Election Predictions For 2010
Every two years since 1980 part of my Election Day tradition has been to put pen to paper and make predictions for the key races.
As always, I stress these predictions are not necessarily what I want to see happen, but what I think will ultimately result once the votes are counted.
United States Senate
My prediction is that after factoring in the races below….and if my math is correct….the Democrats will have 51 seats, and the Republicans will have 49 seats. However, if West Virgina differs from my prediction below…..then…..bolt the doors!
Alaska Lisa Murkowski defeats ‘Hindenberg “Miller and McAdams. Murkowski wins with high name ID, and the support of the deceased and well-liked Ted Stevens, along with her proven track record. This race will likely not be called for some time as legal challenges are sure to be raised over the write-in campaign of Murkowski.
Arkansas Boozman defeats Lincoln. A Democrat held this seat for more than a century. Lincoln rarely acted like a Democrat, and tonight the seat will now be in name what in some ways it has been in practice since Blanche was sworn into office..
California Boxer defeats Fiorina. Carly was too conservative for a Democratic state. California after all is more blue than red. From abortion to off-shore oil drilling Fiorina was more in tune with the RNC than the voters in her state.
Connecticut Blumenthal defeats McMahon. The longstanding and solid relationship that Blumenthal has fostered over the many years of public service could not be washed away by some really stupid remarks over his military background.
Colorado Buck defeats Bennet. The fact Bennet was not able to put Buck away this summer given the Republican’s many shortcomings, and the volatile mood of the electorate, makes what was termed a toss-up for most of the summer a GOP win.
Delaware Coons defeats O’Donnell. O’Donnell was not a serious or educated candidate. She was the most bizarre candidate this cycle. And that is saying a lot!
Florida Rubio defeats Crist and Meek. From day one Meek was never in the race, and Crist was the main contender as an independent, but never was able to cut his own path that did not make it look like he was being an opportunist on the issues. Rubio cleans up with maybe as high as 48% of the vote. It was so bad for Democrats that RFK Jr. endorsed Crist!! As I said Meek was never in the race.
Illinois Kirk defeats Giannoulias. Though Kirk has his own issues there was nothing that was going to drag Giannoulias, a BANKER, over the finish line in 2010. I suspect a grave robber would have fared better with voters than someone with the background Giannoulias had to contend with. The mobster loans did not help!
Indiana Coats defeats Ellsworth. Lets be honest, Indiana is a conservative state. Coats by 18%.
Kentucky Paul Defeats Conway. The winner of this race will make headlines in the months to come…provocative nutty ones…due to this outcome. Kentucky will think twice. But of course it will too late. Bloggers and late-night comedians have a field day.
Louisiana Vitter defeats Melancon. This win will be substantial. I predict Vitter gets the entire diaper fetish vote. That Vitter wins after having the type of lifestyle he is known for makes me wonder if more well testing need not be done in the Bayou State. Can’t be federal dollars of course….but still what allows for someone like this to be re-elected to the U.S. Senate?
Missouri Blunt defeats Carnahan. The lack of energized African-American voters in the numbers needed is but one reason Carnahan fails. That the DSCC pulled ad buys sealed the deal for Blunt many days ago.
Nevada Angle defeats Reid. The ‘none of the above’ on the ballot will help Angle win. Reid tried to show Angle to be out of the mainstream, but the public did not support that idea, and the tightness of the polls seem to prove that point. The downturn in absentee ballots for Democrats in key counties was a bad sign. This is one of those moments when everyone needs to pray for the nation as Angle claims victory as she is not educated enough to be a senator. However that sounds, it is just the plain truth. Too bad not enough voters are smart enough to know that in the Sagebrush State.
New Hampshire Ayotte defeats Hodes. This race was one of real distinct differences. There was no confusing the Democratic candidate from the Republican. Hodes stood up for the right things in this election, even in the face of daunting odds. He publicly made it known he thought newspapers should print wedding announcements for gay couples. When principle is on display it is always a good thing.
Ohio Portman defeats Fisher. Fisher, a Jewish man, is too be applauded for standing up for the constitutional right to religious freedom when it came to questions during the election over the Islamic center blocks from ground zero. Some might have dodged or faltered, but Fisher was honest and correct. The morning after the election Fisher can look in the mirror and be proud of being a good and decent man.
Pennsylvania Toomey defeats Sestak. The fact that Democrats are taking a beating here shows how strong the GOP tide is this year. There is no way that given the lack of enthusiasm this year among Democrats that Philly will produce over 40% turnout of Democrats, which would be required for any chance of a Sestak victory. Like all these races there are tons of data that led me my conclusion. That the returned absentee votes run significantly higher for Republicans than for Democrats is but one of many reasons this race was over at least two weeks ago.
