Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I nailed it!

Yesterday, actually Monday night, I made my predictions on the mid-term elections and it appears that I nailed it.
I wrote this up for my friend Bill Crawford to use at All Things Conservative but either he did not get the e-mail or chose not to use it and thus it did not get posted. So I am posting it now just for my own enjoyment.

Here are my predictions for the midterm elections:

The Democrats will take the House with about a 30-seat gain. That is the general consensus right now, but many people are saying it could be much higher - as much as 50 or more. Races like the 23rd District here in San Antonio haven’t even been on the radar for most election prognosticators and there is a good chance that Republican Henry Bonilla could be held to less than 50 percent of the vote in this newly redrawn, more Democratic district. And that would essentiallly force him into a run-off in December against a newly energized Democratic Party.

I’d love to predict that the electoral tidal wave is going to sweep across the country and elect hordes of Democrats, but then that means I would have to risk being disappointed if it does not happen and winning 30 seats is already a tremendous victory and nothing to be disappointed with. Still, it has been noted that Republicans are facing a political environment much worse than the one the Democrats faced in 1994 when they lost 54 seats, so why under these circumstances should the Republicans lose only 30? The answer, according to most experts, is that redistricting and the extreme financial advantages that most incumbents have over their challengers has made our House of Representatives much less responsive to the shifting moods of the electorate than it once was. Nevertheless, it will shift this time. The Democrats are getting a few freebies in heavily Republican districts thanks to Republican scandals involving Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Mark Foley and others. In Texas, the best chance for a pickup is the Hammer’s old district thanks to DeLay’s antics earlier this year when he screwed his party around by stepping down after it was too late to replace his name on the ballot. Now Republicans are forced to run an uphill write-in campaign against a well-funded former Democratic congressman. Still, even if the Democrats win the seat, as appears to be likely, they will have to work hard to prove they deserve it or risk losing it again two years from now.
The same goes for the seat of disgraced cyber-pedophile Mark Foley where the Democrat is likely to win unless the GOP can convince enough voters to pull the lever for someone who most think belongs in jail and not in Congress.

Whatever the final numbers, there is little doubt that Democrats will have a lot to cheer about tomorrow. If you are a Republican, I would advise ignoring the national results and concentrating on the statewide races here in Texas where the GOP is still guaranteed to do well. Republicans are on track to re-elect a senator, a governor and most statewide officeholders, as well as all but maybe one or two congressmen. Texas, for whatever reason, is still bucking the national trend that is shifting most of the rest of the country back to the left. Just look at our neighbors. After Tuesday, we will likely have Democratic governors in every state that borders Texas: New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Democrats are poised to win governors races in Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Maine, Massachusetts and New York.
But Texas looks like it will keep its unpopular governor who is likely to win re-election with less than 40 percent of the vote.

In the Senate, I am predicting Democrats will win the six seats they need to claim a slim majority. Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Mike DeWine of Ohio are toast. They are gone, no question. Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island isn’t faring much better and neither is scandal-plagued Conrad Burns of Montana. I’m predicting both will lose handily. Slightly tighter races that will fall into the Democratic column are in Missouri where Claire McCaskill, with an assist from Michael J. Fox, will best Republican Jim Talent, and Virginia where James Webb, the former Navy Secretary in the Reagan administration, has pulled ahead of the faltering campaign of Republican George Allen.
The one disappointment for Democrats appears to be in Tennessee where it looked for a time like Harold Ford Jr. could become the first black senator from that state, but has since fallen back and is down several points in the polls behind Republican Bob Corker.
I also think the Democrats will come close, but fall short in their bid to oust Republican Jon Kyle in Arizona.

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