Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Time Running Low for McCain and Senate Dems Down South

I don't need to tell you that no presidential candidate has ever come back from such a large deficit this late in the game. The real question is whether this election will be small, but comfortable ala McKinley... large, but not blowout a la Clinton... Very large bordering on blowout like Bush '88... or Blowout like Reagan '80. Based on national/state polling, the best estimate would be Clinton.

Obama will probably win the popular vote by anywhere from 5-10 points.... and have enough states to garner him anywhere from about 360-390 electoral votes (my guess is right in the middle at 375).

But the real question is will the Dems get to 60 seats (they stand at 51)....

The answer seems to be that it will be close...

Seats that polls indicate will almost definitely flip are Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Seats that leaning towards the Democrats are Oregon, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. Though something tells me that John Sununu is due for a comeback.

That gets you to 57.

58 (or 57 (no NH)) might be Alaska.... if and only if Ted Stevens gets convicted... if he doesn't that seat is at best a tossup... and it could be that Stevens sneaks in.

59 (or 58 or 57 if no Stevens (no NH)) is Minnesota. Nobody can call Norm Coleman the favorite. Franken has gained in the polls... and he now has a lead that pretty much agree is about 2 or 3 points... the problem is that he is around 40% with Dean Barkley lurking. Whether he lurks like Perot in 92 (stays in the high teens) or makes a Ventura run (actually getting into the thirties and wins) is something I cannot say. But time is running low for Coleman.

Then 60 (and 59 and maybe 58) are going to need to come from down south.

The best chance is Mississippi where the twins are running against each other. Fmr. Governor Ronnie Musgrove trails Senator Roger Wicker by at most 2 points... and it will all come down whether Musgrove can get about 1/4 vs. 1/5 of the white vote and black turnout is 37% and not 33%. And a race where Obama could have a positive effect, if he changes the electorate that little bit.

Next up is either Georgia or Kentucky. Georgia is basically Mississippi, except that Jim Martin is actually somewhat liberal. Senator Saxby Chambliss has good approval ratings, but the economy is dragging him down. The question like Mississippi is what percentage the Black vote makes up. If Martin gets 30% of the white vote and 30% of the electorate is African-American, he'll win.

Kentucky is just messed up. Mitch McConnell is about as recognizable a brand as it gets in Kentucky. He is also the most recognizable Republican in the senate... being the minority leader and all. His approvals are in the tank... but Bruce Lunsford is not the greatest campaigner ever... what is this his 10,000 run for state office? Personally, I think it will take a huge wave to bring across Lunsford...... but that may just happen.

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