just as most voters will be mailing in their ballots means something.  And digging into the polls shows they may very likely be overstating Democrat support.   I\’d love to move this back to toss-up, but I can\’t.  Only my eeyorish nature is keeping me from going with Rossi here.  I am fully prepared, and hoping, to be proven wrong here, but without a Herb Brooks-style motivational speech I\’m struggling to believe in miracles.  Hope to take this prediction to \”my fucking grave\”.  Leaning Democrat retention.

Illinois (D) – Yeah, I\’m rethinking that \”no toss-ups\” rule.  This races hasn\’t been outside the margin of error in 8 months and that\’s not changing.  Voters don\’t appear to like either candidate and that makes the race volatile.  On the other hand, we\’re continuing to see a slight lead by Kirk(R) and some of the demographics are pretty encouraging for Republicans.  Recent polls show progress by Kirk, which I\’d feel better about if there was a reason I can divine for it….I can\’t.  I think I have to give Republicans this one…and it\’s a sweet seat to win.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Nevada (D) – Remember when I said I was struggling to believe in miracles?  Well I got over that and if you\’ll permit…..Dude! I think this is happening!  Ok let\’s backtrack, this race is still tight and Reid (D) is no fool…well he is, but not at winning elections.  Reid\’s  support hasn\’t changed much, it\’s Angle\’s (R) that\’s gone up and done.  Now she appears to have passed the \”Crazy\” test, mostly thanks to Reid\’s boneheaded move to debate her.  Since then the trendline has been pretty solidly pro-Angle and there aren\’t many undecideds.  Nevadans have disliked Reid for awhile and I think they\’ve finally decided it\’s time to take him behind the woodshed.  Unless a third-party candidate or the None-of-the-Above option does really well, and there is nothing to even hint at that, I think we\’ll be looking forward to Senator Angle taking Reid\’s seat. Leaning Republican takeover.

West Virginia (D) – Once again the PPP polling agency it playing games with the numbers to try to force a outcome they like.  Despite that, I think this race hasn\’t moved much and Raese (R) owns a slim lead over Manchin (D).  Leaning Republican takeover.

Colorado (D) – Remember what I said last week about the impact of mistakes being amplified in these last few weeks?  Well I give you exhibit A, Colorado.  Buck (R) had a small but steady lead over Bennett (D).  Now come reports that Buck refused to prosecute a rape case and a gaffe made during a debate.  There isn\’t time to spin either one, the reset switch has been tripped and now it\’s all even again.  Congrats Buck, you messed up and now it comes down to Get Out The Vote….which probably favors Buck.  But I feel anything but comfortable calling this for Buck.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Wisconsin (D) – Feingold\’s (D) support hasn\’t changed in almost a year, what has changed is Johnson\’s (R) support.  Around mid-summer Johnson pulled ahead and hasn\’t looked back since.  There is little reason to believe this will be anything other than a fairly comfortable win by the new Senator Johnson. Likely Republican takeover.

Pennsylvania (D) – Last time polls had tightened significantly, but I could see absolutely no reason for it so I assumed it was just a lapse of sanity by the pollsters.  Just as I suspected, it appears pollsters like PPP we just messing around with their spreads to generate the results they wanted.  Now other agencies are confirming my suspicions, this race hasn\’t budged.  Likely Republican takeover.

Alaska (R) –It’s pretty tight between Miller (R) and Murkowski (I).  But again, Murkowski is running a write-in campaign.  Just don’t see it happening.  Likely Republican retention.

Kentucky (R) – Conway (D) was closing on Paul (R) and then he decided to release his \”Aqua Buddha\” ad about some goofy stuff Rand Paul did in college.  Now there is a time and a place to be a dumbass, and it\’s called college, and Kentuckians appear to agree, as suddenly Paul has a comfortable lead.  It\’s not so much that Conway has lost support but Paul suddenly appears to have gained a bunch….who knew there were so many worshippers of Aqua Buddha??  All kidding aside, Conway overreached with that ad and this is now Paul\’s race.  Likely Republican retention.

