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Wednesday
Nov072012

Morning After Thoughts, Gloats, Admonitions And A Side Of Crow

I don't mean to boast, buy hey, if I don't boast for my prognosticatory prowess, who will?

Actually, I did very well picking all 24 New Hampshire Senate races correctly (for the first time) and I came within one saying Republicans would lose six seats in the U.S. House; and my numbers for the New Hampshire House were pretty much in line.  As usual, I didn't go quite far enough in predicting the magnitude of the sweep, but recall that Monday, I noted that if Maggie Hassan won by the 11 points she was up in the WMUR/Granite State Poll, Democrats would do much better than the 201-198-1 margin I had for Republicans.  In retrospect, it was a fool's errand to predict that one (Cynthia Dokmo) since no independent, no matter how popular, can be expected to win in a high turnout sweep year.

Also, while gloating, I must admit that I was way off in my United States Senate projections.  I sat stunned election night as Republicans not only failed to pick up seats but actual lost two seats to go down 55-45.  Republicans won only in Nebraska and lost seats in Maine, Massachusetts, and Indiana (thanks to the abortion comments of Mourdock).  At the same time scrolling numbers revealed all these GOP losses, they hung on in most of the close U.S. House races.  A strange election indeed.

I also missed the Presidential race although not as badly as diehard Republican hacks like Dick Morris (I can't wait to see him cover his rear on O'Reilly later) or even the respected Michael Barone.

History will judge Romney's loss on two words--Chris Christie.  Also as I stated at the time of the Vice Presidential choice, Marco Rubio would have been much better than Paul Ryan who didn't even come close to carrying his own state or other states in the Midwest.  Marco Rubio would have guaranteed Florida and although he most likely would not have pulled enough Hispanic votes to make the difference overall, states like Colorado, Nevada, and yes...even Ohio and Pennsylvania...would have been more within reach for Romney.  It's not Monday morning quarterbacking because I wrote it at the time.  The Republican Party can not hope to be a major player again unless it makes inroads into the Hispanic community and progress among other minorities (like the gay community which was so turned off by rampant homophobia from the likes of Ovide LaMontagne and Bill O'Brien) is also a must!

There appears to be one recount in the NH Senate races, but Andy Sanborn is ahead of Lee Nyquist b 250 votes or so; thus don't count on a change there, and Republicans will hold a 13-11 lead in the Senate at the same time Democrats take control of the House (in the 220-180 range).  Billy the Bully has already announced that he will not seek to become minority leader.  With Lee Quandt having lost in his election yesterday, Gene Chandler seems to be destined for the position.

As for Speaker, I would give the edge to former Speaker Terri Norelli or Portsmouth, but significantly, Nashua Democrat David Campbell was touring the Manchester wards during yesterday's balloting, so his challenge is indeed real.  Don't expect either Campbell or Norelli to try to line up Republicans to put them over the top should they lose in their own caucus.  Whichever Democrat carries the caucus will be the Speaker, and here's Republican (one who survived the slaughter by 13...make that 15 votes...enroute to a landslide) saying that either Norelli or Campbell or any breathing human being on the planet would be a vast improvement to Billy the Bully who along with Ovide LaMontagne deserves most of the blame for the historic (or at least near historic...a loss of 120 seats!) GOP loss Tuesday.

Here was my Senate analysis from earlier in the fall.  Since they all came true, I thought I'd rerun it.  The biggest surprise for me was that Lou D'Allesandro won District 20 so handily.  I thought he'd win, but it wasn't even close.

Updated State Senate Predictions--Republicans 13, Democrats 11

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 06:05PM

 

modify remove organize post follow up

 

            My post-primary analysis for the New Hampshire State Senate is that Democrats pick up six seats, falling one short of a 12-12 split.  I’m going out on a limb with only one of my predictions.   I’m calling the race in Nashua and towns to the west for the former senator Gilmour over the Republican incumbent Luther.  However,  Democrats could pull even if they take either the District 24 seat (Hampton incumbent Republican Nancy Stiles against former Senate President Bev Hollingworth) or District 9 (I have Republican Andy Sanborn, of Bedford, a favorite although both Democrats and Republicans are telling me Lee Nyquist could pull a surprise).

