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2010 Mid Term Election Predictions and Analysi

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Well, time to dust off the ol’ crystal ball and see what’s gonna happen tomorrow. Fear and loathing in the Midwest. One thing I’m pretty sure will happen is I will drown my progressive Green Wobbly sorrows at Drinking Liberally – Kelleher’s Tavern on Water Street in Peoria, 6:30 to?

Let me start locally. Here in Tazewell county, I predict that the incumbent Republican Sheriff will lose to the Democratic challenger. Davis (Dem) over Huston (GOP). Spanos will win a judgeship in the 10th circuit.

I think Mike Smith and Jehan Gordon (both Dems) will survive and retain their seats in the Illinois House.

In Central Illinois U.S. House races, Dems will suffer painful losses. There is very little chance of DK Hirner beating Aaron Schock of the fabulous 6 pack abs. What am I saying? There is no chance. This time. The Green party’s Sheldon Schafer will exceed expectations and get 3 or 4 per cent.

In Illinois 17, I think Debbie Halvorson will be a victim of the Republican wave and lose to whoever the tea baggers are running. Over in Il 19, I think Phil hare will win by a whisker, thanks to superior gotv. Get it? Hare by a whisker. Ha ha. I slay me.

Moving on to U.S Senate, sadly, Lealan Jones will come in third. Giannoulias will be first runner up, and the new Miss Illinois is Mark Kirk. Ptoui.

Pat Quinn will fall victim to the anti-incumbency mood, Blago hangover and his own dithering and hand the Governorship to tea bagger Bill Brady. Illinois is so screwed. Whitney of the Greens has a chance of getting five per cent and keeping his party on the ballot.

One caveat: if the Democratic gotv is really really good, one or both of Giannoulias and Quinn might squeak through.

Shall we look at selected races around the U.S. of A? First, the bad news: Rubio takes the Senate seat in Florida (big surprise,eh?). The good news is that FL’s new Governor will be Democrat Alex Sink.

Up the coast a bit, I am bravely predicting Tom Perriello retains his House seat. Maybe after a recount. Delaware…well, you know. O’Donnell is toast. But we can still feel lust in our hearts for her. maybe she’ll be back on TV with Bill Maher. Oh, and congrats to new Senator Chris Coons.

Joe Sestak will not be so lucky (unless the gotv is spectacular), but Blumenthal in Connecticut and Mancin in WV will be.

In Ohio, Dems reelect Strickland as Governor but lose the open Senate seat big time.

In KY Paul has the jelly. More ptoui.

In Co, Bennett beats buck. I do believe Reid will sneak past Sharon Angle, one of the most repulsive politicians I have ever seen live or on tv.

Good news for the Dems in CA, where Brown and Boxer both prevail.

Way up north in Alaska, I am going to go way out on a limb and predict that Scott Macadam will be the new Senator from the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Those are some cherry picked races to which I have paid enough attention to be able to predict a winner. I don’t really have a system or methodological basis for such predictions. I just soak up whatever info I can find in various media and then let my gut make the call. Accuracy sometimes suffers from wishful thinking. Please do not use these predictions for betting purposes. I couldn’t live with myself if you lost your home because my gut was acting up.

As far as the big picture goes, the Go Teabaggers will have more governorships after tomorrow. The Democrats will still have a Senate majority. In the House, everybody is predicting 50 or so seats lost by theb Dems to the GOP. Some see the possibility of 70 to 77 Dem seats changing hands – or whatever it is that seats change.

Nate Silver is one of those pundits predicting the Democrats will lose 55 or 56 House seats. But silver also sees a possibility that Dem losses might not be so bad. In fact, he says it is possible the Democrats keep their House majority.

I have found it hard to believe that U.S. voters would reward republicans so lavishly for creating the Great Recession and then being obstructionist and completely uninterested in trying to end it. The GOP – and to be fair, the Democrats – have run a pretty vacant campaign. Neither party has had much to say about how to lower unemployment. Yes, the right talks about reducing taxes, government spending and something called the “size and scope of the federal government”. Who cares about such abstractions when people are losing their home.

I also think the Democrats gotv effort could mitigate their losses.

