Election Predictions 2022 From Caffeinated Politics: Democrats Retain U.S. Senate, Wisconsin Splits Votes, Democracy On Ballots Nationwide

Let me start this post with something out-of-this-world.  As if the absurdity of some of the political campaigns around the nation has not been enough of an example.  There will be a complete lunar eclipse on November 8th, when the entire moon will illuminate coppery-red from 5:17 A.M. until 6:42 A.M. Eastern Time. Just in time for the polls opening!  Not sure what the Mayans would make of this celestial event of which I take note, but I offer it as the start of this post about my predictions for the 2022 midterm elections, and the unsettled time in which we find ourselves. The fear that might have registered on the faces of Mayans as they gathered at sites near Chichen Itza to watch the moon might be akin to the dread many Americans feel about the health of our democracy as we head to the polls.

(The portion below, prior to the predictions, was written at my desk on the Madison Isthmus on September 14th.  The Tim Michels quote was added at ‘press time’.  I mention this as the themes of the 2022 midterm elections and their critical importance are not new.  Or to be taken lightly.)

Fifty years from now researchers will better try to understand, while historians will employ their best writing skills in explaining, what happened in the midterm elections of 2022. The subtitle for books about this year will be rather pointed, basically asking how voters could not (or willfully would not) understand that fascism is a far greater concern than high gas prices and inflation?  We can add our own thoughts in the current time as to why a sizable swath of conservative Americans have forsaken facts, shunned actual journalism, and disdained being informed even when given all the opportunities that one can avail themselves of in our tech-driven world. (Talk about a reason for education reform in the country!)

If these midterm elections were about policy ideas regarding equitable taxation, a robust debate about reducing our carbon footprint, or adjusting our prison systems to meet the needs of inmates upon their release voters could say, once the voting was completed and counted that win or lose, the elections had merit.  A meaning.  But most of these elections across the nation were not about ideas or policy, even though spending on these elections will be in the billions of dollars. (At the time of publication spending on federal and state midterm campaigns had topped $16 billion, the most expensive in our nation’s history.)  Due to a continuous and willfully desired chipping away at the foundations of our political institutions and electoral processes in many races from coast to coast, the very essence of what makes our nation a working democracy is on the ballot. That is just a stunning and dispiriting fact.

Using the Big Lie from Donald Trump as the foundation with races for congress, attorney general, governor, and statehouse seats has placed nearly 305 white conservative candidates on the ballot who refuse to accept the presidential election of 2020.  I make the point concerning the ethnicity of the candidates as the angry white base of Republican voters are the ones who have brought this nation to the precarious place it is today. It is that segment of voters that historians will study to understand what made them turn against democracy and the ideals of our nation. The internal danger to our nation at this time, in my estimation, has never been higher since the South sought to undermine the United States in early 1861. It was then, too, that angry whites sought to undermine democracy.

The impending threats Republican candidates have made about the fate of our future elections have not been nuanced.  Many actions to curtail voters started shortly after Trump lost in 2020.   They have made bold statements about their fascist intentions. Senator Ron Johnson cannot even commit to accepting the results of the election.  As I publish this post Johnson stated for the press “I sure hope I can”. Elsewhere in Wisconsin, Tim Michels, the GOP nominee for governor stated it clearly with a bullhorn effect.  “Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I’m elected governor”.  This is where our democracy has landed. Badger State taxpayers saw their money spent to placate the most absurd of the Republican base by employing an ex-Supreme Court justice who I suggested at the time he served—should write his opinions in crayon. It was most remarkable when Michael Gableman aped out in 2022 that caricature!  

The threat of election victories of attorney generals who are not wedded to facts or federal candidates who disregard commitments to electoral integrity means a grave threat to our future electoral rigors and accountability is in store. 

Every two years, since 1980, I have placed my thoughts and predictions into print regarding the races on the ballot.  I thrill to politics and history and while this biannual undertaking has always been entertaining and hopeful, I find this year it feels weighty and foreboding. The best and brightest ideals have given way to the base of the Republican Party; conservative voters and many candidates who have proven most worthy of being defined as absurd, witless, and unschooled.  Election Night will be a tough one for anyone who ever cared about this place called America. Though I predict Democrats retain the U.S. Senate the damage that has been done to our democracy due to some of the Republican candidates and their voters will take a very long time to be reversed. Brown shirts are sure to be selling briskly in some places around the nation come Wednesday morning. (How soon before they round up bloggers?)


While most folks will be watching the Georgia Senate race or the congressional race in Western Wisconsin, (those and many other races are ones this blogger will be keenly monitoring too), I want to call attention to what will be taking place in legislative races and which party will control one, or both chambers, of a statehouse in January. And why it seriously matters.

The Supreme Court will hear Moore v. Harper, which involves a challenge to gerrymandered congressional maps in North Carolina and in so doing very well could (given the unbridled conservative ideological whims of the Court) rule for what is known as independent state legislature theory. It is an attempt for undermining democracy being pushed by conservative zealots who brought us, Donald Trump.  In a nutshell—quite literally–this crazed interpretation of the Constitution claims that state legislatures have unfettered authority to set rules for federal elections and cannot be countermanded by any other state-based entities, thus eliminating any checks and balances.  In the pending court case, the North Carolina Supreme Court rejected the radical argument that the state legislature had the sole authority to draw congressional maps without consideration of the state constitution and without review by state courts. The court correctly concluded that the ISL theory would upend long-settled precedent and is “repugnant to the sovereignty of states, the authority of state constitutions, and the independence of state courts, and would produce absurd and dangerous consequences.” Nonetheless, continuing its radical quest, the North Carolina legislature asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case and reinstate its maps.

