One final election prediction

Curtis Powers

Elections are today. That means you should go vote. If you don’t, you can’t complain too much about various politicians because you didn’t make your voice heard.

Even if that means you only go to vote for Mickey Mouse or Paul Rhoads.

Since today’s the day, I thought I’d give some final predictions even though that is probably a fairly bad idea. After all, I switched some predictions in 2008 on a blog I wrote that went from right to wrong.

You should also know my track record is fairly iffy. My preseason predictions for each ISU football game haven’t gone too well. My record is 4-5  — correct: UNI, Utah, OU, and Kansas; incorrect: NIU, Iowa, K-State, Texas Tech, and Texas.

However, I don’t think my initial predictions back in September for the state of Iowa will change at the national level. I still think all incumbents for those races will win.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and U.S. Representatives Bruce Braley, Dave Loesback and Leonard Boswell — all Democrats — and Republicans Tom Latham and Steve King will be back for another term. If one of them were to lose, it’d probably be 1st District Rep. Braley due to a lot of outside money and a somewhat strong opponent in Ben Lange.

As for state and local elections, who knows. Branstad should win for governor. Republicans will pick up seats in the Iowa House and Senate; the question is how many. I’m not convinced that they’ll win majorities in both, but they might win a majority in one of them.

Based on the polling I’ve seen, I think at least one judge is going to get ousted — if not all three. I think the Land Trust question to clean our water will pass easily. I don’t think we will have a constitutional convention; the only time that vote has been close was the first time it was on the ballot in 1970.

As for the overall House of Representatives, I originally thought the Democrats would hold a majority by one representative. Now, it looks like they lose decisively. Currently, Real Clear Politics has the GOP ahead 224-167 with 44 toss-ups based on polling. Ugly.

In 1994, the Democrats lost 54 seats as the Republicans got their first majority in the House since 1948. 1948 saw the last landslide like that when 75 seats swung to the Democrats.

It looks like something similar could happen this year. Unless a lot of Democrats magically appear today, I think the Republicans will probably pick up 65 seats to take a 243-192 majority. That is startling.

As for the Senate, things look the exact same as when I made predictions the last time. Democrats 48-45 with seven toss-ups. I think I will mostly stick to my original predictions here. I had West Virginia and Washington staying blue. I had Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania and even California going red.

All of those predictions are in line with RCP polling except California, which has Boxer in a slight lead. I have a feeling Fiorina is going to catch her today.

That leaves Nevada which comes down to: Who do you hate less? Harry Reid or Sharron Angle? They both say incredibly stupid things and are, in general, not the most likable folks.

In fact, the only reason that this is a race is that Republicans nominated Angle. Anyone else would have walked into the Senate due to the anger Nevadans have, due to the economy.

This is also the race that I’m switching my pick. I had Reid, but polling shows he is down, which is almost always lethal for an incumbent. That leaves the Senate in a 50-50 deadlock. Quite amazing, too, considering how little of a platform the Republicans have generally run on other than the health care bill sucks, Obama’s a socialist and the economy is bad.

As bad as things might be tonight for the Democrats, it actually might bode well for them in 2012 since the GOP will actually have to try and govern instead of saying “no” to everything. That’s what happened in 1996 when Clinton was re-elected.

We’ll just have to wait and see, though. It should be a fun night of watching returns. Well, that is if you are a Republican.