After what seems like a decade’s worth of commercials, more talking head blather than should be allowed under the Geneva Conventions and spin enough to make even the most rabid rollercoaster fan nauseous, election 2010 is upon us. Any reading of the news would lead you to believe that Republicans will have a good night tomorrow and Democrats will learn nothing, unless your news source is MSNBC, in which case reread the “Democrats will learn nothing” part of this sentence. The disservice outlets like MSNBC and Huffington Post have done liberals is a column for another day, this one is about the election and what you should look for as results roll in tomorrow.
The Guessing Game
Just how many House seats Republicans win tomorrow is irrelevant, the only number that matters is 39. If Republicans win 39 more seats than they have today they will take control of the House and Nancy Pelosi returns to being as insignificant a factor in your life as the kid who sat next to you in 3rd
period French class your senior year in high school. You shared some times and even wrote “Keep in touch” in his yearbook, but you didn’t include your phone number so he actually could, and now he’s gone.
As soon as those 39 seats flip Nancy returns to being Minority Leader, a fate former Speakers of the House resign from faster than a call girl cancels a date on Charlie Sheen. But I digress.
Pundits are predicting historic numbers, up to 100 seats are in play, they say. Maybe they are, but it doesn’t matter, all that matters is 39. Predictions of 50 to 75 have not been uncommon in the last few weeks; if Republicans surpass those numbers the predictors will claim the “wave” was so big no one could have foreseen it, if they are close they will claim a clairvoyance not seen since the glory days of Miss Cleo. If they fall short, the story they will tell is one of a rejection of the Tea Party, of limited government, of Americans “coming to their senses,” a near-literal smearing of lamb’s blood on the door posts of Congress to ward off the 10th
plague of the 10th
Amendment. Don’t listen to them either way. All that matters is 39.
Pundits get paid to predict the future, and most have the accuracy of your local weatherman, and face the same consequences for ruining your sunny weekend with rain – none. They will have a lot of airtime to fill throughout the night and little more information than you could get yourself from the Associated Press, but a lack of information won’t stop them from guessing. Just remember, if they were really any good at predicting the future they’d all be retired lottery winners, not spending Tuesday night talking on the television.
A Couple of Bellwether Races to Watch
While predictions are worthless, actual results can be indicative of things to come. When polls in the Eastern Time Zone close and projections are starting to be made there will be telltale signs of what is actually happening across the country.
Up in Maine there is a close race that wasn’t supposed to be – Maine 2. Democrat Mike Michaud won in 2008 with 67 percent of the vote, down only 4 points from his 2006 victory. He now finds himself in a tie with Republican challenger Jason Levesque. If this race is called for Levesque, or is too close to call soon after the polls close, this will be as clear an indication as your date laughing at your nervously unfunny jokes that something is happening here.
Just south is Massachusetts, the ultra-liberal state that elected a Republican to replace the Pope of liberalism, Teddy Kennedy, just a few short months ago. Barney Frank has represented the 4th
district since Massachusetts was a colony, but he’s in the race of his life this year against Marine and businessman Sean Bielat. Frank doesn’t know how to campaign, he’s never had to, and has no get out the vote ground game--he’s never needed one. He’s just been liberals' Barney Frank and that’s been enough for decades. Forget if Frank loses, if it’s even close not only will it be the second Massachusetts miracle this year, it will be the cue to the employees of Media Matters that it’s going to be a long, typing-till-your-fingers-bleed night for them and a slaughter for Democrats.
If the Connecticut Senate race is closer than predicted, even if Linda McMahon loses, a tidal wave is coming. If Christine O’Donnell has a stronger showing than anticipated, things will be looking good for Mark Kirk, Ken Buck and Sharon Angle.
It looks like proud liberal Russ Feingold, about whom I’ve never heard a negative word personally, or professionally (with the exception of his positions), is going to be retired. He is the liberal’s liberal, always has been. He’s not someone who runs as one thing and votes as another. If he loses that will be the clearest rejection of the progressive agenda anyone could ask for since the Constitution was ratified.
Add to that a victory by Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and/or a John Raese upset in West Virginia and you’ll start to see Democrat turnout in western states tail off in the last few hours of voting as they ask “what’s the point?” That would bring California and Barbara Boxer into play and she would be well on her way to being called “ma’am” without the authority to scold anyone but her grandkids over it.
I don’t do predictions because you never know--funny things happen in elections and history is full of prognosticators spiking the ball on the 5 yard line, just ask President Dewey. But once actual results start rolling in all bets are off, the curtain is pulled back and emperor has no clothes. These races will give you a good idea of how good the night will be for Republicans and if you can start ordering doubles to celebrate or simply should start ordering doubles.
That being said, a few things will be certain starting tomorrow night; progressives will claim losses are not a rejection of their agenda, but merely anger/hatred/racism, take your pick, and continue to insist their agenda is what people really want. Resumes will be flying faster than bailout money from the treasury for the first time in 2 years. Joy Behar will have the most ironic first name in television. And finally, while it’s possible either way, if Christine O’Donnell manages to close the gap in Delaware and win, Keith Olbermann will recreate the movie “Scanners” live on television.
Hmm...While I don’t make predictions, I can dream, can’t I?
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