            Now is as good a time as any to go through these district by district.  The numbers noted here reflect how far each district tilts to either party (with 50 as a tie), but individuals must now be factored into considerations, not to mention top of the ticket effect.  Until recently, I had counted on neutrality at the top of the ticket.  Now, I think we have to give Obama at least a slight advantage (maybe more than slight); that should benefit Democrats in down ballot races, especially where Obama is expected to run strongly, the North Country, Connecticut Valley, and the Seacoast for example (certainly NOT Bedford; that’s why I’m still going with Sanborn).

 

District 1—51.15-48.85 Democratic edge

Democrat Jeff Woodburn

Until a few weeks ago, I had Littleton Republican Debi Warner holding onto this seat (the Gallus seat), but Obama continues to run so far ahead in the North County that there should be just enough coattails to propel Woodburn to a win in what is the most evenly balanced district in the state.  Try as they might to redistrict this to get in more Republican voters, GOP senators just couldn’t do it.  The North Country may be forever lost to the GOP.  The good news (for Republicans) is that there are less and less people up there.

 

District 2—51.80-48.20 Republican edge

Republican Jeanie Forrester

Republican redistricters were faced with the nearly impossible task of keeping this district Republican as Democrats dominate Grafton County more and more.  Robert Lamb, of Holderness, can not be ruled out here but would have to be considered a slight underdog unless he outworks and outspends Forrester.  About the only thing she did wrong in her first term was screw Meredith by accepting the House redistricting plan; if I

remember that, you can be sure Democratic operatives will as well, but she still should win.

 

District 3—54.21-45.79 Republican edge

Republican Jeb Bradley

With the Conway area turning more and more Democratic, this district isn’t as Republican as it once was, but it’s still plenty Republican, especially as long as Jeb Bradley is the candidate.  This won’t be close.  Oh yes, see…I almost forgot…the opponent is Jeffery Ballard, of Brookfield.

 

District 4—56.92-43.08 Democratic edge

Democrat David Watters

This is pretty much an entirely new district.  In fact, when I was thinking about the five Democratic incumbents and adding a pick up of five other seats, I nearly forgot about this.  Republican redistricters basically gave this away to Democrats, and State Rep Watters, of Dover, will certainly take it over Republican mover and shaker Phyllis Woods who is much too much a right winger for this area…not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Is there?

 

District 5—63.43-36.57 Democratic edge

Democrat David Pierce

Republican redistricters stacked and packed Democrats into this area and with Matt Houde not running again, there’s no way Hanover State Rep David Pierce will lose to Claremont Rep Joe Osgood.  I break my rule of never saying never in this one.  Never (at least not in 2012) will a Republican win here.

 

District 6—53.10-46.90 Republican edge

Republican Sam Cataldo

Prior to redistricting, this seat leaned Democratic (despite Fenton Groen’s win in the Republican sweep of 2012).  Now, it’s fairly safe for a Republican.  Dick Green would have been a surer bet, but Rep. Sam Cataldo shocked many of us by winning the primary, and while it’s not a done deal, the addition of Alton makes this area especially tough for a Democrat.  A better candidate than Richard Leonard might be able to pull it off, but the fact that many Democrats I talk with don’t even know Leonard should mean Cataldo, who is working very hard, should win easily. Just telling it like it is.

 

 

District 7—51.53-48.47 Republican edge

Democrat Andrew Hosmer

Although this refigured district (Laconia and much of the Lakes Region) tilts Republican, no serious analyst thinks that Joshua Youssef can carry is baggage over the finish line.  Each day seems to bring a new headline about Youssef.  We don’t need to go into them here.  Suffice it to say that like Delaware in the 2010 U.S. Senate race, the Republican primary here guarantees a Democratic general election win.  This district could well go Republican in 2014 (with Youssef gone), but not this year.  Just so you don’t think I have a dog in this fight, I wouldn’t even know Youssef if I ran into him…I only know what I read in the papers and am pledged to honesty here.

