Oh yeah. Predictions.

Dems take control, both houses. 225D-211R House, 51 (49D+2I) to 49R Senate. Okay, one of the Senate I’s is going to be Lieberman, who claims he’ll still caucus with the Dems and should be counted as one… but I’ll live with the technicality.

The dream scenario is a complete sweep, where we pick up 40 seats in the House and knock off not only the easy pickings in the senate like DeWine (OH and I won’t miss him one bit) and Santorum (PA), but even the marginals like Kyl (AZ), Chafee (RI) and Allen (VA), as well as all the borderlines like Talent (MO) and Burns (MT).

Senate: Incumbent in bold. Incumbent party for open seat underlined.

State Democrat Republican Independent Result
Arizona Jim PEDERSON John KYL Kyl in a squeaker. R Hold.
California Dianne FEINSTEIN Dick MOUNTJOY Dick who? Feinstein by a country mile. D Hold
Connecticut Ned LAMONT Alan SCHLESINGER Joe LIEBERMAN Schlesinger isn’t even in it and will be lucky to clear ten percent. I pickup, but functionally a D hold since Joe will caucus with the Dems (so he says, anyway)
Delaware Thomas CARPER Jan TING Delaware is reliably Democratic. D Hold
Florida Bill NELSON Katherine HARRIS Yes, that Katherine Harris, who seems to think that the Senate is her payoff for breaking the law for Dumbass in 2000–never mind that the GOP at the state and national level was desperate to keep her off the ticket because of her toxicity. She can’t even keep her campaign staff together. D Hold.
Hawai’i Daniel AKAKA Cynthia THIELEN Hawai’i’s two Daniels–Akaka and Inouye–have their jobs for life. D Hold
Indiana Richard LUGAR Steve OSBORN Lugar didn’t even draw Democratic opposition, not that they could’ve unseated him anyway. Libertarian Osborn will be lucky to pull ten percent, and probably 90-95% of his vote will be an anti-GOP protest vote, rather than pro-Libertarian. R Hold
Maine Jean HAY BRIGHT Olympia SNOWE Snowe is moderate and popular. Easy R Hold
Maryland Ben CARDIN Michael STEELE Paul Sarbanes’ retirement opened up this Democratic seat. Cardin, narrowly. D Hold
Massachusetts Edward KENNEDY Ken CHASE Sometimes, you have to ask why the Repubs even bother here–Kennedy by an epic margin. D Hold
Michigan Debbie STABENOW Michael BOUCHARD Liddy Dole’s tenure as the GOP’s overall senate campaign is marked by the recruitment of weak candidates who will pose no worthwhile competition to Dems they might’ve had a crack at, and little-known Bouchard is no exception. D Hold
Minnesota Amy KLOBUCHAR Mark KENNEDY Mark Dayton’s retirement opened up this seat. D Hold
Mississippi Erik FLEMING Trent LOTT Duh. R Hold
Missouri Claire MCCASKILL Jim TALENT The state that elected a dead man in 2000 is going to provide one of the turnovers this year. D Pickup
Montana Jon TESTER Conrad BURNS Burns is tainted by Abramoff, and has been unable to pick up any meaningful momentum against Tester, who has been diligent in reminding people about Burns’ problems. That, and Dems have been doing quite well statewide in Montana–not such the GOP gimme once thought. D Pickup
Nebraska Ben NELSONPete RICKETTS Yes, the Democrat is the incumbent in that Republican stronghold of Nebraska… and is poised to cruise to a fairly easy re-election. D Hold
Nevada Jack CARTER John ENSIGN Even being a former president’s son hasn’t helped Carter make headway against the incumbent. R Hold
New Jersey Bob MENENDEZ Thomas KEAN Menendez appears to have opened out a slim lead in normally-Democratic New Jersey and will squeak out a slimmer than comfortable win. D Hold
New Mexico Jeff BINGAMAN Allen MCCULLOCH Bingaman is popular, McCulloch is unknown. D Hold
New York Hillary CLINTON John SPENCER Not even close. D Hold
North Dakota Kent CONRAD Dwight GROTBERG Even in states that are nominally Republican, Liddy Dole couldn’t find challengers willing to step up to the plate. D Hold
Ohio Sherrod BROWN Mike DEWINE DeWine is actually clean and moderate, but the criminality and incompetence of the Taft administration and a revulsion for gubernatorial candidate Katherine Harr… er, Ken Blackwell even among the GOP have made that little “R” by his name toxic in the Buckeye State. The national GOP has already pretty much conceded this one. Brown comfortably. D Pickup
Pennsylvania Bob CASEY Rick SANTORUM Speaking of toxic, Santorum was never able to get his campaign off the ground. Casey is far more in line with Keystone State attitudes; Santorum was already conservative and drifted off to looney land during his overlong tenure. God, it feels good to be able to type “Santorum is outta there!” at long last. D Pickup
Rhode Island Sheldon WHITEHOUSE Lincoln CHAFEE It’s said that the only reason Lincoln Chafee doesn’t switch parties is out of respect for his father and predecessor, John… if he had, he would be cruising to re-election rather than facing retirement. Whitehouse comfortably but not commandingly. D Pickup
Tennessee Harold FORD Bob CORKER This one has been ugly all the way, complete with race-baiting ads hinting at miscegenation against Ford. Unfortunately, those apparently still work in Tennessee, to their shame. Corker, but not by as much as he’d like. R Hold
Texas Barbara Ann Radnofsky Kay Bailey HUTCHISON As hated as Rick Perry is (although with two strong independents in the gubernatorial race, Perry looks to be re-elected with about 36% of the vote total… yeesh), you’d think they could’ve mounted a better challenge to Hutchison. But no. R Hold
Utah Pete ASHDOWN Orrin HATCH Double duh. R Hold
Vermont Rich TARRANT Bernie SANDERS Sanders is leaving his safe seat as Vermont’s lone House delegate for what looks to be a sure promotion to the Senate, replacing Republican-turned-Independent Jim Jeffords. Vermont’s Democratic party officially nominated Sanders as their candidate (and he officially declined it) to keep an official Democrat off the ticket and essentially clear the path for Bernie. I Hold, and functionally a D Hold as Jeffords did and Sanders will caucus with the Democrats.
Virginia Jim WEBB George ALLEN This has been nip and tuck all the way, and it all depends on the turnout. I’m going to say Webb in a squeaker, and even at that… toss a coin. This call is my lowest confidence rating. D Pickup
Washington Maria CANTWELL Mike MCGAVICK Cantwell looked to be vulnerable way early in the race, but Liddy Dole’s unerring eye for no talent strikes again. D Hold
West Virginia Robert BYRD John RAESE Like it even matters someone’s running against him. Senator-for-Life Byrd by, oh, thirty or forty. D Hold
Wisconsin Herb KOHL Robert LORGE Kohl easily. D Hold
Wyoming Dale GROUTAGE Craig THOMAS Not many Dems are competitive in Wyoming. Groutage is one of those non-competitive ones. R Hold