Nate silver also see this as a possibility. In fact, he has a post at 538 today titled 5 Reasons Democrats Could beat the polls and keep the House.

1. The cellphone effect. This one is pretty simple, really: a lot of American adults (now about one-quarter of them) have ditched their landlines and rely exclusively on their mobile phones, and a lot of pollsters don’t call mobile phones. Cellphone-only voters tend to be younger, more urban, and less white — all Democratic demographics — and a study by Pew Research suggests that the failure to include them might bias the polls by about 4 points against Democrats, even after demographic weighting is applied.
2. The ‘robopoll’ effect. Unlike in past years, there are significant differences between the results shown by automated surveys and those which use live human interviewers — the ‘robopolls’ being 3 or 4 points more favorable to Republicans over all, although the effects vary a lot from firm to firm.
3. Some likely voter models, particularly Gallup’s, may “crowd out” Democratic voters. Gallup’s traditional likely voter model has consistently shown terrible results for Democrats this year, having them down by around 15 points on the generic ballot, which could translate into a loss of 70 to 80 House seats, or maybe even more. The Gallup poll and the Gallup poll alone is probably responsible for much of the sense of impending doom that Democrats feel and the (premature for at least 24 more hours) sense of triumphalism that Republicans are experiencing.
4. Democrats probably have better turnout operations. This is always what a party says when it’s about to lose an election: our amazing turnout operation will save us!

Still, Democrats probably do have an edge in this department with the voter lists and infrastructure they built up during Barack Obama’s campaign, and which have been perpetuated to some extent by Organizing For America. John McCain, by contrast, eschewed his ground game, devoting almost all of his money to advertising.

Now, Republicans may not need a terrific turnout operation — their voters are charged up enough, and probably don’t need a lot of glossy fliers and door-knocks.

Nevertheless, Democrats might be able to coax an extra percentage point or two of their vote to the polls, especially in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania where they’ve invested a ton of resources over the years. And in the event where Democratic turnout equaled that of Republicans (it won’t; the point is they might be able to get it a bit closer), they would probably hold the House, even with most independents breaking against them.
5. The consensus view of Democratic doom is not on such sound footing as it seems. When a party is likely to sustain fairly significant losses in a midterm election — and Democrats are going to sustain fairly significant losses tomorrow — there are a lot of things you might expect to see.

This is the optimistic view, and Silver doesn’t see this scenario as probable. But it is not impossible either.

Bottom line, I go along with the consensus that Dems will lose the House, but, I would not be surprised if we are all surprised.

Tomorrow, I will consider what the changed landscape in Congress (whatever it is) might mean.

DK Hirner at Peoria Drinking Liberally – 7/27/10

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As is my custom on alternate Tuesdays. I attended last night’s meeting of Peoria Drinking Liberally. While I am more of a green Wobbly than a liberal or a democrat, I will at least cop to being a progressive. I find the discussions at these affairs both stimulating and bracing and I have grown very fond of the dozen or so that attend as regularly as I.

Last night, we were joined by the 2010 Democratic candidate for the Illinois 18 Congressional District, D.K. Hirner (accompanied by her husband Chuck). I must admit to being impressed with Ms. Hirner as a candidate and as a person. She seems intelligent, articulate and down to earth, aware of the issues and the problems many voters face in this mess of an economy the wealthy have imposed on us.

That does not constitute an endorsement and I am not sure who, if anyone I will vote for this year. I am more than a little disappointed with the performance last year and this of the national Democrats. In particular I deplore the performance of President Rahm Emmanuel – er I mean the other one. Obama.

The stimulus was too small, health care and wall street reform legislation was too timid, and the escalation in Afghanistan was too big. Other than that, the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats are doing a heckuva job.

I could vote Green, but Sheldon Shaefer, the Green candidate in Illinois 18, cannot earn my support until he gives up being an anti choice forced birther. Too bad, because in many ways Sheldon is a very fine candidate. Anyway, in the absence of a Labor or Socialist or Social Democratic party here, I might vote for other Green candidates.

But there are plenty of Democrats to admire in both the House and Senate: Grayson, Kucinich, Franken, Schakowsky. Pelosi and Durbin immediately spring to mind as skilled legislators whose heads and hearts are in the right (or left) place. It is regrettable that there aren’t 50 or so Bernie Sanders’, because he has the whole government thing totally figured out.