Washington Murray defeats Rossi. Problem for Rossi is that he wants to win….something….but the public keeps saying no. He is eager….but not clever enough to win. Sad fact about the political process in the nation…independent groups, including party committees and those linked to big business and unions, have spent more on the Washington Senate race than in all but three other Senate races– Colorado, Pennsylvania and Illinois. This is not the way to best way to inform the electorate.
West Virginia Manchin defeats Raese. CAVEAT: This state closes early, and in case the GOP does win here means it is going to be a very long ugly night for Democrats. More so than many feared. If the GOP captures this seat than I predict they also capture the Senate.
Wisconsin Johnson defeats Feingold. Victory by 3%. This race has been over for weeks. Johnson ran a media campaign, as he is just not very good on the stump one-on-one. The amount of money he spent made a great deal of the difference. Put another way, the amount of money spent by Johnson was obscene. But Johnson had better ads, and a new face in a harsh political climate worked to his advantage. Feingold made some mistakes such as wasting time this summer taking on Johnson about drilling for oil in Lake Michigan. That was just wasted time. Feingold’s use of WKOW-TV’s newscast story about Johnson for an ad was the time I started to think this race was making blunders that never would have happened in past elections. Folks were reading the internals and getting desperate. This is the heart-breaking race of the night. (This is why chocolate should be served at any and all Wisconsin election night gatherings.) I hope on Wednesday morning I can eat crow on this one. But I will not need to.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Prediction: Republicans pick up 59 seats.
Outside of Wisconsin I will only pluck a few races to make a prediction. Three of them are at the start of Election Night in Indiana, a state that closes the polls early. (Polls close there at 6:00 pm EDT) If all three seats fall to the GOP it will be a sign that all should shutter the windows.. It would mean a storm is a-coming.
The three seats in Indiana were all GOP seats that the Democrats won in 2006 and retained in 2008. These are the types of seats the Democrats have to control. Lets see if the GOTV is working early in the evening.
Indiana 2nd CD Republican Walorski defeats Democrat Donnelly (Pick-up for GOP)
Indiana 8th CD Republican Bucshon defeats Democrat Van Haaften. (Pick-up for GOP) This race has been over for weeks when the DCCC stopped in large ways funding this race. This seat was left open when Ellsworth ran for Senate. (See Senate predictions.) This is one of those places where the Democrats tried to find a candidate to match the district. And they did. But even in an area where the campaign was played by the books this year is tough. I have been paying attention this year to who gets the backing of the NRA. In the 8th Van Haaften received that support. It will not matter.
Indiana 9th CD Democrat Hill defeats Republican Young. Hill needs some job security. After all, in 2006, he retook the Indiana seat from the Republican who had ousted him two years earlier. Back and forth and in this crazy season Hill is on top again.
Arizona 7th CD Grijalva defeats McClung. Bitter contest due to Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Grijalva being blunt and honest about the unconstitutional immigration law in his state. He rightly called for a boycott of Arizona over the law. Democrats greatly outnumber GOPers in this district, and that will allow Grijalva a victory speech.
Michigan 15th CD Dingell defeats Steele. For all the talk about a close race Dingell has a very comfortable double-digit win.
Missouri 4th CD Skelton defeats Hartzler. Though Hartzler wanted to make this race national the voters know the power of Skelton’s 17 terms in the House, and wants the district to still have clout. National issues be dammed.
Wisconsin 2nd CD Baldwin defeats Lee. The spread 13%. What amazed me about this race were those that seemed to overlook Lees’ lack of knowledge about the big issues (pick any foreign relations topic) and gave him credit for being a fresh face. Being green, as in naive, may be nice when you are swinging on the front porch with a girl, but in Congress it can be spotted a mile away and you are eaten alive. Tonight Baldwin cleans up Lee.
Wisconsin 3rd CD Kind defeats Kapanke. When Kapanke turned this district into the mudslinging nasty ads 24/7 type environment it turned voters off. They may be angry about issues, but barnyard style campaigning was more than they wanted. In the end I think Kind wins with 3%.
Wisconsin 7th CD Republican Duffy defeats Lassa. 4% (Pick-up for GOP)
Wisconsn 8th CD Republican Ribble defeats Democrat Kagen. 6% (Pick-up for GOP)
Florida Scott defeats Sink.
Maine LePage defeats Mitchell. This one is a shocker. First I think that candidates like Eliot Cutler (from the Carter WH) who only muddy the waters as a third party candidate, needs to select a main train and ride or sit on the sidelines. His messing in this race means a Tea Party candidate wins. One that has house problems (getting tax breaks in both Flordia and Maine) and saying if elected he would tell “Obama to go to hell”. Classy. The state is moderare to light blue and LePage is just brown (as in shirt).