If the court does so state legislatures could have a pathway to overrule the popular vote in presidential elections by refusing to certify the results and instead sending their own slates of electors. Consider the fact that 44% of Republicans in crucial swing-state legislatures used the power of their office to discredit or try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The data was compiled by The New York Times.

Republicans have complete control over legislatures in states that have a total of 307 electoral votes — 37 more than needed to win a presidential election. They hold majorities in several battleground states, meaning that if the Supreme Court endorsed the legal theory, a close presidential election could be overturned if just a few states assigned alternate slates of electors.

Democrats’ chances of bringing Republicans’ total below 270 are narrow: They would need to flip the Michigan Senate or the Arizona Senate, and then one chamber in both Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in 2024, in addition to defending the chambers the party currently controls.

Democrats and Republicans have set their sights on half a dozen states where state legislatures — or at least a single chamber — could flip in November. Democrats hope to wrest back one of the chambers in Michigan and the Arizona Senate and flip the Minnesota Senate. Republicans aim to win back the Minnesota House of Representatives and take control of one chamber, or both, in the Maine, Colorado, and Nevada legislatures. They are also targeting Oregon and Washington.

Now you, too, know why state legislative races far from your living room on Election Night matter.

In Wisconsin, though the legislature will remain deeply red due to the lack of redistricting reform, it seems a very steep climb to me to reach a veto-proof majority this cycle.  I predict this GOP yearning is not achieved.  If they were to achieve their desire it would require flipping five seats in the Assembly, and one in the Senate.

In WI 25th Senate District, to put a face to the reason why I made my prediction is that Democrat Kelly Westlund, a former staff member for Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin has run a tough and smart campaign.  She has connected with rural voters—a must in this district—and will defeat Republican Romaine Quinn by 2%. Democrats have proven strong at the ballot box in this region and will do so again this cycle.

United States Senate

The United States Senate will be retained in Democratic hands. The historical tide is certainly against the party in power in the White House. The economy, a barometer for any election, is a deep concern for many voters.  But there will be just enough voters in just the right states to keep one chamber of Congress in the hands of proven supporters of democracy. The effect Trump-endorsed candidates will have on the electorate in the key three states holds the primary reason as to why Monday morning quarterbacking from the GOP will simply be precious to hear. (Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona—listed in line with when their polls close.)  In these admittingly close races, each of the Republican nominees was an Election 2020 denier.  While I might be called out on these predictions being just wishful thinking I believe the races will break for the Democratic candidate in each case due to voters saying, ‘this is a serious office and needs a serious person’.

I also want to note the group in the nation that I will be closely following in senate voter returns.  The Hispanic and Latino vote is growing, and its power cannot be discounted. Currently, 38 members of the House are Latino, and some estimates over the past weeks have placed the number at 45 following Election Night. Hispanics are the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the country. They numbered 62.1 million in the 2020 Census or about 19% of the U.S. population. There are two places I am watching for how this segment of the electorate casts their ballots.  In Nevada and their unionized cities, and then in Florida’s Miami-Dade County. The former will be key to which candidate wins, and the latter is just nerdy political watching. I am not predicting that the Flordia county goes red. Not at all. But I am prepared for a bit of a shocker in the numbers that will be cast at the polls, given the election history of this place. Hispanics make up almost 60% of the electorate there, and I wish to point out that Hillary Clinton won by almost 30% in 2016.  Ron DeSantis lost the county by more than 20 points four years ago. But as Florida Hispanics are proving to be more conservative what will they show us at the polls this year? You see now why this county is one to watch and why the conservative nature of some Hispanic voters will be one both political parties will need to contend with in years to come.

Georgia….If there is one Senate race that just baffles me–as well as nauseates me–it is Hershel Walker’s efforts in Georgia. In late summer, I was reading Henry Clay: The Essential American by David and Jeanne Heidler where Senate luminaries like Daniel Webster and William Seward lifted off the pages to be reckoned with as the daily newspapers in the pile on the floor alongside me reported on the latest behavior of Walker. It was a stark contrast that just could not be missed. A serious and very important elected office could be occupied by a complete embarrassment—the very type of character that conservatives railed about when welfare reform was thy issue. Now conservative Republicans have embraced and adopted into their camp for tribal purposes someone they would in any other scenario lambast. The absurdity makes for additional proof of why the GOP has become a punchline for every dinner party in the nation. It certainly solidifies national views that there is always a lower level to the basement when it comes to Republican choices for their nominees. Raphael Warnock wins by 175,000 votes. No runoff. Key will be women, and Blacks who will support Stacy Abrams, (who will lose her race for governor) and due to that sliver of religious conservatives who will not cast a ballot for Walker due to his repeated boorish behavior. Think back to how a sliver of conservatives pulled back their vote in 1992 on the national ticket. Those votes matter.