Missouri (R) – Blunt (R) is polling above 50% and Carnahan (D) isn\’t gaining.  Likely Republican retention.

New Hampshire (R) – Not much has changed but not quite ready to call this safe. Likely Republican retention.

Florida (R) – Ok this is actually a safe seat now, but the only reason I don\’t list it above is so I can share this with you.  Crist has absolutely lost it.  What else to explain why you interrupt your opponent during a major debate so you can go off on a non sequitur rant, which not only make you look thin-skinned but also gives your opponent the chance to make you look like an inconsiderate boob??  This isn\’t a rookie politician, he\’s the current Governor of Florida.  And what\’s with the \”Welcome to the NFL\” line at the end?  What is that supposed to mean?? I mean besides the obvious meaning; \”I\’m fucking insane, look at me! Whhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….oops I wet myself\”.  Safe Republican retention.

Okay so what’s the final score??

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My past predictions were 49, 48, 48, 47, 47, 48 and 49 and now I\’m predicting 50.  Heartbreak! That puts us one vote short of retaking the Senate, thanks to Gaffemaster Biden. And there are a couple seats in there I\’m not overly comfortable predicting for Republicans.  In fact, both Illinois and Colorado scare me quite a bit.  Save us Aqua Buddha!!! Still if there is a path to 51 for Republicans, it\’s the same as the one I described last week, and that\’s either Washington and California and in both of those, unlike last week, things are looking much better.  Something as simple as bad weather could deliver either one to Republicans and then eureka, Senate Majority Leader DeMint!  Be still my heart!

Still I am not expecting that to happen, and long term it\’s probably best if it does not.  Like I mentioned last week, it\’s not really necessary.  Republicans are all but certain to retake the House.  The Club for Growth does the groundwork and breaks all those races down.  Remember there the magic number is 39….and you get that almost before you even start looking at Toss-Ups and there are a lot of them.  Now the House controls the budget, so they can shut down health care reform and they can prevent further spending orgies by Democrats.

But if they take the majority in the Senate, one thing the Democrats learned is if you have control of both houses of Congress, people expect you to actually do stuff.  But with a President Obama, Republicans wouldn\’t be able to accomplish anything and would probably take the brunt of voter reaction in 2012 when we\’ll probably still be dealing with a stagnant economy.  Where if Democrats retain control of the Senate, they control two of the three branches and are the establishment in voter eyes.  But with a large minority in the Senate and controlling the House, everything stops…. DC becomes the city where nothing ever happens.  That\’s a good thing, plus is sets up Republicans to retake the White House and the Senate in 2012.

So those of you anxiously wondering if the Republicans can retake the Senate, the better question you should be asking is, \”Do we really want them to?\”

NOTE : I\’ll update with any major events between now and November 2nd, and perhaps I\’ll put together final predictions the night before.  We\’ll see.


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T-14 Senate Update

October 20th, 2010 by Kevin

Here\’s the latest in my weekly update of the Senate picture.  Like I said last time, as time gets tight, the impact of gaffes are magnified and a bad debate can make or break a campaign.  Makes it more difficult to call the close races but that\’s my problem isn\’t it?

Last time we looked at the Senate Republicans were starting to catch a lot of breaks and for the first time, even my eeyorish eyes were starting to see the real possibility for a Republican majority in the Senate.  Has the trend continued?? Well….

First the safe states….no drama here, no reason to do more than list them.   The safe Republican states include Alabama (R), Arizona (R), Arkansas (D), Georgia (R), Idaho (R), Indiana (D), Iowa (R), Kansas (R), Louisiana (R), North Carolina (R), North Dakota (D), Oklahoma (R), South Carolina (R), South Dakota (R) and Utah (R).  Remember, note the three Republican pickups right off the bat.  Democrat\’s safe list is Hawaii (D), Maryland (D), New York (D – Schumer), Oregon (D) and Vermont (D).  Notice the conspicuous lack of Rs in that list.