Minnesota Dayton defeats Emmer and Horner. This state has defied the national trend and there is real Democratic enthusiasm reported across the state. Dayton is the recipient of the up-beat mood and crushes the opposition by 11%. This comes at a time when national Democrats are nervous of their shaddow and Dayton has campaigned on raising income taxes on the wealthy. Polls support Dayton over his idea. Thoughful candidates with spine can find an electorate ready and willing to listen.
New York Cuomo defeats Paladino. One of the truly bizarre races. Paladino proved more a thug than a thinker.
Rhode Island Chafee defeats Robitaille and Caprio This is one of those rare moments where an Independent wins in such a stunning fashion. I predict this is no squeaker for Chafee, but the win will be over 5%. Chafee is a rare breed in politics. A survivor. He will be one of the more interesting to watch lead a state this coming year.
Wisconsin Walker defeats Barrett. Victory by 6%. This race troubled me from late spring into the summer when a series of ads from conservative groups painted Barrett as a Doyle clone. Those ads were not countered in a timely fashion. The cardinal rule about responding at once with a rebuttal was not followed. As a result there was never time for a fresh start. Walker has run a smart campaign. The fact he has been running for four years helped him out immensely. The smarter man by a light year will lose, as will the entire state when Walker claims victory tonight.
Wisconsin State Legislature
Winners will include….Tim Cullen, Jon Erpenbach, and Brett Hulsey.
There are a series of interesting measures which dot ballots all over the nation. There is no way to know how these matters will play out with a feisty, and at times ill-informed electorate. I offer a selection of several that interest me, and offer a thought about the outcome once the voters have had their say.
California Proposition 19 Marijuana Legalization will be defeated. As liberal as any state may think it is when push comes to shove on the legalization of drugs a line becomes very clear. There is not the numbers needed to pass something like this. Most people do not want the effects across society that marijuana legalization would create. On top of common sense is that other little thing…..it runs counter to federal law. Can the legalization crowd now go back to their dark basements?
California Proposition 25, Majority Vote for Legislature to Pass the Budget will pass. This is one of those process type issues that I have blogged about over the years on CP. California is in dire fiscal condition due to the narrow interests that have allowed for voter initiatives to be passed over the years that placed government in a fiscal straight-jacket. One of those that passed required the state legislature to have 2/3rds support for a budget to be passed. That is utter nonsense. Prop 25 will allow for a majority vote to be needed. I predict that it passes as most residents of California have come to the realization that the process in Sacramento is broken and repairs are needed.
Colorado Amendment 60 would cut property taxes. Amendment 61 would bar state borrowing, including bond issues (!), and put strict limits on municipal debt. Proposition 101 would slash income taxes and fees. There is no way to predict the outcome. If Colorado wishes to go the way of California into fiscal insanity then they will pass these measures. If they wish to avoid fiscal suicide all three will be rejected. Question is does a voter for Buck have the intellect to think about fiscal matters in a broad frame-work? Not betting my Elvis LP collection on this series of votes….nor should you.
Colorado Amendment 62, “personhood” amendment. I predict this will fail. Reason is that while it attempts to redefine the term “person” in the Colorado Constitution, It also would eliminate effective forms of birth control and emergency contraception and end in-vitro fertilization. Too broad and too harsh by a mile. Extremists should not be allowed to mess with a state constitution.
Nevada Proposition One will be defeated. The amendment would switch the current system for choosing judges away from contested elections to a merit-based system. While I strongly support such a system I can not fathom that someone votes for Angle for U.S. Senate than ponders the complexities of the merit system for chosing judges, and casts a vote to support it. This is a thinking persons ballot question and I suspect the majority of Nevada voters are not up to the task. In addition retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has had controversy created by others about her strong support for this matter. That has been most troubling. She is correct about this matter, but sadly it fails.
North Dakota Voters will decide if they should ban shooter ranches where fenced in animals are killed for profit. This is morally unacceptable and as such my gut tells me that human decency prevails on this one. This rises above politics and the voters will do the right thing by banning shooter ranches.
Washington Income Tax For Washington will fail. One has to applaud the folks who understand that taxes need to be raised in order to conduct the affairs of society. The question is will this state be able to do the right thing in a year when so much anger seems to dominate? In a nutshell the measure would establish a tax on “adjusted gross income” above $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for married couples or domestic partners filing jointly. Additionally, the measure would reduce the limit on statewide property taxes by 20%. Oregon bravely increased their taxes this year. But I predict Washington State will reject this measure. Right policy, wrong election cycle.
Wisconsin Voters in the Dane County region will defeat the MATC request for $133 million for new buildings and other improvements. This was perhaps the worst time to place before the voters a request to raise taxes. Tea Party types on one side, Tin Ears about political timing on the other. MATC President Bettsey Barhorst will be less perky than usual on Tuesday night.