Tuesday, November 07, 2006

8:00 PM (AL,DE,CT, FL, IL, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, MS, NJ, OK, PA, TN)

CT-Sen: Lieberman (I) v. Lamont (D) v. Schlesinger (R) -- One of the country's most famous and watched races is more or less ending with a wimper. Baring an under the radar groundswell, Lieberman should be able to prevail, basically on the support of Independent and Republican voters. The bigger drama could come if Lieberman is the 51st vote in a Democratic Senate, but that is still down the road. Prediction: Lieberman - Dem hold?

CT-2: Simmons (R)* v. Courtney (D) -- Six months ago this was the most endangered Republican seat in CT. But Simmons was well prepared and has run an excellent campaign. Courtney has gotten most of the newspaper endorsements and will take advantage of a Pesidential approval rating in the 20's. This one will be tight, but having had enough warning, Simmons will prevail. Prediction: Simmons - GOP hold.

CT-4: Shays (R)* v. Farrell (D) -- Another race that the Republicans can point at Bush if they lose. Shays is certainly a moderate in a district that includes towns such as Greenwich and New Cannan. But his support for the war has killed him and his loss of the the New York Times endorsement may have been the nail in his coffin. Prediction: Farrell - Dem Pick up.

CT-5: Johnson (R)* v. Murphy (D) -- At 71, Nancy Johnson has shown that she still has a lot of fight in her. Her campaign has run some of the most negative commercials and attack ads in the country. I think Johnson wasn't as prepared for this challenge as she was last time, and Chris Murphy is an intelligent and attractive candidate, who could have a national presence soon, if he wins. Of the three CT house races, this one will be the closest. Prediction: Murphy - Dem Pick up.

FL-Gov: Crist (R) v. Davis (D) -- I was ready to think that Davis had come close, but would fail by about 5 points, until yesterday's snubbing of President Bush by Crist. That tells me two things, 1) his internal polls have this tight enough so that he is worried that having the last image voters see is Bush and him together would be deadly and 2) instead the last thing Republican voters hear is that he snubbed the President and that Karl Rove is mad at him. This is the type of unforced error that political pros may be looking at for a while. So I predict the upset. Prediction: Davis - Dem Pick up.

FL-Sen: Nelson (D)* v. Harris (R) -- The only questions is will Katherine be able to crack 30%? My guess is no. (And of course, the craziness that she has demonstrated on the campaign trail should in no way lead anyone to question her objectiveness back in 2000! OK, I'm still bitter.) Prediction: Nelson - Dem hold.

FL-13: Buchanan (R) v. Jennings (D) -- Harris' craziness has also hurt the Republican in her current district. This should be a safe GOP seat, but ethical questions about Buchanan combined with sanity questions about Harris have made this a competitive seat. Prediction: Jennings - Dem Pick up.

FL-16: Foley/Negron (R) v. Mahoney (D) -- Mark Foley's name still shows up on the ballot, but his votes go toward Negron, got it? Although Republican express a great deal of hope that they have done enough to convince voters that a vote for Foley is really a vote for Negron, it still will be tough for some voters to vote for Foley anyway. Of course, Mahoney has been a pretty poos candidate, so Foley/Negron has a real chance. In the end, I think the name on the ballot wins over the name not on the ballot. Prediction: Mahoney - Dem Pick up.

FL-22: Shaw(R)* v. Klein (D) - Another one of the races that everyone knew would be close six months ago. Klein looks to have a small edge, which should be enough in the current GOP toxic atmosphere. Prediction: Klein - Dem Pick up.

IL-Gov: Blogojevich (D)* v. Topinka (R) -- A pox on both their houses election. There are actually a couple of third party candidates that register in the polls as well. Will be tight and the winner will be under 50%, but look for the incumbent to win by 3 or 4. Prediction: Blogojevich - Dem. hold.

