Sunday, November 02, 2008

2008 Election Predictions

Because I am so good at this, I'm going to go ahead and offer up my predictions for election night: Barack Obama will win with 355 electoral votes.

What to Watch For on Tuesday Night

Despite John McCain's claims that they are making a last minute national surge -- his campaign manager, Rick Davis, argued that Barack Obama is advertising in Arizona, Montana and Georgia in a desperate last-ditch attempt to broaden his territory to eke out a win -- there are hardly any scenarios in which McCain pulls this off.

McCain's one hope is to win Pennsylvania, but poll guru Nate Silver has said that Obama has a better chance of winning Arizona than losing the Keystone, not great odds for McCain. As I said last week, I think Obama's electoral floor is 272, and that's without Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Indiana and North Carolina. Barack Obama doesn't need any of those states to win, but McCain needs them all, plus PA.

Once Virginia and Pennsylvania are called for Obama, we can start popping the champagne. (Nonetheless, I also have a bottle of Jack Daniel's on hand, just in case.)

Other Races

Oh, I am looking forward to cleaning house in a big way. Buh-bye, Senator Stevens and Senator Dole. Sayonara, Michelle Bachman. I am also crossing my fingers for the end of Ohio's crazy congresswoman Jean Schmidt. My wish list includes victories for Al Franken in Minnesota and incumbent governor Chris Gregoire in Washington, but those are too close to call.

Proposition 8 in California...we just have to hope.

In Oregon, it appears the bell will toll for Senator Gordon Smith. I struggled with my vote on this one. I don't have any particular issue with Sen. Smith; I think he's one of the few congressional Republicans with any integrity, and he's been a faithful steward for the state of Oregon. That was almost enough for me to vote for him, right there. His challenger, Jeff Merkley, ran some dispiriting ads, and Smith responded in kind, which has been very disappointing. Nonetheless, when it came right down to it, I couldn't deny that Merkley is going to be the more reliable vote on issues that are important to me.

The Future of the Republican Party

Civil war's a-brewin'.

Many Republicans will chuck Sarah Palin under the bus as the albatross that sank the USS McCain; others will hold her up as a martyr. McCain will be marginalized, blamed by the economic conservatives for selling out to the fundamentalists, and villainized by social conservatives for being too soft on Obama.

There is no "Republican Party," and hasn't been for a long time. The leading lights of the party, such as it is, are Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. John McCain was the sorry compromise that emerged from the inability of the two wings of the party to agree. Romney is the standard-bearer for the small-government, big-business neocons who are far more concerned about the capital gains and inheritance taxes than they are about gay marriage. Many of those Republicans, despite their philosophical differences with the Democrats, will vote for Obama this year because he's the lone voice of sanity on the ballot. (Hence the rash of recent endorsements.)

What's left is the loony right. They will be convinced that they lost because they weren't right-wing enough. These are the folks who live in the fantasy universe where Barack Obama is a socialist radical Islamist whose friends are PLO spokesmen and domestic terrorists, who will ban the Bible, prohibit religious speech and force gay marriage on the country while taxing us all into poverty. Their new heroes are Sarah Palin and, yes, Joe the Plumber.


pdxbassoon said...

Andy (and anyone else, for that matter),

If you haven't filled out that ballot yet, I have to say that Gordon Smith voted against our interests on the issues that mattered most to us nine times out of ten.

Even worse, when my wife called Senator Smith's office to ask him to vote a certain way, her calls were consistently met with disdain, sometimes even belligerence. This never happened with the Senator Wyden's office, nor with our Congressman's (David Wu) office.

—JB aka Already Fooled Once

Andy said...

I voted for Merkley.

Jess said...

I hope it's a landslide for Obama, but I won't relax until it's over. Unless the polls are completely wrong (let's hope the Bradley effect is a thing of the past!), he should be fine.

As for the future of the Republican Party, they have a lot of work to do if they're going to go back to being a more sensible version of themselves. Time was, they were driven by things like fiscal conservatism, but those days are long gone. Now they're dominated by the right-wing fringe. Until the moderates in the party stand up to that fringe group, the GOP will just continue to be further marginalized. As much as that pleases me, my feelings are due to the hatred that they have spread over recent years. At a more objective level, I think it's important to have honest, sensible opposition in play. The Democrats can't run around unchecked, either, or their radicals will make things crazy, too. In fact, I saw a video the other day that showed some whackjobs screaming in support of McCain, and the video ended on a counterpoint with a song playing that had lyrics maligning business owners as a group and saying only unions could lead to fairness. Heaven help this country if the unions get unfettered control of business! Like I said, we need balance.

Andy said...

Yeah, I was thinking after the election I probably need to write about the future of the Democratic party, too. For all Barack Obama's many gifts -- and we know I've been a fan for a long time -- a big part of why he will win is because the current Republican administration has disgusted so many of its own partisans through incompetence and the pursuit of blind ideology untethered from reality. The candidacy of John McCain just doesn't offer the kind of page-turn that even most Republicans want.

That's not a coalition the Democrats can hold on to forever, and eventually the pendulum will swing back the other way.

The problem for the Republicans, though, is: who is their Barack Obama in 2012 or 2016?

Jess said...

Oh, I'm in no rush for the Republicans to get their act together. There needs to be real opposition (the "loyal opposition," as I believe the Brits are fond of saying), but a few Democratic terms in the White House will only start to repair the huge damage the conservatives have done. As much as some of the left-wing radicals worry me, I could use to see the Supreme Court and the Circuits swing back to some semblance of moderation.

So I'm fine with the GOP not having its own Barack Obama waiting in the wings for 2012 or 2016. We can wait at least that long! Maybe that much time out of power will teach them to shake off hate-mongering radicals.

tully said...

The business interests of the Republican Party aren't touching Obama with a ten-foot-pole. The only rich people who are endorsing Obama are the ones who are so rich that the tax hikes wouldn't scratch the surface of their wealth.

libhom said...

Romney could never win the GOP nomination. He isn't Christian.

sexy said...