Nevada….Democrats lose a seat as Adam Laxalt wins over incumbent Catherine Masto. The reason I mention this race is how a single county in the state will prove to be the story of the night for Nevadans. Much like Sauk County in Wisconsin is often viewed as the state’s political barometer, so too does Washoe County play that role in Nevada.  When one looks at the political alignment of the county it is clear the numbers do not tilt blue or red. Similar numbers of registered Republicans (100,000) and Democrats (95,000), with about 82,000 more Washoe residents registered as nonpartisan.  So, keep your apps, regardless of whichever election sights you are monitoring on Election Night, keyed to Washoe County.  A blowout in Washoe and it is over in that state.  

Ohio….If it were not for the track record of this state leaning more conservative I would predict that a Democratic victory was possible. I would base such a call on the fact that heading into Election Day GOP Governor Mike DeWine who is up for reelection sports a strong 15% lead while senate nominee J.D. Vance is regarded as the worst campaigner in the nation. OK, maybe tied with Arizona’s Democratic nominee for governor, Katie Hobbs. Vance is lazy, disjointed in conversation, and seemingly bored most of the time. With DeWine blowing his opponent away, Vance is in a dead heat with ever-ready, energized, and truly intelligent, Tim Ryan. I am not going to engage in what-ifs during this prediction post, but if I did, the question of where the SDCC was during the past six months would be questions 1, 2, and 3 when it comes to this race. Vance wins and if he thought the campaign was tedious, let him try out committee hearings. Middle-class Republican voters lost a great deal for falling for someone who fluffs Donald Trump.

Wisconsin….Many of us grew up learning about the painful and damaging chapter in our nation’s history that was due to Joe McCarthy.  Lives were ruined, some committed suicide, and national policy was twisted while priorities were skewered due to an alcoholic senator who falsely raved about communists being everywhere.  Now Ron Johnson, a-COVID-vaccine-denying-Big-Lie-advocate-and-democracy-damaging Republican is doing our state another massive disservice. Regardless of the metric used, Johsnon is the most absurd U.S. Senator now serving. Using racist ads and blatant lies he easily defeats (by 3%) Mandela Barnes. The question is of course, not what was wrong with Joe, or what condition currently plagues Ron, but rather what is wrong with us…the voters in the Badger State who allow this to happen? The shame is on the electorate who falls for such rubbish on a ballot.

I have placed my predictions for the contested seats in blue or red.  I do not believe, just for clarification purposes, that Georgia will require a run-off election. Due to ranked voting in Alaska, I predict that Lisa Murkowski will be reelected, and the attempt to undermine Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell through the Trump-backed candidacy of Kelly Tshibaka will fail.

U.S. House Races

The House of Representatives will be in Republican hands when the new session convenes in January.  When all the ballots are counted, I predict the GOP will have a majority with 18 members.

Alaska….Democrat Mary Peltola will continue to win, as she did earlier this year. She faces, among others in the ranked voting congressional match-up, Wasilla Hillbilly Sarah Palin. Palin has worked to dumb-down her would-be voters by attacking ranked voting. Apparently, Scholastic Weekly Reader has not had a story on this manner of voting so as to assist Palin with her education. After this election, Palin will fully grasp her time on the national stage is over. As a result, we will never again need to hear her call another female candidate a “chick”!

FL-10th….Maxwell Alejandro Frost gets mentioned here for the simple reason he will be the first Gen Z member of Congress after winning his primary victory in this safely Democratic district.  Just a slice of history is the reason I note this man.

GA- 2nd…..Given there are 435 House seats it is truly troubling that only a very small number are what can be called competitive. The need for redistricting reform can be viewed all night long in America as the votes are counted.  Only a small number are in question as to the outcome. One of them will be in Georgia where Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop, the longest-serving member of the state’s delegation squares off with GOP nominee Chris West. As I watched and read about elections for this November it turns out this congressional race is the only competitive one in the entire SouthThink about that.  Voters should demand redistricting reform. Bishop is part of the Blue Dog Democratic coalition and with his decades of experience working with white farmers and having deep roots in the Black community, he prevails.

NY-17th….Every election has one of those shockers, except this one was seen coming down the tracks for the past 2 weeks. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Maloney will be defeated.  His hubris was way out of control when he selected to run in the 17th as opposed to the 18th, the one he had represented. Getting new voters to know him and like him has not been easy. It needs to be noted that President Biden won this area by 10% in 2020.  Michael Lawler makes a little history with his predicted win by beating a DCCC member of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

WV 2nd…If Allen Drury were alive and writing books this plot line would be one of his creations. I only add this race as it does remind me of the famed author’s creative and lively narratives. The gay subplot in Advise and Consent crossed my mind with this race where right-wing conservative Congressman Alex Mooney, a  Trump-backed Christian conservative who is anti-abortion, pro-coal, and thinks marriage should be ‘between a man and a woman’ faces his complete opposite on the ballot. The Democratic candidate, Barry Wendell, is an openly gay Jewish man who supports abortion rights and replacing fossil fuels with clean energy.  The Republican wins, but at least I was able to easily place Drury, a favorite of mine, into this prediction post.

