When you participate in sporting events, it’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how drunk you get.

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-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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Posted in 2010 Elections, Political Mumbojumbo, True North | 1 Comment »