Delaware (D) – The non-witch hasn\’t accomplished anything.  Coons reliably polls above 50% and O\’Donnell can\’t gain traction.  I\’m still willing to put money on this race to any Tea Party folk who are still clinging to the \”She\’s got a chance\” mantra….any takers??? Please??? Safe Democrat retention.

New York (D – Gillibrand) – Remember when I said the window for DioGuardi (R) had effectively closed??? Well now it\’s been closed, locked, covered up with a steel-reinforced concrete wall. Safe Democrat retention.

Connecticut (D) – Good news….McMahon (R) has started gaining ground again.  Bad news….it\’s not going to be enough.  Blumenthal (D) remains comfortably above 50%, so even though undecideds are falling to McMahon, he doesn\’t need them anymore.  Tough break for a what could have been a real sweet pickup for Republicans.  Likely Democrat retention.

California (D) – This still remains tight and Boxer (D) is still below 50%.  Problem is Fiorina (R) hasn\’t made up any more ground, even with Boxer sticking her foot in her big mouth every chance she gets.  Ultimately it\’s starting to look like Fiorina has squeezed just about every vote she\’s going to out of California.  If that\’s the case, I hereby officially offer to sell California to Mexico in exchange for two Chipotle burritos.  Leaning Democrat retention.

Washington (D) – Pity….all that progress Rossi (R) made has disappeared and then some.  Murray (D) is back in control.  Dammit.  This race is still close but we\’re starting to run out of time here.  Leaning Democrat retention.

Illinois (D) – What I feared appears to be taking place.  Kirk (R) has lost the slight lead he had and Giannoulias (D) has taken over the lead.  Now that doesn\’t mean as much as you think, because this race has traded the lead so many times, Illinois is being fitted for a swivel.  This hasn\’t been out of the margin of error in over 7 months.  Problem here is that voters appear to be making this a referendum on the national direction and in Illinois that\’s bad for Republicans.  Toss-Up.

Nevada (D) – Ohh, the sweet sweet air of victory is starting to permeate the air around Nevada!  Ok before we get ahead of ourselves, this race is still insanely close.  However, that\’s about where the good news for Reid (D) stops.  Angle (R) is currently leading, and with the exception of a few liberal pollsters has for awhile.  The voters have also showed an impressive level of certainty in their choices, as there are very few undecideds left and they are tending to go for Angle.  And I imagine that trend will accelerate, or at least continue, especially after the disaster of a debate Angle and Reid had recently.  Reid was awful, and while Angle wasn\’t great, she didn\’t need to be.  She\’s been portrayed by Reid as the Wicked Witch of the West for most of the campaign….during the debate, not only did she make a few rhetorical points, she also looked utterly…..normal.  Never has an entire campaign\’s work so utterly imploded.  Leaning Republican takeover.

West Virginia (D) – Not much has changed here….which is nice, because I think Raese (R) still holds a slim lead over Manchin (D).  Worth keeping an eye on.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Wisconsin (D) –  Again not much has changed, and again that\’s good for Johnson (R).  Feingold (D) is still polling sub-50% and Johnson retains a comfortable lead.  I\’m not quite ready to move this further but it\’s well on it\’s way.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Colorado (D) –Buck (R) once held a fairly comfortable lead but that has diminished over the past week.  This is effectively a dead heat now but I give the edge to Buck over Bennett (D).  All sides are spending obscene amounts of money on this race so a lot can happen but so far I\’m happy.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Pennsylvania (D) –Not much has changed here.  Likely Republican takeover.

Alaska (R) – It\’s pretty tight between Miller (R) and Murkowski (I).  But again, Murkowski is running a write-in campaign.  Just don\’t see it happening.  Likely Republican retention.

Kentucky (R) – Paul\’s (R) lead has shrunk but I think he\’s still in safe territory.  Likely Republican retention.

Missouri (R) – Not much has changed here.  Likely Republican retention.

New Hampshire (R) – Not much has changed here.  Likely Republican retention.