 

District 8—51.53-48.47 Republican edge

Republican Bob O’Dell

Hey, Bob O’Dell won here handily when it was rather Democratic the past several years.  Now that it’s slightly Republican, give no chance to Christopher Wallenstien (who?!) of Bennington.

 

District 9—53.63-46.37 Republican edge

Republican Andy Sanborn

It’s true; this district isn’t as solidly Republican as it was back in the days of Sheila Roberge.  It’s true; Andy Sanborn is new to the district and had a tough primary fight with Rep. Ken Hawkins.  It’s also true that Democrat lawyer Lee Nyquist, of New Boston, is well known and well funded.  Given all that, as I noted previously, some see this going Democratic.  I’m not one of them.  The Bedford turnout should swamp Nyquist (but I wouldn’t make this a gun-to-your-head prediction; in other words, an upset is not totally out of the question).

 

District 10—62.18-37.82 Democratic edge

Democrat Molly Kelly

Let’s see?  Who’s the sacrificial Republican lamb…I’ll have to look it up.  It’s not former Republican Senator Eaton; that’s in itself is an indication of just how Democratic this district has become.  It’s Richard Foote, of Swanzey.

 

District 11—53.67-46.33 Republican edge

Republican Senate President Peter Bragdon

This is the only uncontested district in the state, somewhat surprising since it’s not as Republican as it was prior to redistricting.  Chairman Buckley claims Democrats in this area are focused on beating House Speaker Bill O’Brien, but that’s only Raybo’s way of face saving.  President Bragdon would have been safe even with a quality opponent.

 

District 12—52.87-47.13 Republican edge

Democrat Peggy Gilmour

This is my upset special; the numbers say give it to incumbent Jim Luther, but I’ve got this feeling Gilmour wins.  Every prognosticator should be allowed at least one unexplained feeling…this is mine.

 

Part II (Districts 13-24)

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 11:25AM

 

modify remove organize post follow up

 

 

When last we broached the subject of New Hampshire State Senate predictions, we came out with a 6-6 party split in Districts 1-12.  Let's focus on the final 12 districts here and see how Republicans should hold on to their Senate majority, albeit with only a 13-11 edge.  Only four or five races should be close, but it becomes increasingly obvious that they could prove pivotal.   Districts 18, 20, and 24 fall into that category.

District 13--54.38-45.62 Democratic Edge

Democrat Bette Lasky

After serving just one term in the Senate, former Representative Betty Lasky was voted out of office in 2010, but that was mostly due to the Republican sweep (her husband being caught stealing signs in the final days certainly didn't help either).  She will most certainly be back.  This district not includes six Nashua wards making it solidly Democratic, and the incumbent Republican (Lambert) is not running again.  Joseph Krasucki is.  Do you know him?  I rest my case.

District 14--14.70 Republican Edge

Republican Sharon Carson

No contest.  This is Londonderry, one of the last bastions of total Republican domination (much moreso than Derry).  Sharon Carson has done a fine job (it's always a job talking about the latest historical books with her--she and I are both into President Garfield these days); her opposition to right to work may have made her vulnerable in a Republican primary, but nobody challenged her, and Democrat Katherine Messner, of Hudson (still a Republican town) has no chance.  None.

District 15--63.39-36.61 Democratic Edge

Democrat Sylvia Larsen

As if possible, redistricting has made this Concord area seat even more Democratic.  Talk about a sure thing; that's what former Senate President Larsen is.  That makes Lydia Dube Harman, of Concord, the sacrificial lamb.  No mint jelly, please.

