Sunday, October 31, 2010

Predictions On The Coming GOP Wave: House Yes, Senate No.



On Tuesday, November 2nd, to the surprise of no one, 
the Great GOP Wave will wash over Washington D.C.

Frightened Democrats and liberals are making headlines
with scare stories of a 60 to 70 seat Democratic rout in the 
House, and loss of control of the Senate as well. 

To the mainstream media , an epic repeat of the 
Disaster Of 1994 is in the works,  when the 
Democrats lost 53 seats in the House 
and eleven in the Senate to hand total 
control of Congress to an angry and motivated 
GOP.

Is this going to happen again? I think not.

I am, however, predicting that the GOP will 
take control of the House, picking up a total of 
47 seats, with most of the Democratic
losses coming from freshman and sophomore
Representatives in districts that went for McCain
in 2008. A silver lining in all this for the Democrats
is that most of their key leadership is predicted to
return to Congress, which will give them some 
necessary "time in opposition" to impose discipline
and develop an ideologically coherent message.

The Senate, however, is a different story. To win the 
majority, the GOP would have to add ten seats to the
41 they currently control. This looks to be out of reach now.
As of this writing, the GOP will pick up three contested 
seats (Arkansas, Indiana, and North Dakota) and possibly
add another in Wisconsin, where Democratic incumbent
Russ Feingold is running behind newcomer Ron Johnson
(former CEO of S.C. Johnson Co.). That leaves six to go.

And these six states - Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada,
Illinois, Delaware, and Washington - have been closely 
watched ever since the primaries. My prediction: The
Republicans will pick up three, the Democrats will
retain three. Here's the breakdown:

1) Pennsylvania. Pat Toomey (R) and Joe Sestak (D)
have been battling neck-and-neck all summer for the
seat being vacated by defeated Sen. Arlen Specter (D,
formerly (R) ). It all depends on turnout in heavily
Democratic Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, 
as the rest of the State leans heavily Republican.
If Sestak's margin in the Philadelphia area is less
than 400,000, Toomey wins. My prediction: Pat Toomey
will be the new Republican Senator.

2) Colorado. Appointed Senator Michael Bennett (D)
and former Weld County D.A. Ken Buck (R) are battling
for the seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
This race has attracted perhaps the most out-of-state
and 3rd-party money of any save the race in Nevada.
At this moment, the race is rated a toss-up by the media.

My take: Obama won Colorado narrowly in 2008 on the 
strength of Denver and Colorado Springs suburban liberals.
These folks have since been hammered by huge 
white-collar layoffs, and Colorado leads the nation 
in unemployment among educated, white-collar 
professionals. Outside of the Denver and Colorado 
Springs areas, the state is Red and getting redder.
Prediction: Ken Buck takes this seat for the GOP.

3) Nevada. Probably the most watched Senate race in the 
nation, this one pits Senate Majority Leader  Harry Reid
against exciting and outspoken newcomer Sharron Angle.
Early on, Reid was expected to "vaporize" the "extreme"
Ms. Angle and cruise to re-election. It hasn't turned out
that way.

Ms. Angle seized the initiative in their only debate, coming
across as both reasonable and energetic while Reid looked
and sounded every bit the tired, entrenched Washington 
insider. When Reid mumbled on and on about "markups"
and "Senate procedure", Ms. Angle told him to "man up"
and "take responsibility" for the disastrous condition
of both the local and national economy.

At that moment, the momentum switched to Ms. Angle.

Unenviably, Nevada leads the nation in unemployment,
foreclosures, and bankruptcies, and Reid and the 
Democrats have done precious little to turn things 
around.Even the endorsements of the large gaming
and mining interests (which came before Ms. Angle
even won the primary), have probably hurt Sen. Reid
more than they have helped. Ms. Angle has very
effectively painted Harry Reid as the candidate of 
big money interests, while she fights for the little guy.
My prediction: Reid fights Angle to a draw in Clark
County (Las Vegas), and loses resoundingly everywhere
else.  Sharron Angle goes to Washington, in what the
national media will term a huge upset.

4) Illinois. The race between State Treasurer Alex 
Giannoulias (D) and former Rep. Mark Kirk (R) for
President Obama's old seat has been watched for over 
a year. And this one is turning out to be a classic, with
The Chicago Democratic Machine  pitted against
conservative, downstate Republicans. Early scandals
involving Giannoulias with his family's failed bank
and disgraced ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and convicted
"fixer" Tony Rezko haven't been reflected in the polls,
which show the Democrat with a slight lead.

My take: Kirk wins downstate, but the  Chicago machine,
now strengthened with the help of former White House
Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, does its usual "fixing".
Alex Giannoulias becomes the new Democratic Senator
from Illinois.

5) Delaware. This is the one state where the Tea Party
over-reached, nominating the unelectable Christine
O'Donnell over the pragmatic GOP moderate Mike
Castle in a very low-turnout primary.

All the national Democrats had to do was replay 
endless bits from Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect,
where Ms. O'Donnell was a frequent guest talking 
about  witchcraft and Satanism. Result? Game Over.
Chris Coons (D), the Yale-educated lawyer and former
New Castle County Executive, goes to the Senate.

6) Washington State. Sen. Patty Murray (D) has been
locked in a tight battle against newcomer Dino Rossi.
While Murray has not been exactly the most effective 
of Senators, she has been instrumental in keeping
Boeing (Washington's largest employer) from 
outsourcing more jobs either overseas or to lower-cost
Kansas or South Carolina, saving thousands of
high-skill, high-wage jobs.

Add to this the fact that Washington (like 
Oregon and California) has a large edge in 
Democratic voter registration and this race 
will go as predicted, with Murray winning re-election 
by a 53% -47% margin.

Bottom Line: The GOP will make significant gains,
but the gains in my opinion could have been
larger had the GOP campaigned more on policy  
and less on blanket opposition to all things Obama.

The reason they didn't campaign on policy 
is that the mainstream GOP is hugely beholden 
to Wall Street and Corporate America, and 
mainstream GOP policy calls for more outsourcing, 
more job exportation to the Third World, shredding
what remains of the the social safety net, and vast
reductions in the standards of living for everyone
except the very richest 1%.

And the Democrats?  Rather than preach Class Warfare
and the interests of ordinary Americans, they became 
the Party of Government and Business As Usual,
becoming the party of  favor-granting, ear-marking,
bailouts, spending and pork.
With the economy in tatters and poverty and desperation
increasing everywhere, The Tea Party, unruly and 
disorganized though it may be, has become the last best
hope for millions of disfranchised Americans abandoned
by both their government and their financial elites.

And this may be the last chance the "system" gets. Two
more years like the last two and there won't be "elections"
in 2012.

There will be a Revolution - led by a Nationalist
Strongman, probably from the military.

Move over, Argentina - here comes the U.S.A. !

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