Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Perspective on the November Election

The election results will fall into one of three scenarios:

1) An epic landslide of historic significance;

2) A mere landslide; or

3) A normal midterm election in which the opposing party picks up about 20 House seats and 4-5 Senate seats.

The early returns from the east coast and parts of the Midwest will tell the tale.

No seats are safe in a massive landslide.

If the Republicans pick up 5 House seats in New England, including Barney Frank’s, then a rout is underway. Other stalwart Democrats that would then be at risk are committee chairs Ike Skelton of Missouri (Armed Services), James Oberstar of Minnesota (Transportation), and John Spratt of South Carolina (Budget), and House Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer (Md.). Other incumbents at risk are Bobby Bright (Ala.), Gene Taylor (Miss.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Ron Klein (Fla.), John Boccieri, Charlie Wilson and Zach Space of Ohio, Frank Kratovil of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Sandlin of South Dakota, and Alan Boyd of Florida. Even Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of Orange County could lose to Van Tran.

In a massive landslide, vulnerable Republicans Joseph Cao (La.) and Charles Djou will be reelected.

A historic landslide will result in Republicans gaining roughly 100 House seats, and 10-12 Senate seats.

House Minority Leader John Boehner should not measure the drapes in the Speakers Office until the results are in.

If Christine O’Donnell wins election in Delaware, Sharon Angle in Nevada, Linda Mc Mahon Connecticut, John Riese in West Virginia, Mark Kirk in Illinois, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, and Dino Rossi in Washington, then the Senate will go Republican.

A mere landslide would show Bob Portman winning the Senate seat in Ohio, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and Mario Ruby in Florida.

In the case of a mere midterm course correction, we already know the names of several Democrats at risk, because the party has pulled funding from them. They are: Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.) Steve Driehaus (Oh.), Steve Kagan (Wisc.) Mary Jo Kilroy (Oh.), Suzanne Koumas (Fla.),and Betsy Markey (Colo.)

Opinion polls are unreliable at this point. Millions of Americans have already voted. We cannot assume in a volatile election that those still to vote represent those who voted early. In addition, responders may lie to pollsters. Seemingly unpopular candidates may vote higher than they poll. Several Tea Party candidates have been demonized by the media this year. An increasing complication is that if the polls are based on land lines, then they exclude an increasing percent of the population, especially the young, who only have cell phones.

For example, Christine O'Donnell is vilified by her comments decades earlier about witchcraft, but her opponent,Chris Coons, escapes criticism for claiming to be a “Bearded Marxist,” and we hear little about President Obama’s indulging in cocaine and other drugs. It may be that O’Donnell’s supporters may not want to reveal their preference.

One final assumption of pollsters is that the undecided tend to vote by the same percentages as the polls show committed voters.

President Obama is campaigning hard in the midterm elections, so hard he’s reduced his golf.

President Obama is campaigning hard in the midterm elections because he has to.

The President is the titular head of his Party. He must campaign for them.

He is campaigning for himself, his program, and his legacy.

President Obama is campaigning hard because he is a narcissist. He cannot accept rejection.

If, and this is a big if, the Republicans win both the House and Senate, the country will be lucky if President Obama merely sulks and utters nasty thoughts about the Republicans. A deep funk will not be good for the country.

President Clinton was the consummate politician.

President Obama is the consummate orator.

President Clinton was a flexible liberal.

President Obama is an ideologue.

This election cycle is interesting in that the members of the ruling Democratic Party are running away from their enactments the past two years. Their game plan is to demonize Republicans. In other words, no matter how much damage Democrats may have done to the economy, the Republican candidates are a personal disaster.

Unlike President Bush in 2002, President Obama is not campaigning to gain the opposing party’s existing seats, but simply trying to save incumbents. Many of these incumbents will take the President’s money, but only invoke his name in vain.

Several Democrats in conservative districts are actually campaigning against their Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The irony is that the more they run against their Party and enactments, the more reason they give their constituents the reason to vote for real Republicans. Speaker Pelosi says she’s fine with their position. Her objective is to maintain Democratic control of the House at any cost. However, her reputation is one of vengeance against those who are disloyal.Even in a mere landslide election, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid will lose their positions, but President Obama stays in office for 2 more years.

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