Monday, November 06, 2006

Predictions - Like Hindquarters

So. I have a few ducats on the line with Publius over this election, having given him 5:1 odds last May that the GOP will retain the House of Representatives. Fortunately, I haven't run out of student loans this quarter. But while I'm no longer in the Land of Certainty, I'm still optimistic here less than six hours before the polls open on the East Coast, where this election will be decided. So here, just for fun, are my predictions for just who the winners and the losers tomorrow will be.

  • RI: (R) Chafee, +2. It shouldn't. But I think he's just that entrenched. I'm not going to say that if he wins, some fraud will necessarily have been involved. But Rhode Island had to be bribed into ratifying the Constitution because the corrupt leaders didn't want their applecart looked at, and I don't think it's changed a whole lot since. It's like Chicago or New Jersey for Democrats, only quieter. I don't like Lincoln Chafee, and I don't trust him, and if he loses without losing the GOP their majority, I'll be just fine with it.
  • TN: (R) Corker, +7. I've got nothing against the Playboy Mansion, but if you're going to campaign from the pulpit, maybe you ought to give Hef a raincheck. I think the nail in Ford's coffin was when he was seen as being oversensitive to the non-racist blonde chick ad.
  • NJ: (D) Menendez, +3. I really thought this could go the other way, with the NJ Supremes typical judicial activism on display with gay marriage, and Menendez' many ethical issues. I think it's going to be much closer than the polls indicate. But NJ is just too blue, and with party machinery that makes RI look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
  • MO: (R) Talent, +2. This is anyone's game, but the GOP get out the vote (GOTV) effort is stronger here. That, coupled with the power of incumbency, gives him the edge. Conservative leaning voters, smart enough to know the difference between embryonic stem cells and other, more effective and less morally questionable kinds which Talent does support, will be irritated enough by Marty McFly's disingenuous (about Talent's position, not his disease) meddling to bump the edge up another notch.
  • VA: (R) Allen, +5. There's a LOT of military in VA. Kerry's comments will help Republicans here like nowhere else. The only reason I don't have Webb down more is that Allen's lame book character attack backfired, in my opinion.
  • MT: (R) Burns, +1. This is anyone's call, but again, this is a place where Kerry's comments really did some damage. Burns probably doesn't deserve to win, either, but I don't know that people dislike him more than they dislike John Kerry's ilk in charge of the Senate. This race will depend greatly on the East, though - if Dems do well early, Burns could lose his edge in the turnout.
  • PA: (D) Casey, +6. I think Santorum's GOTV is better here than people give him credit for, but he's just too far to the right for this state. Casey is socially conservative to take that advantage away from Santorum, and to appeal to the Truman Democrats. But we haven't seen the last of Rick Santorum.
  • WA: (D) Cantwell, +6. Here, too, I think the GOP GOTV is better than people give it credit for, but hell, I almost voted for Cantwell because I wanted to support Democrats who are grownups on national security, and I think she is. She's weak, but will prevail. Her victory will be diminished by the Libertarian and Green candidates, who will get a lot of anti-war votes by people who feel Cantwell is safe.
  • OH: (D) Brown, +7. I think the polls are overstated here against DeWine. But state party politics are rife with corruption, and the Republican party there is incompetent, out of touch, and should be condemned like an old building. +7 is a generous nod to the GOTV.
  • MD: (R) Steele, +3. Big upset here. Massive black, traditionally Democratic support usually taken for granted by Democrats will be key. Race can unfortunately play havoc with pollsters - people often give "PC" answers and then vote differently in the booth. In this case, that means blacks who will give the "right" answer as to which party they support. A lot hinges on this - if MD looks to go earlier, it will energize late voting Republicans and demoralize Democrats.
  • AZ: (R) Kyle, +7. Being in a safe position, Republicans will feel more free to punish the wayward party with non-votes. This will trend left of the polls, while most states the GOTV effort will put the GOP ahead of predictions.
  • CT: (I) Lieberman, +12. Republicans have adopted him, traditional Democrats have always loved him. Schlesinger is a joke. Lamont has thrown in his hat with the children of the nutty left. This was to be the victory of the Kossacks. But Americans of all political stripes (except, apparently, in Massachusetts) want grownups in charge. Lamont and his band of 60's retread neo-hippies are about to be told to go get their shineboxes, and I'm going to enjoy every second of it.
Unless I miss my math, that's only a net loss of one seat to the GOP. Maybe my partisan optimism is too much, but we'll see. If Steele pulls it off, the GOP keep Montana. If Steele loses, it could wind up being a net loss of 4 for the GOP. But I think Steele will win.

The House

I predict the GOP will lose 12 seats, and barely eek out control. This could easily go as many as 8 more seats the other way, but I am confident that the Democrats, if they gain control, will not do it by more than 5 seats.

Locally, McDermott will win with about 75% (sigh). Burner will lose by 8, and will re-join us here in law school unaware that her close run had everything to do with Bush discontent and nothing to do with her.