So I was eager to engage Candidate Hirner in a discussion of the issues to see whether she is enough of a progressive to overcome the stigma of being a Democrat, the party of Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln, as well as all those good Dems mentioned above. I have to admit, she did not disappoint. The Hirners spent a good part of the evening with our little group. DK did not just show up to give a 5 minute speech and ask for our votes. Rather, she and Chuck settled down for a pleasant evening at the pub (Kellehers on Water Street btw) and had a beer or two and a little bit of Irish fare.

The discussion was wide ranging and Hirner had one on one’s with several individuals, including me. She said the right things when I asked about the issues. She agreed that it’s time to start withdrawing from Afghanistan. Unemployment is her number one priority. She favors a public option (dang, I should have asked about single payer).

Hirner’s strategy involves attacking the incumbent, Aaron Schock, at every opportunity, and he provides plenty of those. The attacks are on policy and records, nothing personal, which is refreshing these days. For example, Schock votes against unemployment insurance extensions when they come up, and he routinely votes against job creation measures. The challenge is to make swing voters aware of Schock’s record with little or no assistance from the local corporate media (including NPR).

As I said, I was impressed. I may come around to support eventually. There is one disturbing piece of Hirner’s bio that is on her campaign website. from 2005 to 20009 She was Executive Director of
Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group. Sounds green and Earth friendly, doesn’t it. but the IERG is an industry group formed to present a united negotiating front when negotiating environmental regulations with the state government. Does that make Hirner a Blue Dog? Not necessarily. She is endorsed bu unions like the UAW and IBEW.

As I said, I was impressed. I may come around to support eventually. But for now, I am holding out for a firmer commitment to progressive government from Hirner and her party.

Congressional Activity, May 11-14

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Here are this weeks major votes by our local critters:

May 12: The House passed an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code to include children of Vietnam War and certain Korean War veterans receiving care and services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for spina bifida-related medical conditions as meeting the definition of minimum essential coverage under requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Halvorson, Hare and Schock all voted Yea.

That is it for actual legislation voted on this week. The rest of the House activity was parliamentary activity like consideration of amendments and resolutions that only monsters would vote against. Like one expressing sympathy for the victims of the floods in Tennessee , Kentucky and Mississippi. No! Boo!. To heck with the flood victims.

Over on the Senate side, Burris and Durbin have been busy with their 98 other colleagues considering the Financial Reform legislation. Some amendments passed and some failed. My favorite is the amendment introd by Bernie Sanders (Socialist, Vermont) to audit the Federal Reserve Bank. The amendment’s description is as follows:

To require the non-partisan Government Accountability Office to conduct an independent audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System that does not interfere with monetary policy, to let the American people know the names of the recipients of over $2,000,000,000,000 in taxpayer assistance from the Federal Reserve System, and for other purposes.

Guess what! It passed 96-0. Go Bernie, Go Bernie.

Who knew there were at least 96 socialists in the U.S. Senate.

Written by slothropia

May 14th, 2010 at 10:54 am

Schock of the Fightin’ 18th

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For those still wondering about Aaron Schock, all is revealed here – or is it?

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District – Illinois’ 18th – Aaron Schock
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor NASA Name Contest

Seriously, was Colbert actually trying to out Aaron? Was Schock playing along or an unwilling dupe?

Written by slothropia

April 16th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

“Ya Gotta Serve Somebody…”

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This past Sunday, the Peoria Journal Star ran a puff piece about the current congressional representative for the 18th CD of Illinois. The story could have gained a little texture if the reporter had asked Mr. Schock if he supports the de facto head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh. Or does he agree with the chair of the Republican National Committee who says that the GOP needs to go all hip hop – or something.

Or Congressman Eric Cantor who says that all Americans should hope the President succeeds in turning the economy around.

Like Bob Dylan said when he thought he was a Christian, “Ya gotta serve somebody. It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but ya gotta serve somebody.”

It may be the people or it may be the Rush, but you gotta serve somebody.

Written by slothropia

March 3rd, 2009 at 1:12 pm