Monday, November 06, 2006

Election 2006 predictions

I will not hold myself accountable at all for these predictions. After all, the analysts for every sports department for every newspaper, television network and cable television network spend 40 hours per week or more watching NFL game film trying to predict next week's winners, and they get many of the games wrong every week. Yet the following week the pundits are back at it making the bold predictions that'll make them look stupid.

Therefore I will make my election predictions without fear.

This year promises to be like 1986, a very bad year for Republicans nationwide but not so bad for Republicans in Wisconsin. In 1986 Wisconsin Senator Bob Kasten held on to win in one of the nastiest political campaigns in history. His opponent was former NFL Player Association Counsel Ed Garvey who ran on the slogan, "A senator we can be proud of." Garvey lost because his slogan ended with a preposition. Kasten was the only Republican Senator up for re-election that won nationwide.

1986 was also the year the Man from Elroy, Tommy Thompson, defeated the hapless Tony Earl in another very close race.

Wisconsin Governor
Congressman Mark Green in a squeaker. 51%-48%. The late breaking undecideds will not break for the incumbent. Exit polls will show taxes, corruption to be the key issues. The black vote in Milwaukee will not turn out like they did in 2004. Heck, given the violence on the streets of Milwaukee, it might be safer for them to stay home.

Kagen's self-destruction will be complete Tuesday, and Democrats in the 8th Congressional District will be stuck wondering at "what could've been." Gard wins handily. The RNC and the RNCC will be vindicated for picking Gard over McCormick. COnservatives should be grateful the RNC and the RNCC picked the more conservative candidate for once.

Closer to home, Bryan Kennedy loses big to Sensenbrenner. Kennedy will file for unemployment on Wednesday, as nobody will donate money to a candidate to pay himself and his child's nanny three losing campaigns in a row. This scam ends by the same margin as the last time Kennedy ran.

The rest of the Congressional delegation will remain unchanged. Dave Magnum may do better than expected against Tammy Baldwin, but that still makes his race a loser.

On the national level, the Republicans lose control by just 2-5 seats.

US Senate
Burns in Montana, Allen in Virginia and Corker in Tennessee all win, holding the Republican majority. Steele wins in Maryland, the upset shocker of the year. Talent loses in Missouri in a race that gets contested for days. The polls in St Louis will not close on time. Lost in the controversies will be the discovery Michael J Fox voted in St. Louis - twice.

Senator Kohl's Milwaukee Bucks will lose to the Chicago Bulls Monday night. Kohl will have his cookies and flavored milk (Tuesday night is Root Beer night) and be in bed by 8:30pm. He's still confused why Congressman Ron Kind got him the subscription to the AARP Bulletin.

State Senate
Republicans will lose one, State Senator Tom Reynolds. It's a seat they shouldn't lose. While the road builders will claim credit for taking Reynolds out, it will be the strange antics and bad advice that will have taken Reynolds down.

Republican McReynolds in Racine County will win handily. Lehman was a really bad candidate.

State Senator Dave Zien will hold on to win. Zien continuing to serve in the State Senate while Tom Reynolds loses should bother someone's conscience in Madison - but it won't.

Unfortunately, Senator Dale Schultz will continue as majority leader.

State Assembly
Kramer, Zipperer, Vukmir and Newcomer will all win easily. Republicans will hold their majority easily despite the Democrats Howard Dean-like effort to recruit candidates for as many districts as possible.

State Attorney General
Van Hollen will defeat Falk 53% to 46%. I wouldn't be shocked if the margin ends up wider. I fully expect a press release from Brian Fraley tomorrow e-mailed to me from a cranberry bog saying they've found the terrorists and guess what? They're illegal aliens! My response will be, "Your Blackberry can send a message from there? I'm impressed."

Despite a desperate attempt by Fair Wisconsin to confuse the issue, voters will have been sufficiently disturbed by what happened in New Jersey and will vote yes. Because of Fair Wisconsin's deceptive campaign, the margin will be closer than would be expected. I think the amendment passes with 55% of the vote. If Fair Wisconsin had fought the battle stating their real purpose in their advertising instead of pretending that a vote "No" is a vote against gay marriage, I think the Vote Yes side would get 65% of the vote.

Unfortunately, I think the death penalty referendum also passes. The margin will be padded as a result of the irrelevant addition of the DNA requirement. Irrelevant, because as I pointed out in the Waukesha Freeman,
...the evidence is only as good as the prosecution that argues it, the police that gather it, the lab that processes it and the jury's understanding of it. As much as we may be intimidated by the science of the evidence, we can at least appreciate the potential of failure from the human component of the evidentiary chain.
Look for the death penalty referendum to pass with 65% of the vote, minimum. Afterwards, there will be no movement in the state legislature on the issue.

Election breakdowns
I suppose we should count ourselves fortunate Senator Santorum will lose by a wide enough margin that we won't have to suffer through a Seattle-like recount in Philadelphia. Unfortunately the same can't be said in Missouri. St. Louis could be a real mess and a real partisan battleground before the week is out.

Closer to home, if the Green-Doyle race comes down to less than 1 or 2 percent we could see lawyers fighting it out in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Racine counties. Unfortunately for Green, as we've seen with the state elections board, Doyle controls the playing field and has no scruples about using his power for personal advantage.

And finally, there was some speculation that Mark Green would use the decision by the state elections board to strip his campaign of over $400,000 to contest the election. Given Green's statement the other day that he could effectively campaign without the money I would say that it would be tough to make a challenge. However, Cory Liebman is not convinced that Republicans won't try.