WI 3rd….Central casting could not have offered a better person to fit the role of a congressional candidate for this district had they tried. This week, as Indian Summer made for glorious afternoons in Madison, I was discussing the election with a biker in the neighborhood. I mentioned that Brad Pfaff is the modern-day Andy Hardy. He might overplay his lines a bit and strikes me at times as being over-rehearsed but Pfaff receives high praise for his strong and correct stand for democratic (small d) values.  The very ones I wrote about at the top of this post. His troubling and low-brow Republican opponent, Derrick Van Orden, was at the insurrection on Jan 6th.  That lack of character and his desire to foment political discord should alert voters to a glaring lack of honor.  But for many conservative voters, honor, and regard for our national ideals is not as important as their tribal politics.  The seat held by Congressman Ron Kind turns unpatriotic red.

Governor Races

Michigan….No one should need to consider if they will be kidnapped while holding an elective office. Yet, that is precisely what Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer confronted as 13 men orchestrating a domestic terror plot to kidnap her while also plotting violence to overthrow the state government. My glee for the predicted victory for Whitmer will be stronger perhaps than for any other governor…. even my own in Wisconsin when Tony Evers wins.  That is due to the fact the Michigan voters, based on news stories and Op-Ed pages in their newspapers over this summer and fall paint an electorate that knows one salient fact. Given the absolute threat to democracy’s survival, there is no place for a wishy-washy citizen. Whitmer wins by 3%.

Oklahoma….I strongly sense that some news will be made in the interior of the nation that will be greeted with smiles on the faces of Democrats late Tuesday night.   Democrat Joy Hofmeister will do something that many said could not happen.  She will defeat incumbent Republican Governor Kevin Stitt. Yes, she is a lifelong Republican who switched parties to tangle with the ethically challenged Stitt. But she is a strong supporter of education, understood the gravity of the COVID pandemic, and will prove to be a bit of a tonic on Election Night.  I suspect a very, very tight win.  But still, a win for Hofmeister.

Wisconsin….Tony Evers wins by 37,000 votes.  Another close victory for the Democratic candidate.  Why there is ticket-splitting among Republicans for candidates on the Wisconsin ballot can be explained here. One of the striking similarities I have heard in many conversations since the August Primary is how some self-defined Republicans were upset with how Tim Michels came into the state with huge amounts of money and undid all the painstakingly grassroots efforts of Rebecca Kleefisch. In each of these conversations from stores in Madison, to a Spring Green outdoor theatre, and online chats each of these voters had one thing in common. Each was a woman. They were not able to support the Republican nominee. Add in the abortion factor and the narrow loss by Michels coming Tuesday can be better understood.

Below is the blue and red alignment of the races for governor as I predict them on Election Night.

Attorney General Races

Wisconsin….The days when this state split votes between top races are not over. 2022 will prove that case as Ron Johnson wins, but so do Tony Evers and Josh Kaul.  Women and abortion are key as to why I feel able to predict this race, along with what I am growing to believe, more and more, will be a strong turnout on university campuses (especially Madison and Milwaukee). One example of my views is shaped by two women, both political campaign professionals from Boston, who flew in for a week to work the campuses locally up to Election Day.  They stayed rent-free with a neighbor. The numbers of early voters from these areas are most impressive.  Kaul prevails.

Drinking Referendums 

My Mom grew up in Arkansas, so I have for many years–since the internet came into being–followed regional news from the Northwest region of the state. So, I predict that Rogers and Bentonville residents will vote separately on allowing Sunday alcohol sales in each of the cities. Currently is it illegal to sell alcohol, unless it’s served in restaurants, bars, or breweries, on Sundays, but residents can vote to allow it. And they will.

School Boards

Yes, even school board races in Arkansas get a nod this year.  I do so as it aligns with the theme of this year’s campaigns, and the place our nation finds itself. At the Bentonville School District in Arkansas, the Board has five seats up for election. There are seven seats, in total.  In, and of itself, that would not carry weight for this biannual posting.  What is disturbing is that, once again, candidates in a school race have received assistance and endorsements from the hostile-to-facts group, 1776 Project PAC based in ……yes….New York. The candidates accepted in-kind campaigning in the form of a flyer mailed to residents and text messages to Bentonville voters. Just to put this aid into context the 1776 Project has spent between $25,000 and $30,000 total on the races, according to the news from the organization. While I desire balanced and reasoned members to be elected to school boards it must be understood that this should not be a place for conservative groups to play politics.  When fact-less claims are made by conservatives about curricula regarding transgender students or how racial history is studied voters must put their foot down firmly in the ballot box and say to a bogus outside group, ENOUGH!  I can only surmise that partisan outsiders pushing an agenda will be met with disagreeing voters.  I predict a majority of the ones lying about CRT will be rejected by the voters.  It needs noting the Bentonville School District says none of the New York group’s claims are true. I add, just as they have not been true in the many other places around the nation, where racists like to make partisan mischief.

School Referendums

The lack of proper education funding is most evident in 81 ballot measures facing voters across the Badger State.  Parents do not desire steep cuts to programming, and school boards are being responsive to the needs of families. Hence, a steep increase in the need to head to referendums to stop the painful choices too many schools are being forced into by the legislature’s lack of action. There are eight questions before voters in Dane County and I predict all will pass with room to spare.  But then comes the question about the outcome of such ballot measures in the rural areas of the state. Now that it is the law for such ballot issues to be placed on general election-type days, it needs to be asked how many conservatives who go to the polling places to support the likes of Ron Johnson, can be counted on to also support local education?  No, I am not closing this prediction post with a joke. While there are 39 capital referendums facing voters be mindful that more than half of all the questions before Wisconsin voters with a school referendum (42 of them) deal with issues of staffing and utility bills.  Republicans in the legislature placed school districts in this position. Many of the voters this fall voted for those elected Republicans. Will those conservative voters now do the right thing or cut off their local education funding for the sake of their political purity?

