Thursday, November 02, 2006


It is time to put up.

I privately set for myself this date to cast my lot for a couple of reasons, the main one being I leave town today for a business trip and will have uncertain access to The Internets over the next few days.

So here are my predictions for the 2006 midterms. Overall, the Dems end up with a 40+ seat majority in the House and a one seat majority in the Senate, including Lieberman.

I took a quick survey of the PA poliblogs today and didn't see any who had stepped up yet -- com'on folks, no fair holding back until November 6. Put it on the line today.

PA-SEN Casey by 11 +/-

I got lucky, the race that I have been following most, the PA Senate, is the easiest to call. In fact, I called it in August when I said Santorum will lose by double digits.

Note that I said "Santorum loses". Casey neither deserves nor earned the win and the Party will come to regret getting into bed with the likes of him. It was not necessary, except to the Governor who ensured that Casey kept his nose out of this year's Gubernatorial. A bucket of warm spit in business attire could have beaten Rick Santorum this year, and that's nearly what we got.

Santorum's approvals have barely reached above 40 all year. As a two-term incumbent, sustained approval ratings under 40 are a deadly harbinger -- it indicates an electorate primed for a change.

Santorum helped out the Democrats by making every step a miss. His first advertisement of the campaign tried to take Casey and the Democrats to task for the faux incident at his faux home. What he succeeded in doing was give the Democrats a chance to remind everyone that when Rick first ran for office, he attacked his opponent for living in Virginia and promised the he would never do such a thing, and then did; and that Rick demanded and got hundreds of thousands in tax payer money to home school his brood in Virginia. His claim of Casey complicity was seen through as political piffle by everyone with a second grade education, but even worse was his ridiculous claims of his children being threatened (600 miles away) and the stupid police complaint he filed -- in Virginia!!?? Now there's a campaign team that has earned the right to sit home in '08.

But, that was just for starters. Santorum & Co. then picked up two issues to hammer home -- one made-up, one make-weight. His made-up movement -- Islamic Fascism -- moved no one. The follow through was horrible -- Rick running about flapping his gums over Nazis and appeasement and telling voters if they vote for Casey, they die. It was, as the last popular President said, an old dog that wasn't going to work anymore. Moderates were laughing at him.

His second issue, immigration, was a different kind of scare out the vote tactic, and it also failed, miserably. Outside Lou Barletta's bigoted mind and town, Santorum's "brown scare" took root nowhere. It consistently scored below "other" in polls asking voters what issues moved them this year.

Oh, but then there were the attack ads. Santorum's first big attack advertisement of the campaign -- the guys in the jail cell -- had great production value. It also had so many lies and distortions that every media outlet in the State was yapping about it the next day. Coming on the heels of the Penn Hills faux home fiasco, which Santorum was made to look eight yards short of credible, the jail cell advertisement sealed the deal in the minds of the voters -- nothing Santorum would thenceforth say about Bob Casey was going to stick, they had already decided that Santorum was a liar, and a loser.

That's why the debates didn't matter -- no one watched them and those that did, if their minds were not already completely made up on Santorum's credibility, they received his words with caution, and a ton of salt. Casey got at least one thing right -- Santorum was desperate, and he looked and sounded the part.

Casey deserves almost no credit for winning this one. He thumbed his nose at democracy by refusing to get out and talk to people, to attend public campaign events, to debate early and often (most of those joint appearances were not debates), by refusing to answer direct questions on where he stands on issues, and by making sure that a third choice was not going to be available to the voters. He is not an original thinker, he has no leadership capability, and he has no personal charm. He is not going to be a Senator of which Pennsylvania will be proud. But, at least he is not Rick Santorum.

What a choice we had.

Rick Santorum -- just like George Bush, but without the intellect; or,
Bob Casey -- just like, well, Rick Santorum, but without the balls.