Florida (R) – Meek hasn\’t dropped out, which pretty much paints a clean path to victory for Rubio (R) and signals the end of Crist\’s (I) political career. Likely Republican retention.

Ohio (R) – Not much has changed here.  Likely Republican retention.

Okay so what’s the final score??

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Heartbreak!!  After making the past predictions, 49, 48, 48, 47, 47 and 48, I was starting to think there was a real chance for Republican victory.  Now the inner-Eeyore in my has returned.  Even though I\’m now projecting 49 seats for Republicans.  Problem is the path I saw to 50 is starting to fail.  At this point Republicans need to win Illinois and then they need to flip either California or Washington.  Problem with that path is that Illinois is starting to look pretty dicey for Republicans and both California and Washington are moving in the wrong direction to be flipped.

Oh well.  Like I\’ve said before Republicans are likely to score a huge victory even if they don\’t take the Senate.  After all the House controls spending more than the Senate.  And with such a sizeable minority in the Senate, Republicans can effectively shut down the Senate with filibusters.  Plus it might be better long-term for Republicans to only control one of the three arms of government for 2012.  Perhaps Republicans can repeat their performance in 2012 if they can effectively place blame on Democrat control of Congress and the White House.

But there is still time….not much and things can change greatly.  We\’ll take another look next week.


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T-21 Senate Update

October 12th, 2010 by Kevin

In these last weeks before an election, things can change pretty fast and the impact is magnified.  There isn\’t time to recover from a gaffe and there isn\’t time to spin bad news how you want it to be interpreted.  A shift of just 1 or 2 points could be easily, and rightly, dismissed earlier in the year…now it\’s all it takes for a race to flip.  So we\’ll be doing a weekly look at the Senate as we countdown to the great 2010 Hopenchange Referendum.

Where do we currently stand? Well….

First the safe states….no drama here, no reason to do more than list them.   The safe Republican states include Alabama (R), Arizona (R), Arkansas (D), Georgia (R), Idaho (R), Indiana (D), Iowa (R), Kansas (R), Louisiana (R), North Carolina (R), North Dakota (D), Oklahoma (R), South Carolina (R), South Dakota (R) and Utah (R).  Remember, note the three Republican pickups right off the bat.  Democrat\’s safe list is Hawaii (D), Maryland (D), New York (D – Schumer), Oregon (D) and Vermont (D).  Notice the conspicuous lack of Rs in that list.

Delaware (D) – Only reason this isn\’t listed with the safe seats above is because of the drama around it.  But let\’s be realistic, it\’s safe.  Coons by a large margin.  I\’d put money on it.  Safe Democrat retention.

New York (D – Gillibrand) – Some minor movement here but all in the Democrat\’s favor.  There a very slim opening for Joe DioGuardi (R) to make something happen…that window has effectively closed.  Likely Democrat retention.

California (D) – Not much new here.  Boxer is still in control here….for now.  Good thing here is that this race has become a referendum on Boxer rather than a Fiorina vs Boxer contest.  That\’s good for Fiorina, because the general consensus appears to be that Boxer is an incompetent arrogant do-nothing.  But so far that\’s not translating into enough people flipping.  California may very well be going with the devil they know than the one they don\’t.  This might hinge on dynamics from the Governor\’s race.  Leaning Democrat retention.

Connecticut (D) – All that progress by McMahon (R) has hit a brick wall.  She had closed the gap and now needed to steal support from Blumenthal (D).  Then they met in debate, and apparently Connecticut voters disagree with my evaluation of her performance because support has shifted to Blumenthal.  On the plus side, McMahon has already scored a big-picture victory, as the DSCC has announced it\’s dumping $500K of ad time into this race.  The fact that the DSCC is spending even a shiny nickel to firewall this race is a victory for Republicans. Leaning Democrat retention.