Coming Sunday: 2022 Midterm Election Predictions

Every two years since 1980 I have put my thoughts and predictions into writing about the November elections. That decades-long tradition continues this weekend.

We Already Know Time’s 2022 Person Of The Year, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, And His Steadfast Resolve

Long-time readers know I predict Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. I usually wait until November to weigh in as the year is closing out. That long game will not be required this year. Last night on Twitter I made my call for 2022.

There is no doubt as February comes to a close that we are seeing a person who underscores what is best about human nature. We also are witnessing a worldwide lesson, in these years of angst, about something very basic.

Democracy matters. It must be fought for. It can never be taken for granted.

When so many from Madison’s legislature to Moscow, from Trump Tower to Beijing either dismiss democracy or work feverishly to undermine it comes a refreshing– and, oh, so needed reminder–as to why we must never be lackadaisical about its continuance.

With steadfast resolve, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is leading not only his nation but being a teacher to the world.

And the world is watching.

There is no way not to feel his commitment to justice and sincere regard for democracy. There is no way not to fully grasp his correct desire for a heightened international repudiation of Russian thuggery.

When this year ends it will be near impossible to consider anyone more elevated and deserving to be Person of the Year than Volodymyr Zelenskyy. May God keep him and his family safe.

And so it goes.

Prediction For Time Person Of The Year 2020–Two Pictures Share Front Cover

Each year since I was about age eighteen the arrival of the thick final issue of Time has always been something that has created anticipation. Who would be the Person of the Year? Then a deep dive into reading about the newsmaker over the holiday period. I also have enjoyed the way the person was presented on the cover along with reading about the factors that led to the final decision.

This year has been nothing short of a long series of blaring headlines that leaves the front of this upcoming edition wishing it could have multiple covers. The cover of this publication would have been a no-brainer had it not been a presidential election year with a one-termer leaving office, and a new leader elected by a record number of votes. Doctor Anthony Fauci, and the nurses of America, would have commanded the cover due to their intellect, tirelessness, professionalism, and compassion that has been demonstrated in the fight against COVID. I just know that a portion of the magazine will be devoted to these people who truly deserve part of the front cover.

But there is one person who has clearly made a tremendous impression on the nation, so much that his fellow citizens voted him to be the next president. That is what makes Joe Biden Person of the Year. Having said that, I know Joe is the type of man who would be touched if there was a medical professional on the cover in an artful way alongside his picture. It would take nothing away from him, in fact, it would underscore one of the prime reasons Biden was elected. Trump refused to treat the virus as a public health crisis. And America soundly rejected him.

Having a Biden/nurse front cover would be the perfect statement about 2020 as it would encompass the major stories of this nation’s year.

Caffeinated Politics Predicted 306 Electoral Votes For Biden, But Got Two States Wrong

There is no escaping the joy that the vast majority of the nation is feeling with the news that President-elect Joe Biden not only secured the needed 270 electoral college votes, but blew by that to win 306 of them. Today, the two outstanding states finished counting enough of their ballots for major media organizations to report that Biden won the same number of electoral college votes this year as Trump had in 2016.

Biden won his victory by taking back Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. But then he doubled down and expanded the Blue coloring of the nation by winning Arizona, a state not picked up by Democrats since 1996. Biden also flipped Georgia, not seeing Blue since 1996.

That is darn good news. But it gets one better here at the blogging desk. Caffeinated Politics predicted Biden would win 306 electoral college votes. Where the presidential prediction wheels wobbled on the ole buggy was in two states where I made the wrong call. I had predicted North Carolina would be a win for Biden, but Trump won the state. In Georgia, where I had called it for Trump, Biden marched his magic to a win.

There have been a number of reasons for angst, consternation, and fear this year. But in the midst of the storms, we should always strive to find those things that bring smiles. My predictions for each presidential cycle (since 1980) was not about to stop due to chaos or pandemic. It was fun to ponder about as the election neared, and delightful to know we have a new president.

And so it goes!

2020 Presidential Election Predictions From Caffeinated Politics

Given the chaotic and bombastic journey we all have been forced to endure it seems like several lifetimes have passed since January 2017. Finally, however, we are now only hours away from the conclusion of the 2020 presidential election. Soon the counting of the ballots from the voters will commence.

I have never before felt compelled to start my predictions with as frank a statement as I do this cycle. We are well aware that more than just the two names of the major presidential party nominees appear on the ballot. Because Donald Trump showed contempt and reckless disregard for our political institutions and constitutional safeguards means that our democracy itself is at stake in this election. Never before have I needed to add such a dire line to my predictions. That, too, is a sign of the times.

For the past four years we have watched Trump supporters applaud and give license to the most outrageous, unprincipled, immoral, and unconstitutional whims, desires, and transactional fancies of Trump. When religious people did not and would not call out for an immediate cessation of removing children from their parents at the southern border I knew there was no moral center left in those who called themselves conservatives. They had sold their souls to Trump. That was, for me, the point of no return when it came to Trump and his base.

