Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An Eye on the Elections

Here’s a look at national races right now!
by Charlie Leck

Here are the races that most interest me right now – that are important to those of us who call ourselves progressives

California Senate Race
Barbara Boxer continues to carry a very minimal lead (2 percentage points) over her Republican and female opponent, Carly Fiorina. In honesty, this one has got to be called a toss-up.

Wisconsin Senate Race
Russ Feingold, one of the finest senators in the history of this nation, continues to trail the Republican, Ron Johnson, but the lead is slightly less than a week ago (7 percentage points). Feingold continues to work hard and progressives are hoping for a huge surge of young voters who will carry Feingold to victory. Likely, it’s dreaming! There’s an interesting story in today’s local paper from the McClatchy News Service that discusses Wisconsin’s shift from a liberal-state-of-mind to a much more conservative one. 74 percent of Wisconsin voters called themselves liberal or moderate in 2006. Now, only 53 percent label themselves as such. 47 percent of voters now call themselves conservatives. Too bad! For years, Wisconsin has been the leading liberal state in the nation and I’ve admired it so for that.

Nevada Senate Race
Harry Reid the Democratic leader of the Senate is in the fight of his life. At the moment, the race is dead even. Again, this race may depend on the young and their willingness to get out and vote. Obama will try to raise the dead out there. Maybe!

Colorado Senate Race
Most experts are calling this race between the Republican nut-case, Ken Buck, and the incumbent Democrat, Michael Bennet, a toss-up. I think it looks dangerously like a significant lead of 4 or 5 points for the Republicans.

Washington Senate Race
Patty Murray, whose fund-raisers call constantly, looking for dough, is in a tough race against her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi. Rasmussen gives Murray only a 3 point lead in this one, which would make it a statistical toss-up. CNN/Time, however, has Murray with an 8 point lead. I’d go into utter depression if Murray loses out there.

Illinois Senate Race
Well, one wonders which crook will steal the election in Illinois this year. What a reputation that state has in matters politik. Remember how difficult it was to pronounce the name of the state’s corrupt Democratic governor – what was it? – Bleh-goy-O-vich! Well, try out the Democratic candidate for the Senate, Mr. Alexi Giannoulias. All recent polls there show the race is a dead-even tie. The Republican candidate for the senate seat is Mark Kirk. At one time, Giannoulias had an 8 point lead in this race.

West Virginia Senate Race
There is no incumbent in West Virginia. The race there is dead-even. The Republican candidate is John Raese and the Democrat is Joe Manchin. Raese boasts that he is a life-time member of the National Rifle Association (naturally) and a conservative businessman. He runs and owns most of Greer Industries in West Virginia and he also has deep roots in the communications/entertainment field. Manchin is currently the governor of West Virginia. He played football at the University of West Virginia, worked in business and served in the State Legislature for almost 14 years. He’s a pilot and an outdoorsman who hunts and fishes and rides his motorcycle. He and his wife have 3 children.

Control of the House of Representatives
It would take some kind of miracle for the Democrats to retain control of the House of Representatives. Right now the Republicans have commanding leads over many Democratic incumbents. There will, however, be some major surprises for both parties in these races. In Minnesota, it looks like incumbents will win in all House races. That means the reelection of the notoriously nutty Michel Bachman, probably the worst member of the House for the last four years. Too bad, but her opponent has just not shown enough energy or charisma to win over the fence-sitters.

At the moment, it looks like 141 House seats are certain for Democrats while the Republicans are counting on 162 certain seats. It will take 218 seats to control the House. There are 40 races out there that are absolute toss-ups. Adding in the races leaning toward them, to control the Republicans would only have to take half of those toss-up races and they probably will.


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