Nevada (D) – I was pretty pessimistic about this before, mostly because of Nevada\’s \”None of the Above\” option on the ballot.  I feared undecideds were going to remain undecided, which helps out Reid (D).  But now undecideds appear to be very tentatively going for Angle (R).  Not much, but then again there isn\’t much room between these two.   Now Angle is ever so slightly ahead, as all the momentum since September has been Angle\’s way.  This is all horrible news for Reid, he\’s very unpopular in Nevada (even his son has abandoned him) so he needs to go into Election Day with at least a slight lead.  Otherwise undedecided voters may go with the crowd and vote Angle instead of None of the Above.  My gut feeling was wrong last time, I\’m moving this back where it should have been and if nothing changes I\’ll move it even more.  Toss-Up.

Washington (D) – Insert nervously suspenseful theme music here.  This race might have turned the corner.  They had a primary race here, which was basically a dry run for the election.  It didn\’t turn out well for Rossi (R), and, until recently, it hasn\’t moved much from that ever since.  Murray (D) had a huge cash advantage, but Rossi has been gaining slightly.  Murray sought to counter that with an ad blitz and she certainly did.  Problem is they\’ve hit Dino Rossi with everything they can think of.  It\’s evident they\’ve used up the entire toolbox, as their latest ads are repeating old material and it hasn\’t stopped Rossi\’s advance.  In fact, now Rossi is leading ever so slightly in the polls.  Too early to tell how real that lead is and there are two TV debates left.  If Rossi doesn\’t screw up there, this will come down to voter turn out…which is bad for Murray.  This gets upgraded in status.  If those TV debates go well this will change status again. Toss-Up.

Illinois (D) – This race still hasn\’t been outside the margin of error in 7 months and it hasn\’t really changed.  Undecideds are starting to break but they are doing so roughly evenly so the net gain is zero.  That works out well for Kirk who appears to be holding onto an ever so slight lead.  However, Kirk needs to gain some more ground here because if the remaining undecideds make this a referendum on the national direction and/or Obama then Giannoulias (D) is going to win.  Toss-Up.

West Virginia (D) – Gov. Manchin (D) is popular in the state but not so popular is the idea of giving Democrats a seat to defend ObamaCare and the rest of the Democrat\’s agenda.  Raese (R) had a slim lead and that lead has been increasing.  It appears as if Machin\’s severe money advantage isn\’t going to help him with the way the dynamics are working out.  Manchin is trying to convince West Virginian\’s that he\’s opposed to ObamaCare, but he has a track record stating otherwise.  Plus even if that\’s the case, he\’s already got a job, that of Governor, where he can effectively fight ObamaCare.  It\’s hard for him to make a case to move him to Washington.  I\’m shifting this one.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Wisconsin (D) – Good news for Feingold (D) is he has stopped the bleeding.  Bad news is Johnson (R) is holding a comfortable lead over him.  There are a couple big debates coming up but Feingold\’s support hasn\’t moved significantly up or down in almost a year and it\’s below 50%.  For a well-known incumbent not only is that bad news but it\’s also hard to change.  Short of a major screw-up by Johnson in those debates this is looking pretty good for Republicans.  I\’m tempted to move this even further right but let\’s get a debate or two behind us first.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Colorado (D) – This race has turned into a financial battleground, with both parties investing obscene amounts of money in this race.  But for the most part this race has stabilised with Buck (R) holding a modest lead.  There is a recent poll showing Bennett (D) with a slight lead.  Now that could be the leading edge of a shift in public opinion, however, the polling agency that reported that is well known to have a liberal bias, so I suspect it\’s due more to that than anything concrete.  Leaning Republican takeover.

Pennsylvania (D) – Undecided voters had started breaking to slightly larger degree towards Sestak (D) but not enough to make up the support gap.  As a result, Toomey (R) holds his steady lead and the race has stabilised.  However, what\’s more telling is the financial moves lately.  The DSCC has withdrawn their ad purchases for this race and Republican groups continue to pour in money.  This is looking pretty safe now.  Likely Republican takeover.

Alaska (R) – McAdams (D) is quickly becoming a non-factor in this race.  While it\’s still tight between Miller (R) and Senator Murkowski (I).  But considering that Murkowski is a write-in candidate, unless she opens a serious lead between now and Election Day, I see this being won by Miller. Likely Republican retention.