Are the majority of Americans bitter about what Trump has done to this nation, and those from coast to coast who allowed him to undermine our democracy? Absolutely. But we did far more than just get angry. We worked, talked, blogged, encouraged, and then in the last weeks voted. Election Day will be our collective national response to Trump and his supporters.

Every four years since 1980 I have put my predictions down in writing as I have done below. Given the gravity of this traumatic time I will post up front what I view as the outcome of the presidential race.

Joe Biden will be elected President of the United States and Kamala Harris will be elected as Vice-President. Victory comes to the Democratic Party with 306 Electoral College votes. Farmers back where I grew up would report this news as Trump sure got his plow cleaned! Details along with how Democrats retake the United States Senate follow, along with other election predictions. As always thanks for reading, and please, no wagering.

(Please note that Nebraska in map below does not show–due to the program not allowing me the opportunity–to split the 2nd Congressional District apart from the whole. Therefore final Electoral College vote for Joe–and yes, he is the type of guy we can call by his first name– should read 306. We will soon all be calling him Mr. President.)

This year I have listed the 50 states in alphabetical order with each one either being Blue or Red. Biden wins 306 Electoral College Votes, Trump will get 233.

–Pasco County early in the night will provide roadmap for state. If Trump cannot maintain 2016 percentage this will write the headlines.


Maine—Without 3rd party interloper on 2020 ballot all Maine is for Biden.
The white male voters in McComb County and the Black turnout in Wayne County will reveal much about the state and our national future.


Nebraskaexcept for 2nd CD which will cast Electoral Vote for Biden
New Hampshire
New Jersey

New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
–Wake County is an example of where Clinton did well in 2016. Now how much better will Biden perform with suburban women who consider the thought of Trump back in the White House akin to an outhouse breeze?
North Dakota

Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Follow Collin County as it will provide clues about what is taking place in Texas… Romney won the county by 32%, while Trump won it by 16% and in 2018 Cruz won senate race there by 6%.


West Virginia
Wisconsin–All eyes on the WOW counties, not the for winner, but the percentage of loss for Trump compared to 2016. Black turnout in Milwaukee County will be very useful information. Eyes also on white males without college degree in Brown County. Biden wins here by 6 points.

United States Senate

Arizona….If you wonder what creates excitement for this prognosticator let me point to this race. A Democratic astronaut who understands the need for gun control is about to undo a Republican xenophobe at the polls. Martha McSally loses yet another statewide election. Meanwhile, Mark Kelly rockets his way to Washington!

Colorado….Democrats pick up up this seat due to yet one more tone-deaf Republican who forgot the people matter more than fealty to Trump. All year Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper has correctly linked the two Republicans, and on Election Day the voters in this state will throw both overboard. Cory Gardner would not champion federal production of needed materials for the pandemic and no one now is going to rush production of lifeboats.

Iowa….Joni Ernst wins.

Maine….One of the long-standing troubling behavioral issues that Republican Susan Collins exhibited was acting like an innocent lamb who had no idea the forest was filled with carnivores. She accepted the craziest promises from the GOP in exchange for her votes and then never received what was promised. Truth is, of course, she knew all along there was nothing to be returned for her conservative votes, but that never stopped her wishy-washy statements to her constituents. On Election Day the voters have a clear unambiguous message for Collins. They will send her back to the potato fields and lift Democratic candidate Sara Gideon up as their new senator.

Michigan…The desire by Republicans to pick off this Democratic Senate seat underscores how desperate the GOP is in making an attempt–any attempt–to show strength someplace–any place this cycle. Gary Peters might have been more vulnerable two years ago, or two years hence. But with the right-wing lunacy of kidnapping a governor and the high unpopularity of Trump means that John James will lose yet another statewide race. A Black man as a Republican candidate in 2020 leaves voters wondering what else he is not wise to when it comes to issues that face the state.

Montana….This was never a real possibility for Democrats but one has to try. Steve Daines prevails.

North Carolina…All summer while following this race I have never thought Republican Thom Tillis would win. He is not popular or found favorable by the voters. While he tried to paint Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham as a cad, and one can agree the texts to a woman other than his wife were most unseemly, we can not forget Tillis supports a three-time married presidential nominee who paid for sex with a porn star. This race will not be won or lost on the field of morality. Cunningham simply wins due to voters liking Tillis even less.

South Carolina…Aunt Lindsey wins. But what an amazing race Jamie Harrison waged, and it shows again Democrats in the South need to be aware of the powerhouse political potential of African-American candidates in statewide races. Meanwhile, Aunt Lindsey needs to find a man and in so doing lose his inside-the-closet rage that he too often unleashes in his politics.

Wisconsin Legislature

The dream of legislative Republicans to further strengthen their political hand with a veto-proof majority in each house crumbled degree-by-degree with the hour-by-hour implosion of their presidential nominee. Slow motion train wrecks are the hardest thing for a political party to endure, while the opposition makes popcorn and settles in to see how many cars careen off the track.

I am not predicting, but all the same would not be surprised, to see the voters of the 8th State Senate District unend the political life of Alberta Darling. College educated women would be the reason for a GOP loss, should it occur. If it should happen means time to eat another Election Night celebrity brownie. (Yes, Election Nights at our home over the decades have traditions!)

