Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Election Predictions Part Deux: The Legislative Races

Just 97 days to go now until the big day. Time for a look at the legislative races.

U.S. Senate Race

Richard Mourdock is about the most unappealing candidate I’ve seen come through the process in a long time. In a state that is leaning really red, he should not be locked in a tight battle with Joe Donnelly, the Democratic nominee, but he is. He has every reason to be concerned.

Joe Donnelly is a good populist candidate, and he’s running an excellent campaign so far. He hasn’t made any missteps or errors, and he’s doing what he can do to stay within hailing distance of the Tea Party favorite. In fact, I don’t see a close race favoring Mourdock. If it stays this way, Donnelly will be taking back one of Indiana’s Senate seats.

I’m not ready to call this one yet, and it could go either way. Andy Horning can definitely swing this race. The Libertarian is more likely to pull votes from Mourdock than Donnelly, and if he can pull one or two percent, that could swing the election. He is a smart cookie, and he has done this before so he has name recognition. He’ll represent his party well but will likely end up playing spoiler at best.

Congress

By Indiana District:

*-Denotes Incumbent

1-Pete Visclosky* (Democratic hold)

2-Jackie Walorski (Republican pick-up)

3-Marlin Stutzman* (Republican hold)

4-Todd Rokita* (Republican hold)

5-Susan Brooks (Republican hold)

6-Luke Messer (Republican hold)

7-André Carson* (Democratic Hold)

8-Too Close to Call (See Below)

9-Todd Young* (Republican Hold)

The Bloody 8th should be back to its old self with Republican incumbent Larry Buschon facing Democratic challenger Dave Crooks. Crooks is a very popular Democrat in the area, and he should give Buschon all he wants. If someone tied me down and shoved bamboo shoots under my fingernails for a prediction, I’d say Buschon for now, but the TV ad war has yet to begin.

Indiana House and Senate

Well, I wish I brought better news in this regard, but I can’t really do that unless you are a Republican.  There’s no chance the Democrats will take back either side. None. 
 Republicans will likely be picking up House seats. How many? Hope it’s less than seven. If they get to a supermajority of 67 seats, it’s not going to be pretty in Indiana for us liberal types. I would think Democrats might pick up a couple of seats in the Indiana Senate, but that only leaves the D’s with 15-17 seats. If the Dems want some relevancy, they need to get to 18 seats in the Indiana Senate. That would be a pick-up of five seats. It’s not probable.

It's not all bad news for the Democrats.  But the races D's are competitive in are very volatile.  Ninety seven days can make a world of difference.  Lots of twists and turns still are ahead.  All of that said, there's plenty of races to watch and no reason that Democrats should not keep on fighting the good fight through November 6.

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