You know the best thing about this is that I won't have to see anymore of these damn political ads. As much of a political junkie and partisan I am, I just want it to be over. I can't wait until I don't have to hear unfounded attacks as the only thing on TV. It's great that politicians and advocacy think that if you phrase it as a question, you aren't actually making an assertion, but rather are just asking question. I've got to get in on this:
Is Pat Tiberi really a woman?
Does Steve Stivers rape puppies?
Is John Kasich secretly a Nazi who plans to change the Ohio flag to a Swastika?
I'm totally not insinuating anything, I'm just asking questions :)
I've already done my rant about these damn ads. On to more pressing matters.
U.S House of Representatives
It is really hard to get a true grasp as to what exactly will happen when it comes to the final tally in the House. It's clear the Republicans are going to do very well. It's just hard to say whether that very well is 30 seats or 50 seats. The real problem is the lack of reliable polling data for most House races. So, please understand why my projection has wiggle room.
My Projection: The Republicans pick up 40 seats +/- 5 seats.
So, the final tallies: Democrats 210-220 Republicans 210-220
I think we're in for a long night while we try to determine which party will be in control of the House. I think it will be very close and it may hinge on a select few incredibly tight races.
Here are some projections for some of the House Races that are local to me. I'm using a system of my own creation to predict these races. It is based on when I think the race will be called. So here are the four ways I'll be classifying the races:
Called when the polls close- For races that won't really be close
Let me get in a few return to make sure- For races that have the potential or the illusion of being close
Late Night Call- Close race, but the winner becomes evident as the votes get tallied into the late night and early morning
This may take a while- Races that will be very close and the winner might not be known on election night.
I'll be focusing on four Central Ohio races
This is the district I live in. It's a pretty safe Republican seat,but has been edging towards almost being competitive the past few cycles. The incumbent Pat Tiberi(R) faces former Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks(D).
Tiberi wins reelection easily
Projection: Called when the polls close
The three Columbus congressional districts are evidence of the Republicans effective gerrymandering here in Ohio. Columbus is a major metropolitan are that produces 3 Republican seats in virtually every election. That doesn't make sense, but it's the way the lines are drawn. The only seat in the Columbus area that is ever really competitive is OH-15. It definitely leans Republican, but in years such as 2006 and 2008 it can swing to the Democrats largely due to the fact that this district includes Ohio State University. This year it's a rematch of the very close race in 2008 between Steve Stivers(R) and Incumbent Mary Jo Kilroy(D)
Stivers wins comfortably.
Projection: Let me get in a few return to make sure
This is a largely rural district, but it has voted overwhelmingly Democratic the past two elections. This district was once held by the disgraced Bob Ney, which is part of the reason a Democrat has been able to do so well in that district. Zack Space(D) is the incumbent and Bob Gibbs is his challenger. This quite the interesting race and has had a ton of money pumped into it. It will be interesting to see if this district reverts back to its conservative ways. It's going to be close.
I think Gibbs wins this one, but it will be very close. I don't think these candidates will be separated by more that 1000 votes.
Projection: This may take a while
This is quite the product of redistricting. This district stretches along the Ohio river from just South of Youngstown to the Southern tip of Ohio. It was formerly held by Ohio governor Ted Strickland(D) who went unopposed in 2004. In 2006 and 2008 the Democrat Charlie Wilson won by large margins. This year he is being challenged by Bill Johnson(R). I think this race will be tight, but I think the Democrats will hold.
Charlie Wilson wins in a tight one
Projection: Late Night Call.
I'm almost certain that the Democrats will be able to hold Senate. The Republicans must have virtually every competitive race go their way and I don't see that happening. The gap will tighten considerably, but the Dems should still hold the advantage once all the votes have been counted. Here's who I think will win. *Signifies incumbent party keeps the seat.
California- Barbara Boxer(D)*
Colorado- Ken Buck(R)
Illinois- Mark Kirk(R)
Nevada- Harry Reid(D)*
Pennsylvania- Pat Toomey(R)
Washington- Patty Murray(D)*
West Virginia- Joe Manchin(D)*
Wisconsin- Ron Johnson(R)
Add to that sure Republican pickups in Arkansas, Indiana, and North Dakota and it's +7 for the Republicans, which still leaves them short of 51 votes at 48. The races in Nevada and Washington are toss-ups, so the Republicans could easily pick them up, which would leave them at 50 votes, which is still short. If it gets to that point, the biggest race will be for Joe Lieberman. Also Illinois and Colorado are very tight races, which could go either way as well and if the Dems can hold one of those seats, the Republicans won't have a chance.
Projection: 50 Democrats 48 Republicans 2 Independents(who caucus with the Democrats)
Just a side note. This won't really affect the balance of Power, but the Senate Race in Alaska is a 3 way cluster fuck. One of the Republican candidates is sure to win, but I doubt any of them breaks 40%
Ohio Senate Race
This race isn't competitive. Rob Portman(R) will be able to win the seat easily, which is being vacated by the retiring George Voinovich(R). This may be the most impressive of the Republican victories statewide.
Projection: Called when the polls close
Ohio's Governor Race
The fact that this race is even close is a credit to how poorly the Kasich Campaign has been run. The incumbent Governor Ted Strickland(D) has been effective in his attacks against Kasich and has used his war chest to flood the airwaves and the web with last week advertising. John Kasich(R) has been consistently ahead by 3-5 points in the polls for the past week. He's pretty close to getting to 50% as well and it's almost a certainty that the undecideds will break decisively for him.
Kasich wins by a few points.
Projection: Late Night Call.
Things to Look For Tomorrow Night
Is there a liberal back-lash against the Tea-Party?
It's obvious that the apathetic voters this election are on the Democratic side. A lot of Dems aren't too thrilled with their leadership. However, if there is something that can fire up the Liberal base, it is the tea party. Will the tea party cause enough of a spike in the Democratic vote to help the Democrats hold onto congress? I say look to the Senate Race in Nevada and see what effects the tea party candidate has on turnout on both sides.
Is the recent tightening of races by Democrats an indicator of them being able to survive the night?
This is really hard to say. In races like these, the party in power will likely see a tightening in the polls late, as some apathetic and wandering party voters are pulled back into the fold. The problem is that undecided voters will break overwhelmingly to the Republicans on election day. I'd say if a Democrat isn't up in the polls now, he or she is more than likely going to lose. Again, it will be a long and nervous night for the Democrats.
If Harry Reid loses who will be the new Leader of the Democrats in the Senate?
Alright, there you have it. It might all be wrong. Check on this blog tomorrow night as I will provide election night coverage.
Thanks for reading and please comment.