In the 10th Senate District I predict a loss for the Democratic incumbent. Patty Schachtner, due to a special election victory not being able to be sustained with a general election turnout.

All in the family will be the outcome in the Green Bay area as Jonathan Hansen wins the 30th State Senate district. His uncle, Dave Hansen, has been a steadfast example of constituent-centered representation and that bodes well for the hand-off to his nephew. The ‘bread-and-butter’ style of running a legislative office is the smartest way to operate, and Dave’s’ good name counts far more than a bucket of Republican money for Eric Wimberger.

In the 32nd Senate District Donald Trump will help Democratic candidate Brad Pfaff. If not for Trump’s disaster in Washington Pfaff would lose as he is just too politically slick (and irksome) for many voters. But in a heavily Democratic election cycle the more down-home type candidate Dan Kapanke will lose. While disagreeing with Kapanke on the issues I would enjoy having dinner with him. Not so much with the other contender.

I predict Robyn Vining in the 14th Assembly District loses her seat. She has energy and intellect but the district is not drawn for a Democrat to win in a general election. Winning the seat in a special election is not a true indicator of the voter makeup of the district.


I add a few thoughts about statehouse chambers as my nerdy readers well understand to be vital as redistricting lines are created following the census. I note here Iowa is in this mix, even though they have a commission process (which has my support) of removing the partisan hands from the task.

I predict Republicans winning Iowa for Trump and Ernst therefore I do not predict the goal of Democrats picking the needed four seats for a takeover of the lower chamber.

I do, however, predict four seats are going to flip to the Democrats in Michigan where they will take over the House. This state has seen the dangers of Trump, lunacy from right-wing fanatics, and this all will aid in the public response via the ballot. The trend lines with polling in Michigan allow my confidence in this prediction.

Ballot Measures

Some of the ballot measures that will be settled this election strikes to the heart of what interests CP.

Alaska–Ranked-choice voting, which lets voters rank the candidates in their order of preference instead of choosing just one is on the ballot. In fact, this measure would also establish a top-four primary, where the top four vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election ballot, regardless of party.  It will pass.

Colorado–A measure to change language in statutes from “every citizen can vote” to “only a citizen can vote.” In this state 17-year-olds can vote in primaries if they will be 18 at the time of the general election. This measure, if passed, would remove that. I predict it loses. We should not in any way discourage soon-to-be adult voters from this civic responsibility.

Massachusetts–Here is yet another state that is primed to accept ranked-choice voting, which lets voters rank the candidates in their order of preference instead of choosing just one and this one is bound to win by a large percentage.

Mississippi–Voters have a chance to put an end to their Confederate flag and vote for a new design—a big magnolia flower. If for some reason they can not abide that there is comfort in knowing these folks can not revert to their racist past as the state legislature is committed to getting rid of the Confederate emblem. Since many voters there use their bed sheets as tablecloths and then night vestments means making a prediction on this measure would be folly. So CP will just watch the votes be counted.

This will be the first presidential election since being an adult and away from home where there will be no election party to attend or one to be given. The pandemic has marred everything in our land.

When working in radio in 1984, and after the station went off the air I headed to a political party in Sturgeon Bay where barbecue sandwiches abounded. I recall Mrs. Mosgaller bringing me a plate of food. Democrats lost to Reagan but the energy of America on such a night rises above the fray.

That election would prove to be one of the more gratifying ones as I was able to broadcast from WDOR as the results were coming in from the nation and around Door County.  With our national feed from ABC News, along with a reporter at the local courthouse, I was able to weave the narrative of the night, throw in tidbits and trivia, and anchor the proceedings from the studio.  I had prepared a binder of all sorts of information on state races and historical oddities that made their way over the airwaves that night.  If one can ever be ‘in their element’ that was certainly the moment for me.

In 2004 James and I started hosting every four years a huge party where people could arrive at any point they wished and encouraged to linger long into the early morning hours. Several always did! We always made food that promoted carbs and high-energy so no one would miss a single state being called.

This year James and I will still be creating in our home the same great culinary delights–lasagna, homemade bread with garlic, chips and dip, seafood with melted butter to bring a touch of Maine to Wisconsin, and of course desserts. And we have our home decked out for Election Night!

So to be safe in this pandemic we will be on the phone with those who share our love of politics. They may not be here in person but are in spirit as we watch the nation…….


Prediction: 2019 Time Person Of The Year

Over the past year, there has been a continuing undermining of the foundations of our republic.  One of the most insidious tactics used by Donald Trump, and his Republican supporters, is the sabotaging of truth.  To constantly use dishonesty as a political tool, and to besmirch reporters and news organizations who use facts to report and inform, has left our nation in a weakened state.

That is why there has been such a remarkable appreciation of, and attention paid to, the State Department employees who have stood up and spoken out about the abuse of power and the crippling impact of Trump’s partisan desires in Ukraine.   When citizens speak the truth and present themselves in honorable and forthright ways, in this time of a disreputable president and a  cowering and feckless Republican Party, the nation pays heed.  Because it stands out.  Because it is not something we get to see much anymore on a day-to-day basis.