PA-GOV Rendell by 18+/-

I didn't give much coverage to this race. Mainly because it never was a race. A political novice, an ex-jock at that, going up against likely the best Pennsylvania pol of this generation. It was a done deal in May. Fast Eddy has been unnecessarily piling on, with advertisements, big regional money grants, and fundraising like you've never imagined. Not because he was ever in a race. He wants the big numbers behind him next week to show he's the player who can deliver Pennsylvania to the Dems in '08. Dick Cheney may be a shooting veep, Ed Rendell is shooting for veep.

US-HOUSE Key PA Races Dems +4

I only have a handle on a handful. These are the races I have been glancing at now and again:

PA-4, Melissa Hart (R)(I) over Jason Altimire (D)
PA-6, Lois Murphy (D) defeats Jim Gerlach (R)(I)
PA-7, Admiral Joe Sestak (D) torpedoes crazy Curt Weldon (R)(I)
PA-8, Pat Murphy (D), beats Mike Fitzpatrick (R)(I)
PA-10, Chris Carney (D), chokes off Don Sherwood (R)(I)


I don't want to call this one today -- but I scheduled today to make my picks so I shall.

Not so very long ago, I was preparing a piece taking certain so-called liberal bloggers to task for going with Casey as part of a take-back-the-Senate strategy. My argument was two-fold, (1) anyone could beat Santorum, especially a really, really, REALLY smart college professor who happened top be a REAL main-street Democrat, and (2) there was no chance to take back the Senate.

I was and am still correct on the first point, but reality has interfered with the second. The Senate is in play.

The close races are Montana, New Jersey, Missouri, Virginia, and Tennessee. The Dems need four of those five to take back the Senate.

In Montana, Democrat Jon Tester is taking on Republican incumbent Conrad Burns. Burns closed a double-digit gap, and the race remains in the margin of error. However, after the first poll in April, Burns never won another poll in this race. Big Sky country is ready for a change from the go along, get along, gimme money and power, politics of Conrad Burns. Jon Tester picks up a seat in the Senate for the Dems on November 7.

In New Jersey, "incumbent" Democrat Bob Menendez gave us a scare -- with the electorate partially and temporarily succumbing to Tommy Kean Junior's attack ads. Menendez has recovered nicely and is headed to a win there, preserving a seat for the Democrats.

In Missouri, Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill is giving Republican incumbent Jim Talent whatfor. She has led through much of the race, but the recent uproar over the Michael Fox advertisement and negative ads (which the local newspapers say make false charges) by Jim Talent have put this race in the dead heat category. There is also a pro-stem-cell research amendment on the ballot. Talent opposes stem-cell research, McCaskill and 53% of her fellow-voters, favor it. McCaskill wins this squeaker because on election day, the voters here will break for change. McCaskill turns a red Senate seat blue.

Virginia. Old Dominion was certain to send bigoted bully George Allen back to the Senate where he could do the most harm. But his true colors shined through one fine day when he decided to bully a young man of color, who happened to be toting a full-color video camera. Thank goodness for YouTube. It has been neck and neck since then. It is easy to understand the Virginia voters' dilemma -- do they send a bigoted bully back to Congress or elect a sexist pig to replace him? I think the good people of Virginia will decide that they'd rather support a sexist pig than a bigoted bully.

, a former Republican who served as Secretary of the Navy in Reagan's White House, will take this one away from his former colleagues. George Allen, like Rick Santorum will have to give up his '08 Presidential fantasy, too. Thank GOODNESS for YouTube!

That is enough to give the Democrats 51 seats, which is good since it looks like Harold Ford will not pick up Bill Frist's abandoned seat in Tennessee.


If you have to ask, you haven't been paying attention. Dems take control, going away.

Okay, you're turn, dear readers and fellow bloggers.


Wil Robinson said...

As much as I wish it to happen, I just don't feel it. I hope you're right. American can't afford much a republican/neo-con administration/congress much longer.

Gort said...

Slobby, you're an inspiration to us all. My picks are up.

Frances said...

Casey by 11? In Pennsylvania? T'ain't gonna be THAT bad -- I'm calling Casey by a mere five. PA GOP's stellar GOTV effort will make the difference, but won't be enough carry the R's to victory.

Nice blog, by the way. Very noble. And that's high praise coming from someone as crabby as me.