Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Midterm Election Predictions

All Nate Silver will tell you is that the Democrats have about an 83% chance of holding onto the Senate after the midterm elections, and a 27% chance of holding the House, and I'm sure his analysis is sound based on the data at his disposal.  But his predictions are filled with so many caveats and contingencies that they are about as useful as the weatherman telling you that there is a 30% chance of rain tomorrow.  I, on the other hand, will go out on a limb and tell you exactly what is going to happen on election night this year:

-Republicans will say that the election results amount to a resounding repudiation of the whole Obama agenda, and show that the country wants to turn in a completely different direction, toward lower taxes, smaller government and less regulation.

-Democrats will say that the party in power almost always suffers severe losses in the midterm elections, comparable to what happened this year, and it is amazing that the Democrats did as well as they did considering the state of the economy and continuing high unemployment.  Meanwhile, the country as a whole has shown no desire to return to the failed policies of the Bush years.

-Conservatives in both parties will say that the election results prove that the Obama administration needs to move toward the center, and stop trying to promote a doctrinaire, radical, left wing agenda.

-Liberals will say that the election results prove that the Obama administration needs to move toward the left, and pay more attention to his base.  Democrats would have done better if Obama wasn't so wishy-washy and conciliatory.

-Partisans on the right will say that Obama now has no choice but to trim back his proposals and adopt the Republican program of lower taxes and smaller government; while partisans on the left will say that Obama must resist this program more strongly than before.  Moderates will point out that the president is going to have to use all of his negotiating skills to deal with a more resistant Congress, and will now have the chance to show whether he can get beyond partisan stalemate.

-Fox News will herald the Republicans' triumphs, while MSNBC will gloat about any Tea Party candidates who fail to win election.  Over on CNN, Wolf Blitzer will continue to look befuddled.

Remember, you heard it all here first.


  1. Joe, I love it when you do Carnac The Magnificent!

    Carnak: (holding the envelope to his head) "The answer is sis, boom, baa."

    Ed: "Hiyo!"

    Carnak: (tearing open the envelope): "Describe the sound that's made when a sheep explodes."


  2. Outside of the activists, the voters don't really seem to care what the Democrats or Republicans or Tea Partiers or the pundits are saying. People are genuinely worried about their economic futures, and they lack the historic perspective that our economy is cyclical and will arrive at a new equilibrium, so they are going to impatiently punish the people whom they perceive to be in power.

    The fact that there are so many whack jobs among the new crop of legislators is a function not of a national malaise, but of the kooky system we have for nominating candidates, whereby the folks on the fringes have too much of a say.

  3. Insightful! Question: What do you call an amoeba with a pseudopod the length of a giraffe’s neck? Answer: A gerrymandered district.

    The reason we have kooky and even more kooky local elected officials that could never ever attain national office is because party candidates have to run against one another in gerrymandered districts in primaries. It produces a race to the bottom/top for select groups.

  4. Prop. 19 passes in CA. Angle beats Reid in NV. Dems keep control of Senate but Repubs gain 8 seats. Dems lose control of House. Pelosi cries herself to sleep.

  5. Wow, Joe. I think you may have it figured out. We may all be surprised to see just how many of your predictions come true on November 3.

  6. OK, here is a wild prediction: the new GOP majority in the House will spend most of its time holding hearings on meaningless issues along the lines of Whitewater, Vince Foster suicide, TravelGate, etc. in an effort to delegitimize the Obama Administration. For all we know, we might have a hearing into "KenyaGate"....

    I greatly regret that instead of whining about the Citizens United decision, that the President and Congress could have accepted the Supreme Court's rather specific invitation and passed a "campaign contribution transparency bill" before turning its attention to anything else. It would seem to me that protecting our democracy is our representative's primary task, and everything else - including health care and financial reform - follows from that.

  7. The Republicans have already announced that if they take the House, they plan to do nothing but start serving subpoenas. I'm sure that's just what the American people have been clamoring for.

    And the Democrats did try to pass something called the DISCLOSE Act, but the Republicans filibustered it of course. There still might be hope for passing that bill in the lame duck session coming up. There really are no good arguments against it.


    I answered "No" to "do you pretend to like Tavis Smiley and Tyler Perry even though they suck?" That clinched my voting as a Dem due to the NPR. If I had said yes, things would have been different!