Therefore, I predict that the 2019 Time Person of the Year will be the State Department Truth-Tellers who have proven to the nation that there are still bedrock values of honesty and virtue alive within this government.



Predictions For The 2018 Mid-Term Elections

A quote that seems perfect for the 2018 mid-term elections comes from 1880.  (Would you really want me to start this bi-annual event, which started in November 1980, without some historical foundation?)  The quote comes from the party, which this year, will suffer at the polls.

During late summer, when warm breezes were more than a memory, I was reading Mr. Speaker! by James Grant.  On page 135 Maine Republican Congressman Thomas Reed, while making comments to the party faithful following a renomination, said the following.

“We are going to bury these worse-than-Egyptian foes of ours in a sea of popular wrath.  But we must expect no direct interposition from above. We must be the Red Sea ourselves.”

Those words from 138 years ago seem most apt for the current mood of the voters.  That tone is also a necessity if we are to pull our Republic from the edge of the cliff.  In about 48 hours (from the publication of this post) the electorate will head to polling places around the nation.  Since there are so many races that merit our attention, given the enormity of history which hangs about us, I will cut to the core this election cycle.  I will just post what I view to be the eventual outcome of the races.

Thanks this year goes to Eddy Allen III, program director at WDOR Radio,  who continually urged me to learn how to report sport scores when on-air.  The same lingo from decades ago can be used in politics, too.   Who knew sports could come in handy?  The degree of the win below is measured by the tone of my verbs.


Evers defeats Walker by 2.5%

Baldwin routs Vukmir by 6%

Schimel slips by Kaul by 1.5%

State Senate Race

–First District Jacque edges Frostman

–Seventeenth District Marion replaces Marklein


First Congressional District Steil bumps Bryce by less than 2%

About three weeks ago I entered a national contest for election predictions and listed the net gain for Democrats in the House at 27 seats.  I stand by that number. If my math is correct the makeup of the Senate will be 52-48 with the GOP holding the majority.  I list the races below.  While there will be a Blue Wave in certain sections of the nation on Election Night it will not a Blue Tsunami.

U.S Senate Races 


Sinema rolls McSally


Nelson ekes out a win over Scott


Donnelly drubs Braun


Smith smears Housley

Klobuchar echoes Smith and downs Newberger


Hawley stuns McCaskill  (This one hurts.)


Tester roughs up Rosendale

North Dakota

Cramer takes out Heitkamp

New Jersey 

Menendez tops Hugin


Heller hangs on over Rosen


Brown blocks Renacci


Cruz takes out the best looking candidate in 2018  (Can you see Beto as a Haggar shirt model?)

West Virgina

Manchin wins over Morrisey

Governor Races


Polis scores mightily over Walker and becomes the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the U.S.  Democrats–again–making sure our politics mirrors our citizenry.


Gillum plants DeSantis


Abrams bests Kemp  First black woman to be elected governor in the U.S.! 


Pritzker wins over Rauner—but will not serve a full term as the law will ultimately prevail


Scott prevails over Hallquist who would have been the first trans-gender governor in U.S.


Countless races on the radar so let me start with two that will come in early–and start the ball rolling for Democrats in Virginia.  The congressional races I list are to underscore what a great night would look like for the Democrats.  I list them in order of polls closings.

VA-7th–David Brat is one of the Tea Party types whose race will set the stage for the BLUE MARCH all through the night as the polls close moving westward.  I feel that Brat gets removed.  Brat has been on the radar at CP for years. 

VA 10th–Comstock needs to start assembling boxes for her move out of office—like now.  She is creamed by Weston

NY 22nd–Brindisi nips Tenney–this is one of those races that would show the power of the Blue Wave if we can win in a seat such as this one. If Democrats can win in places like this than the net gain will exceed my prediction of 27 pickups.

PA 17th–Lamb sweeps the floor and Rothfus has to even bring the broom—yes, that type of a win–they are the nation’s only two incumbent members of Congress pitted against each other in  midterm elections

IL 6th–Casten nip and tucks over Roskam–again this would show a wave if Democrats can prevail

Lets move quickly–for the sake of length with these predictions–to California.

CA 48th–Rohrabacher simply needs to be flushed–and the man pushing the handle is Rouda.  Bye, Bye Dana.  One really has to hope in some nursing home many years from now Dana has all immigrant employees to rely on for his every need

Attorney General 


Wardlow over Ellison

Ballot Measures


Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a non-discrimination bill into law in July 2016, and it went into effect in October 2016. Since then, opponents of equality used anti-transgender tactics and messages to get Question 3, which would repeal these non-discrimination protections, on the ballot this election. It will be soundly defeated.   

Legislative Races 

New York

The GOP holds a one-vote majority in the N.Y Senate and the Democrats are coming after Martin Golden from Brooklyn. He is the last remaining GOP senator in the borough. Dems hold a 2-1 voter registration advantage—but he has run unopposed in four of his elections. This year–this cycle–Andrew Gounardes will stop him from re-election—and in so doing stop the legislative blockage in their legislature.

Supreme Court


Carol Corrigan voted twice against marriage equality and she took a misguided position in the second case, which eventually took the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn in 2015.   She needs to find moving boxes as she will be defeated.

As I conclude this edition of Election Predictions I wish to end with another quote that sums up the mood of 2018.

“Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights.” –Thomas Jefferson, 1789.