If you do not own a television, you may be surprised to learn there is a national election coming up Tuesday. As for the rest of us, we eagerly await this election so that the mud (and in one case, poo) slinging will come to an end. Some of us might even be interested in the actual result of this contest. For those few, mentally deranged individuals like myself, I present my predictions as to what will happen on Election Day. I'll cover my local race for national positions and the big ones in the news (sorry, people of South Carolina's fourth congressional district).
New York Races
New York lacks anything resembling a Republican Party. Our current Democratic Governor is deeply unpopular; his predecessor was elected by a wide margin and promptly was caught with a $5,000 hooker. In this election, where incumbents and anyone seen as an insider is deeply unpopular, the blue blood son of former governor Mario Cuomo will easily be reelected. Carl Paladino is far from a good (or perhaps even sane) candidate, but even if Andrew Cuomo faced Rick Lazio the result would still be a Democratic landslide. This state is blue beyond blue; decades of job loss, corruption, and the highest property taxes in the nation have not convinced the people of this state that the current leadership could possibly be the cause of those problems.
Senate Seats: Both Democrat
The Senate races were be even less close than the governor election. I follow politics more closely than most people I know, I loathe the current hard core liberals I have for senators, but I still could not name the people running against Gillibrand and Schumer. The name recognition for the Republican candidates is running around 50% in their own families; no chance for them winning.
24th Congressional District: Toss Up (saying Hanna will win out of hope)
I vote in the 24th New York Congressional District, currently represented by Michael Arcuri. His challenger is Richard Hanna, who also challenged Arcuri in 2008. The last election occurred during a Democratic wave, yet Arcuri won in a close election. Arcuri squeked by with a 10,000 vote lead out of over 250,000 cast. Given the mood of the country right now, it would seem like Hanna should be coasting to a victory, but polling seems to indicate otherwise. RealClearPolitics only lists two polling firms who have covered the race (not bad for a House race, admittedly). The Sienna poll has a smaller margin of error and released their internal data. The data is kind of screwy; Richard Hanna is only going to get 65% of Republicans to vote for him? Arcuri really has no other place to draw support from. His Democratic support is about on part for the nation and his support among "Independents" is much higher than the national average going to the left. That said, many independents around here are liberal, so those numbers are probably not far off.
My gut instinct tells me this close will be much closer than the polls show so far. I find it incredibly hard to believe 35% of Republicans will not vote for Hanna. Independents at this point in an election tend to break for the challenger. The big kicker will be voter turnout. Nationally, Republicans are fired up to oppose Obama and the liberal government in Washington. Democrats are much less excited.
As for the other races: Gary Finch is running unopposed in the 123rd Assembly district; Tom Libous will easily win the 24th State Senate seat again; the Assembly will not change hands again until Jesus returns (though whether that will change anything remains to be seen); State Senate is very close but I don't follow the sparse polling of all 62 seats, so who the hell knows what happens there.
House of Representatives
Republicans win the House back. A "bad" night consists of a 40 seat pick up; my guess is 65 seats swing Republican.
Anything that isn't a toss up at RealClearPolitics should be considered a done deal. As for the rest, I predict Republicans pick up everything but Washington, creating a fun 50-50 tie and forcing Joe Biden to become a more public figure and tie the President to key votes that will be issues come 2012 (much to the Administration's chagrin). Pennyslvania isn't really close and shouldn't be considered a toss up. As for the rest:
Bennet is one of those unelected Senators who imposed ObamaCare on the people. Incumbents who have issues staying around 45% approval don't last long. No help for the Repubican Buck from the extremely goofy Governor's race. The local House races show good news for the Republicans; that, plus the string of small wins in polling plus a wave election spells victory for the Republicans.
Barack's former Senate seat. Lesson for the Democrats: don't nominate people with obvious mob connections. If Illinois of all places is turning purplish red, I feel safe in my House of Representatives prediction. Kirk again has a string of small leads; while they are all in the margin of error, the fact that he consistently comes out ahead in them leads me to believe Kirk will pull off the win.
Republicans are salivating at the chance to oust the most powerful member of the Democratic Party up for election in a full state this year. Sharron Angle is not your run of the mill, moderate Republican; she is a Tea Partier and her victory over the face of liberalism this election would be a clear rebuke of the President and the Democratic Party in general. Nevada is a purple state and they stand to lose a lot of perks by losing the Majority Leader of the Senate, but even that is not enough compared to the double digit unemployment and the fact that Nevada has been smacked around by the housing crisis worse than most states. Democrats went all out to defend this state, emptying Reid's huge war chest that was supposed to assure his victory. This is the big one, the face of the Left vs. the unapologetic, small government Tea Partier. My money is on the Tea Party. Reid doesn't have any bullets left and Angle is winning polls outside of the margin of error now. She has money left to spend (thank you, Joy Behar). Reid doesn't.
Patty Murray has a few advantages over those other Democrats. She's a Senator who is fairly low on the radar screen; nobody is directly blaming her for ObamaCare or the Stimulus. She's also running in a blue state. Even with that, the last three polls have shown ties, a 1 point lead for Rossi and a one point lead for Murray. Polling says it will be insanely close; this is the best Democrats have in the toss up category and it is distinctly possible they could lose, but I predict Murray wins.
This is a special election to replace Robert Byrd, who won this seat roughly a billion years ago. It is both a goofy race and an incredibly important one. As this is a special election, the winner will be seated to fill out the current term rather than wait until January. Considering rumors of Democrats pushing major liberal laws in a lame duck session, this seat could mean the difference between a boring two months or two of the most contentious months of politics we have witnessed in decades. Polling is all over the place. The Democrat is the popular governor; that doesn't help, since the people of West Virginia can keep him as their popular governor by electing the Republican. I predict that is exactly what they will do, especially since West Virginia has proven itself to be no lover of Democratic policies.
Republicans spank the Democrats at nearly all levels across the nation. The next two years are full of gridlock and little improvement in the country; a nasty fight occurs because of ObamaCare. The anti incumbent mood that has dominated the nation over the last three election cycles continues and the Democrats will rightly be viewed as the incumbents.
I'm confident in what I predict for Tuesday and the gridlock; as for 2012, that's a shot in the dark as it looks right now, two years is forever in politics.