Kentucky (R) –  Yeah, nothing new here.  Likely Republican retention.

Missouri (R) –  Democrats are pulling their ad purchases here.  Likely Republican retention.

New Hampshire (R) – Yeah, nothing new here.  Likely Republican retention.

Florida (R) – Some drama here as Meek (D) has become a non-factor.  So there are some rumours that Meek may drop out and clear the way for Democrats to go the most liberal candidate that has a chance Crist (I).  Problem with that theory is it hasn\’t happened yet and by now Rubio (R) has such a commanding lead it may not matter.   In fact it may have the opposite effect as the Republicans still supporting Crist may peel away from the defacto Democrat and support Rubio.  Either way, it\’s worth keeping an eye on for any shenanigans but it\’s pretty safe at this point.  Likely Republican retention.

Ohio (R) – Yeah, nothing new here.  Likely Republican retention.

Okay so what’s the final score??

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Ok at this point I see at least seven seats changing control but two more have moved into the Toss-Up category and in both of them, if trends continue, they\’ll shift to leaning Republican takeover.  So theoretically we soon have nine seats changing hands, which would bring Republicans to 50 seats…with Illinois becoming the tie-breaker.  Wow.

At this point I\’m projected 48 seats for Republicans, with my past predictions being 49, 48, 48, 47 and 47.  But I am seeing the possibility for at least 50 too.

Want to get real excited? Remember how last time I was casting doubt on the whole Republicans retaking the Senate??  And as part of that I projected the most likely path for that to happen?  Well every race I mentioned that had to shift is….well shifting.  That hypothetical path is taking place!  Dude, for the first time I\’m getting a little excited here, this could be happening….that wave may very well crest at above flood stage.

Now we\’re still three weeks out.  All sorts of chances for an October surprise.  Lots of debates still to happen, which open the possibility for gaffes by either candidate.  But remember, I\’ve been denying Republicans had a chance for months.  But now even by my eeyorish viewpoint, I see a very real path to majority here for Republicans.  Not only a path, but a path the country appears to be traveling down.

Plus it\’s hard to resist the temptation that control of the Senate hinges on control of Obama\’s old Senate seat.  Dude, they just don\’t write political drama better!


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Dayton Already Running From His Past

August 11th, 2010 by Kevin

Well the DFL finally figured out who their candidate is for Governor, and they picked Mark Dayton.  Also know as \”The Blunderer\”….seriously, that\’s what Time magazine called him back when he was in the Senate…they also called him the worst Senator in America.  In response to winning the primary, Mark Dayton got so excited he promptly closed his campaign office for a month.

Well the MN GOP promptly released an ad introducing the new DFL nominee to Minnesota.  That shouldn\’t be a surprise, we\’ve been seeing Mark Dayton\’s family spending millions on anti-Emmer ads for weeks now.  But now the MN GOP is finally answering back with an ad that scored an A- on the KSTP Truth Test….unlike the famous anti-Emmer ad by Alliance for a Better Minnesota (aka Dayton family front group) which scored an F.

Of course Dayton is denouncing this as a smear….not sure what part of quoting past news articles about him, he considers smearing.  Sounds like Dayton is already starting a pattern of running from his past.  And when it\’s pretty true that past performance predicts future performance, that\’s not good for Minnesota.


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Did Obama Flip A Catch-22?

July 15th, 2010 by Kevin

Obama has had a rough week already, and that\’s not even including his golf game.  His Democrat Governors are openly questioning the wisdom of his lawsuit against Arizona.  Normally safe Democrats are now in trouble.  And the worst, for our narcissistic President, now even Democrat-friendly poll agencies are showing Obama deep underwater amongst the public.

