Sunday, June 1, 2014

Going Out in a Blaze of Glory

I’m going out in a blaze of glory folks. I’m moving closer and closer to two thousands blogs. That was the original ticking point for retiring from blogging. I’ve changed my perspective and goals a little bit and I’m now setting my retirement date (whatever number of blogs that will amount to). It’s 5 November 2014. On that day I’ll write my final blog here on Ad Astra.
by Charlie Leck
Most of you have already figured out why I’ve changed my exit strategy. It’s simple. I can’t walk away from carefully watching and writing about the upcoming election. I’ll hang around and write my last blog on the day after the election. Then I’ll tip my hat and say au revoir et bon chance!
During the 2008 election I wrote blogs from Mississippi, Chicago, Georgia, Texas, Oregon and France. From July through October, 90 percent of those blogs were about the presidential election and the race between John McCain and Barack Obama. During September and October of that year I averaged over 5,000 readers per blog. Also during that period, I was called by readers everything from “hate monger” to “idiot” to “prophet.”
The coming election features no presidential race, so the numbers of readers will not likely be so high. Nevertheless, this is an election that I intend to watch with as sharp and as careful an eye as I can. The major contest has nothing to do with a couple of individuals and everything to do with the two parties. The major question is: Can the Democrats hold their control of the Senate? If they do, Barack Obama will be able to continue to function somewhat comfortably in the White House. If the Republicans take over the Senate, the President’s remaining time in office may be absolute hell.
I did a pretty good job of reading the polls in 2008 and my predictions concerning the presidential race turned out to be basically perfect. I got very familiar with virtually every polling organization in American and I learned which ones I could trust, which ones tend to lean toward one party or the other, and which ones generally blew hot air.
It was very different in 2012 and it will be even more different this year. Now, you see, we have Nate Silver and 538. This is probably the only political analyst and poll watcher who can possibly claim 100 percent accuracy in the last two elections (2010 and 2012). So, the temptation is to simply read Nate Silver and take him as gospel. I’m certainly going to keep in very close touch with his polling analysis, but I’m not going to stop analyzing the polls myself.
Beginning this week, I will write at least weekly about what the polls are telling us about the 2014 U.S. Senate races. There will be several that will be watched very closely. I’ll have my eyes glued on the races in Georgia and Kentucky. There will also be important and hotly contested races in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia; however, I’ll keep you informed about each and every single U.S. Senate race happening this fall (including the one right here in Minnesota between our incumbent Senator, Al Franken, and his conservative, businessman challenger, Mike Mcfadden).
And, oh yes, I’ll also be very closely watching one House race; and that will be the contest to take over Ms. Bachmann’s seat in Minnesota’s sixth congressional district. Tom Emmer, a politician I just detest, will be trying to take over Representative Bachmann’s seat. He will probably succeed unless he makes terrible, terrible mistakes (something of which he is very capable).
I look forward, nervously, to these elections.
Then, on the day after the election, I will happily bow out of the blogging world – and get back to reading more.
Those of you who get any inside information on these races, be sure to pass it along to me.


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1 comment:

  1. Glad you are hanging on a little longer. Strange, but I've pretty much decided that my blogging days are pretty much over.