IL-6: Ducksworth (D) v. Roskam (R) -- The fact that Henry Hyde's seat is competitive is quite telling about the national atmosphere. Ducksworth is a Iraq War vet who lost both her legs, yet Roskam was able to get the VFW endorsement. The polls have been all over the place on this one, but I think the district's natural GOP bent pulls Roskam across. Prediction: Roskam - GOP hold.

IL-8: Bean (D)* v. McSweeney (R) -- This is one of the seats that Republicans have been targeting since 2004. But this is not the year that any Democratic incumbents lose. Prediction: Bean-Dem hold.

KS-2: Ryun(R)* v. Boyda (D) -- This will be a very telling race. It just showed up on the radar about three weeks ago and both parties have been pouring money into it. Ryun should win, but if he doesn't -- look out. Prediction: Ryun - GOP hold.

MD-Gov: Ehrlich (R)* v. O'Malley (D) -- O'Malley has been ahead, but Ehrlich has been quickly closing the gap. Will be another very close Maryland election. Prediction: O'Malley - Dem Pick up.

MD-Sen: Cardin (D) v. Steele (R) -- If there is one Democratic Senate seat that the GOP captures tonight, this is the one. Steele has run an excellent campaign and has made some real inroads into the black vote. In any other year Steele would win, but not this year. Prediction: Cardin - Dem hold.

MI-Gov: Granholm (D)* v. DeVos (R) -- Republicans had high hopes in a state that has a pretty weak economy. But DeVos, despite being ahead this summer, hasn't been able to close the deal. Granholm has pulled ahead and looks to be comfortably ahead. Prediction: Granholm - Dem hold.

MO-Sen: Talent (R)* v. McCaskill (D) -- This is the race that should decide where the Senate goes. The most recent polling has McCaskill slightly ahead, but within the margin of error. Both candidates have run a mostly error-free campaign and both seem to still be highly regarded. Both sides claim that their GOTV is in high swing. Don't expect a winner in this one until sometime on Weds. Prediction: Talent - GOP hold.

NJ-Sen: Menendez (D)* v. Kean (R) -- Any other year I would give the edge to Kean. Real ethical questions do exist about Menendez, but in a battle between a little corruption and a vote for President Bush, NJ voters may choose the corruption. Prediction: Menendez - Dem hold.

PA-Sen: Santorum (R)* v. Casey (D) -- Santorum has strongly been proclaiming his conservative views, so when he looses it can be safely said that the PA electorate has firmly rejected those views. The only question in my mind is whether FOX News already has a show lined up for him come January. Prediction: Casey - Dem Pick up.

PA-4: Hart (R)* v. Altmire (D) -- Another district to watch for the wave. If Hart goes down, Democrats could pick up 40 or so seats. Prediction: Hart - GOP hold.

PA-6: Gerlach (R)* v. Murphy (D) -- This seat is much closer and a rerun of 2004. Latest polls have Murphy slightly ahead. Prediction: Murphy - Dem Pick up.

PA-7: Weldon (R)* v. Sestack (D) -- When the FBI raids your daughter's offices a month before the election, your chances are not very good. Prediction: Sestack - Dem Pick up.

PA-8: Fitzpatrick (R)* v. Murphy (D) -- We could have three Murphys as Freshman Representatives come January, and all three should probably send than you cards to Bush. Prediction: Murphy - Dem Pick up.

PA-10: Sherwood (R)* v. Carney (D) -- When you have to run an ad that says that I cheated on my wife, but I did not choke my mistress, your chances are not very good. Prediction: Carney - Dem Pick up.

TN-Sen: Corker (R) v. Ford (D) -- Harold Ford Jr. has run an excellent campaign, but is hard for a single, young, black man who comes from a famously ethically challenged family to win in Tenn. In fact, if you removed any one of those factors, he would probably be well ahead. Corker has run a safe campaign, but this election is about Harold Ford, either you're for him or against him. Prediction: Corker - GOP hold.
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