SENATE PREDICTIONS (and more!)
If you want Senate predictions from actual qualified people, you should head over to Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo
to read the picks of a number of notables (Reich, Sully, Tomansky, etc).
But before you do something worthwhile like that, check out my Senate predictions here at TFM!
Colorado: Strickland edges Allard
. This race is a rematch of the one that Allard won six years ago, but the political landscape in the big-ass rectangle state is changing.
Texas: Cornyn over Kirk by 4-5 points
. Turnout could decide this one, but I don't see a Democrat getting elected Senator in Texas right now.
Arkansas: Pryor over Hutchinson by 6-8 points
. Hutchinson's "Jerry Lee Lewis School of Family Values" will be too much to overcome. Oh, and the immigrant stuff looks really, really desperate.
New Jersey: Lautenberg routs Forrester by 15-18 points
. When you're Forrester, and the central thrust of your campaign is "I'm not Robert Torricelli", and your opponent can say "I'm not Torricelli either", then your campaign probably isn't going anywhere.
Tennessee: Lamar! over Clement by 5-7 points
. This will mean two straight elections in which a man from Tennessee who likes to wear earth tones wins a race. Problem is, only Lamar! will get to serve. But don't worry, that other guy has another chance in two years.
Iowa: Harkin trounces Ganske by 15-17 points
. That one was easy! Did you see Harkin's speech at the Wellstone service? Inspiring stuff. Anyway, Tape-Gate was stupid and backfired on the GOP here.
South Carolina: Graham holds off Sanders by 3-5 points
. South Carolina is a funny place. The Sanders ads have more guns in them than the Graham ones do! I wish that Graham, a House Manager, would go down in flames, and I'll do a rain-dance to that effect tonight, but it's just not gonna happen in Gamecock country.
Georgia: Cleland holds off Chambliss by 2-3 points
. When you question the patriotism of someone who lost three limbs in Vietnam, you don't deserve to win an election. Plus, Zell Miller's TV spots should put Max over the top.
North Carolina: Dole edges Bowles by 1 point, maybe less
. Erskine has all the momentum, and I despise Liddy, but she holds on here.
Louisiana: Landrieu in a December runoff
. Louisiana has an interesting electoral quirk, similar to mayoral elections or, say, Russian elections, where if you don't get 50% the first time around, you enter into a runoff against the #2 candidate. Landrieu will get around 48%, and win the runoff next month.
New Hampshire: Shaheen over Sununu by 2-3 points
. Her stock has been rising for a while. The incumbent Bob Smith was knocked out during primary season, and many of his supporters may be casting write-in votes for him tomorrow. Some of them will probably peel off back to Sununu, but not enough.
Finally, there are the big three midwestern races, where the Bushies have hand-picked three candidates, referred to as the "three amigos" (a wonderful movie ruined by this association), who he hopes will deliver him a majority in the Senate...
Minnesota: Mondale defeats Coleman by 6-8 points
. Righty bloggers like Glenn
and his young minions
have made a big deal about one aberration of a poll which shows Coleman up by 6 points (when every other poll has Mondale up by 4-7). Nevermind that the poll they're pushing surveyed a full 300 people LESS than the other polls. The second Mondale stepped in, he became the frontrunner, and his solid performance in this morning's debate (check it out
) solidifies his fate.
South Dakota: Johnson ekes it out over Thune by 1 point
. Bush vs Daschle by proxy, but Johnson holds on. The GOP dirty tricks team has been hard at work here, fluffing up a BS scandal about absentee ballots (Drudge, Rush and co. have been happy to do their part as well), but it won't be enough.
Missouri: Talent barely beats Carnahan, by less than a point
. Carnahan was, of course, an appointed Senator who took the job after her late husband Mel was posthumously elected. There isn't much precedent for appointed people winning these sorts of elections. Jean did score some points with her scolding of Talent after he questioned her patriotism in a recent debate. If she wins, it would be because of very high turnout.
So when the dust settles, I see the Democrats picking up two seats tomorrow
, bringing the running total to 52 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and essentially-Democrat Jim Jeffords. As for the House of Representatives, I see things staying right about where they are, with either party maybe picking up a seat or two.
Will there be any 2000-style controversies possible after the elections?
Well, yes! In two states, actually. First is Louisiana
. I said that Landrieu wont get 50% the first time around, so she'll be in a runoff against the highest republican, probably Perkins. I don't think that race will decide control of the Senate (given Colorado NH and Arkansas), but if it's 50-49 before the runoff, the Louisiana runoff could end up being a party vs party WAR, with money coming in from everywhere. But given other senate races, it might not end up like that.
The second state is Missouri
. Like I said, I think that Jim Talent, boosted by the rural portions of Missouri, will beat Carnahan. Unlike other Senator-elects, who begin their terms in January, Talent would take over immediately. That means that for six or seven weeks, the Republicans would have a majority in the Senate, and Trent "Rightfully Booed" Lott would be majority leader again until January. If that happens, will Bush and the Republican-controlled Senate try to confirm as many judges as possible before the new congress convenes? You know, the idealogue judges that have no business being on the federal bench? I know that Rove is licking his chops. BUT... there are too many negative political consequences to doing something like that. And also, it is likely that some moderate Republicans (McCain for example) would have problems with this strategy. I'm also thinking of Lincoln Chaffee, because such an action could be the straw that breaks the camel's back and cases Chaffee to finally jump across the aisle, just like Jezzum Jim.
So that's about it for the Senate. As for other races of interest?
-Davis routs Simon
-Jeb beats McBride (damn)
-Kennedy-Townshend and Ehrlich go down to the wire, too close to call
-Oregon's universal health care measure gets 40-42%, not enough to pass, but enough for the country to take notice
Anyway, have a great Election Day, make sure to vote! I sent my absentee last week, felt good to do it. You should throw a party, put up streamers and stuff.
UPDATE: Factual error on my part! I indirectly referred to Andrew Sullivan as "qualified". My mistake!