I base this on a couple of things:
  1. The GOTV effort is just better for the Republicans. A friend who lives in Ballard yesterday told me that a McDermott worker knocked on his door. Anecdotal to be sure, but if this is any indication at all on how the Democrats are spending their resources, they're being wasteful. I think it's worth a 2-3 point bump in almost every district.
  2. The Kerry comments. In one dumb move, he reminded them of why Democrats aren't better than the disappointing GOP, just because they're not Bush. Worth another point on average.
  3. Polling Data. Polls usually err towards Democrats, although that effect is less so closer to the election. But I think that Democrat error is increasing. Younger voters tend to be more conservative (more on that in another post), and are less likely to have land lines. Pollsters don't call cell phones. This is worth another 2-3 point edge in even the more accurate polls.
Frankly, I even question if the numbers are going to be all that different from 2004. I think that at the end of the day, even though it's easy to tell a pollster you're irked at the President, it's another thing to be in the booth on election day and wonder if anti-Patriot Act Nancy Pelosi can keep your kids safe.

There are other reasons - resentment over MSM cheerleading, over-reliance on urban voters, etc.

One thing is for certain. Whatever happens, our nation will continue to grow, to thrive, and to be the Shining City on the Hill. I believe in the profound wisdom of the American People when they come together to make the big decisions, and will accept their verdict, even if I don't agree with it. And that's why I'm optimistic no matter what tomorrow's impact on our government - or my bet with Publius - may be.


Anonymous said...

For some reason, I have always held Harold Ford in high regard. The Corker campaign (if not the Corker campaign, then some independent third-party organization that supports his candidacy) has mischaracterized Ford's connection to the Playboy party at issue. The Playboy party that Ford attended took place after the Super Bowl. Over a thousand people, including luminaries such as Bill O' Reilly, attended the event. Though I will not lose any sleep if Ford's political ambitions are derailed tonight, I do not believe his attendance at the Playboy party serves as a good reason for anybody to vote against him. Anyway, my prediction is that Ford will cover the spread that Orrin has assigned to the Tennessee Senate race.

PubliusRex said...

If it doesn't mean anything to you, then ignore it. But it matters to some people and that's valid too - some people don't want their elected officials socializing in the home of a pornographer. I'm not sure what the mischaracterization you're referring to is.

Personally, I always sort of liked Harold Ford as well. He's a fairly reasonable Democrat, a novelty. And he usually keeps it pretty positive. I have to say though that his campaign has turned me off. In particular, I'm not a fan of filming campaign ads inside churches (especially by those who go to playboy parties); I also am turned off by him suddenly adopting a Southern accent and claiming that he's pro-life (Tucker Carlson's show last week).

In general, there are Dems I much rather see not in the senate than Harold Ford. But I think the criticisms of the ads against him are unfounded and I think you are who you associate with; it's not unfair to criticize him for partying with Playboy.

SirWhoopass said...

Similarly, if Corker is such a closed-minded Puritan that he is offended when someone meets with Mr Hefner, a man who single-handedly created $338 million international corporation, then voters should know that too.

Or, perhaps, Corker is just courting additional dollers from anti-abortion groups who dislike the Playboy Foundation's funding of Planned Parenthood and similar groups. Especially given Corker's reversal on whether abortion should be legal.

Orrin Johnson said...

To be fair, Corker didn't run that ad, nor was he allowed to have had any say in its production or content before it ran, thanks to McCain/Feingold. And he demanded it be taken off the air.

Like I said, nothing against Hef. But it looks disingenuous when you then film commercials from inside of a church.

PubliusRex said...

Corker looking for votes from people who don't like Playboy and all that it embodies? How dare he. What does he think this is, a democratic republic?

Maybe we just shouldn't let people who don't like playboy vote.

SirWhoopass said...

Pub, that makes no sense whatsoever in reference to your, and my, original posts.

You noted that it is legitimite for voters to know Ford attended an event sponsored by Playboy, because they might disagree with the company and it would affect their vote. You are correct.

I never suggested that someone who disagrees doesn't have a right to that belief, or their vote. I simply said that it cuts both ways.

Playboy isn't an automatic evil. Some voters may take into consideration when a candidate opposes what Playboy stands for, because they have similar beliefs to the organization.

Like, say, using Indonesia's free speech laws to launch a local edition in the world's most populus Muslim nation. And to press forward with the edition, despite threats of violence from extremists.

derek said...

"One thing is for certain. Whatever happens, our nation will continue to grow, to thrive, and to be the Shining City on the Hill. I believe in the profound wisdom of the American People when they come together to make the big decisions, and will accept their verdict, even if I don't agree with it. And that's why I'm optimistic no matter what tomorrow's impact on our government - or my bet with Publius - may be."

Here, Here. Orrin that might be the smartest thing you've ever said...I think we can all agree with that.

Orrin Johnson said...

Thanks, Derek.

PubliusRex said...


You suggested that people, including Corker, are "closed-minded Puritans" if they're concerned about their representative, who filmed his ads in churches, partying with Hugh Hefner. Sounded to me as if you were questioning the legitimacy of that point of view.

"Playboy isn't an automatic evil." - Seems like that probably depends on one's value system, doesn't it? We live in a country where lots of people say the same thing about islamic fascism - but in which others are pretty sure it is.

SirWhoopass said...

Being a closed-minded Purtian is a legitimite point of view.

Of course it depends on one's system of values. That was my whole point in the first place. You told anon (in the first post) that the Playboy issue can be ignored if it didn't mean anything to an individual. Implying that it was either a negative, or a non-issue.

I am claiming that, for some, it can be a positive issue. And that the objections against Ford's participation can be a negative against Corker (or, more accurately, the group that sponsored the ad).

PubliusRex said...

I'm sure to some it does cut the other way. But I wouldn't go around calling those people "atheist libertines." That kind of hyperbolic name-calling is counterproductive.

Either way, I'm not sure what the grounds are for criticizing the ad.