House: For simplicity’s sake, we’re just going to talk about the major events.

The really big stories will be Ohio and Pennsylvania, which look ready to do some major house (or House) cleaning. Looks good for a four-seat pickup in Ohio, which would give us a majority Democratic delegation. Cranley and Wulsin are poised to knock off Chabot and Schmidt (yes, that evil harridan who openly questioned Marine veteran Jack Murtha’s patriotism) in OH1 and OH2 respectively, and it appears Columbus is ready to say the Pryce is wrong, dumping Debbie for Mary Jo Kilroy here in OH15… and then in OH18, convicted criminal Bob Ney’s very-last-second resignation appears to have put the final nail in Joy Padgett’s campaign, clearing the way for Zack Space. OH6 is up for grabs, so there could be as much as a +5D in Ohio alone, which is a third of the pickups they need.

Pennsylvania is in an anti-GOP mood, too, and look to throw over GOP incumbents in PA6, PA7, and PA10, with PA8 looking like it could break either way. We’re up to +7 to +9D so far… and the magic number was +15. Half to two thirds of the way home on only two states? Oh, baby.

Little Connecticut can throw its weight around in a big way–although there are huge Democratic majorities by registration in CT, they have been sending three moderate Republicans to the House reliably: Simmons, Shays and Johnson. All three have been back and forth… but the Dems have been taking the leads slowly but surely. At least two, and perhaps all three will fall, bringing us to +9 to +12D.

Florida appears to be coming back, just a little, from the Kool-Ade drinking brink. Katherine Harris’ quixotic run for the Senate not only has locked up the seat for the Dems, it has turned her old seat in the House–FL13–into one of the more likely pickups for the Democrats. FL16–Mark Foley’s old district–may well flip as people find themselves unwilling to tick his name for the sake of sending a different Repub to fill his seat. FL22 is neck and neck. Anywhere from one to three pickups, bringing us to +10 to +15D — hey, on the overoptimistic count, we’re already there!

Even Idaho has a competitive race–who knew there were even Democrats in Idaho? ID1 is going right down to the wire, mostly on the basis of the GOP candidate’s frequent mistakes. I’m not comfortable enough to call this one D… but keep an eye on it.

Illinois 6th is too close to call, pitting Iraq War vet Tammy Duckworth against state Senator Pete Roskam to fill retiring arch-hypocrite Henry Hyde’s seat. +10 to +16… and keep an eye on the numbers for Denny Hastert in IL14 and John Shimkus in IL19 to see how badly hurt they were by Foley fallout. I don’t expect them to lose, but I expect them to be nervous.

Indiana could be one of the most delicious surprises all night, as three Dems are poised to knock off three Repubs. Chocola can’t keep up with Donnelly in IN2, Hostettler is going down in flames in IN8 (this was the guy who tried to bring a gun aboard a commercial flight, and voted against Katrina relief), and Baron Hill looks ready to avenge his loss in IN9 to Mike Sodrel. This will give Indiana–Indi-freakin’-ana!–a majority Democratic delegation to the house. +13 to +19D.

With Jim Nussle heading for defeat in his try to be Iowa’s next governor, IA1 is open, and its natural Democratic lean will pull it back into the D column. Meanwhile in IA2, Jim Leach is in the fight of his political life and that could (but probably won’t) tick over too. +14 to +21D.

Kentucky has two seats in play, KY3 and KY4. The Fourth is neck and neck, but the third appears to have slid right into the Democratic column. +15 to +23D, and even counting cautiously, the House is back in Democratic hands… and there are a lot of states not even looked at here.

And now, my friends, it’s almost 6.30 and time for me to go cast my ballot. I love being first in line at the polling station.


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