Part of Obama\’s problem is he\’s caught in a Catch-22 of his own rhetoric.  The economy, unemployment and overspending are dragging down his poll numbers which limits his ability to be an effective at pushing his agenda.  On the economy and unemployment he can\’t talk up even the smallest bits of good news, lest he appear out of touch to a hurting American public.  And he can\’t cut spending because his lofty promises of being everything to everyone during the campaign require massive amounts of it.  As long as this election is a referendum on his performance, Democrats chances of salvaging even a moral victory from 2010 are almost non-existent.  Which is why White House press secretary Robert Gibb\’s recent statements that Republicans could take the House is political strategy at it\’s best.

MR. GIBBS:  I think there\’s no doubt that there are a lot of seats that will be up, a lot of contested seats.  I think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall.  But I think there\’s no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control.  There\’s no doubt about that. This will depend on strong campaigns by Democrats.

There are two things being done here.  First, and as subtle as a flying brick, this is a challenge to Democrats nationwide….quit sulking and get working.  You can\’t just accept a GOP wave, you\’re going to have to fight and make them earn it.  But more importantly this was a very clever move to reframe this next election.  By pushing the \”Republicans could be in control\” point, Gibbs is no longer making this about Obama.  Now this is a referendum on Republicans vs Democrats.  This is an attempt to exploit the one silver lining that Democrats have in established polling data.

If there are two things that the polling data has repeatedly shown it\’s that Obama\’s as popular as vuvuzela at a wedding ceremony.  But it\’s also shown that Republicans are almost as unpopular.  It\’s not that the public has fallen in love with the GOP, they\’ve called a hex on both houses.  The GOP hasn\’t done anything to deserve a electoral tidal wave, they\’re simply in the right place at the right time.  Obama and the Democrats overpromised and overreached and the GOP is there to benefit from the wreckage, but only because they are the least ugly of the stepsisters.

Making this election about Obama is a guaranteed loser for the Democrats.  But by making this about who the public trusts most, Democrats or Republicans, suddenly it\’s not so bad.  Sure Democrats are just as unpopular as Republicans, but their popularity falls within the margin of error on most polls.  In a political climate like this, campaigning to a draw is a unbelievable coup for the Democrats.  And if they can frame this election as who the public trusts more, that\’s effectively what they\’ll do.

Republicans have long been expected to retake the House and the talking heads have even begun to seriously speculate about the GOP retaking the Senate, which I\’ll touch on again tomorrow.  But if this ploy to reframe the election works, you can forget all that, and Democrats remain in control of both.

[Crossposted at True North]


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Posted in 2010 Elections, The Messiah, True North | 3 Comments »

Ok Back To Life…

November 5th, 2008 by Kevin

The election is over, it\’s time for you to get back to things that are important. And we\’re here to help with that…

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Fight The Bias!

October 9th, 2008 by Kevin

As you know, the voting for the new MOB mayor has begun. Already there is a clear MSM bias against my campaign. My position on the ballot is labeled as Kevie \”Lotion Boy\” Ecker. I\’ve never gone by such a nickname so this is clearly an attack on my candidacy.

The Kevin Ecker for MOB Mayor campaign has filed a complaint with the MOB Secretary of State (for life) and he offered up a half-assed excuse that Teh Andee Applecowskee must have hacked the poll. This is obviously a lie and only further demonstrates the MSM bias against me.

Help fight the fascists trying to steal the MOB election and cast a vote for me!


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I Change My Mind – Bring On The Messiah

April 15th, 2008 by Kevin

Conventional Wisdom has always been that it would be preferable for McCain to face Hillary in the general election, because she was the weaker candidate. I\’ve changed my mind….bring on the bitter Messiah.

Sure Clinton (both of them) appear to have a major problem telling the truth and that would work well in a general election, but McCain is so damn buddy buddy with her I doubt he\’d be able to round up the gumption to go after her when she did lie.

Plus if Obama is going to continue to make unprovoked career ending statements…..well, I\’m liking our chances more and more. Seriously, after his \”bitter\” comments the campaign ads just sorta write themselves.

If McCain faces Obama in the general election and he doesn\’t have a national ad along this lines running at least once a month between now and November, he deserves to lose.


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