District 16--52.98-47.07 Republican Edge

Republican David Boutin

Like Sharon Carson, Boutin might have been vulnerable, due his anti right to work stance, in a Republican primary, but he got a pass.  He also might be vulnerable in a good Democratic year with an outstanding candidate, but top of the ticket should be fairly neutral this year, and you must remember what  Democrat Kathleen Kelley, former Manchester School Board member, did a few winters back.  Yes, she was involved in a hit and run; she ran into several parked cars late and night (some say she'd been drinking) and fled the scene.  Not exactly the type of candidate Ray Buckley could have wanted.  (Bob Backus, who lost to Senator Ted Gatsus twice, would have been a better choice, but he's running for State Rep in Ward 12).  True, this district which includes highly Republican Hooksett (along with Bow and three north Manchester wards) is slightly more Democratic due to redistricting.  A Democrat has never won here in my memory (Eleanor Podles held it for a long time); it may happen this decade, but not this year.

District 7--52.14-47.86 Republican Edge

Republican John Reagan

This one truly is interesting.  Convinced that Jack Barnes was extremely popular and really didn't need so much GOP territory, Republican redistricters took huge chucks of red areas out of this district (giving the towns to Russ Prescott in District 23) leaving it much less Republican.  Then Barnes decided not to run, meaning Democrats had a chance to steala the seat.  But by that time, they had decided they weren't going to win it, so they settled for Nancy Fraher.  A better known and well-funded Democrat might have had a chance, especially since Republican Rep John Reagan (one of my favorite people) had a close primary.  As it is, Reagan should win...not by a landslide, but it won't be all that close either.  Chalk this up as a major opportunity lost for Democrats...thanks to that wily old outgoing Senator Jack Barnes for not announcing his intentions to step down earlier.

District 18--53.70-46.30 Republican Edge

Democrat Donna Soucy

Sure, the numbers point to a rather substantial Republican edge here, but this is Manchester, and you really can't trust the numbers.  They skew toward Republicans, but that's because my numbers use top of the ticket races, and the conservative Democrats here tend to vote more Republican at the top of the ticket.  So throw the numbers out.  Truth in blogging--this is my Senate district and sad to say that while I wholeheartedly endorse Republican Gail Barry, I think the well known and well financed Donna Soucy will pull it out.  This may be the only district which has three different senators in the past ten years (Repulican Martel, Democrat DeVries, Repblican DeBlois)--that's how much of a toss-up it is.  Except for Ward 5, the five wards in south Manchester are less Democratic.  Throw in highly Republican Litchfield (about 15 percent of the district) and Republican should be favored, especially since popular Democrat Art Beaudry is running as an independent and should pull votes away from Soucy.  He and Soucy, for example, are both anti right to work; thus if Barry can take most of the pro right to work votes, she should win.  However, it's a Presidential year and the high turnout should keep the Beaudry vote down, and while I'm voting for Gail Barry...I have to pick Soucy.  Sorry Gail...I have your sign up.

District 19--58.72-41.28 Republican Edge

Republican James Rausch

Few words are needed here.  This is the Derry area.  Dig out the mind jelly.  Democrat Christopher Reisdorf is the sacrificial lamb.

District 20--52.33-47.67 Republican Edge

Democrat Lou D'Allesandro

We're back in Manchester now (wards 3, 4, 10, 11 and Goffstown), so the edge number isn't terribly reliable.  A case could be made for two term Alderman and State Rep Phil Greazzo to upset seven term glad hander Lou D'Allesandro.  It should already be clear whom I'd vote for, but only a fool would bet against Lou.  I'd gladly vote against him (Phil is my type of Libertarian-minded Republican), but I won't bet against him.  Still...Mitt Romney should do very well in Goffstown; Ovide should do very well in the two west side wards, so Phil could get coattails.  He's also got money and organization.  Still...As they used to tell opponents of Jay Rockefeller in West Virginia, "Make him spend it all," a reference to spending all his personal wealth.  In Lou's case, it's other people's money he's collected over the years.  He may not need to spend it all, but close to it.  It's truly depressing when one's head is at war with one's heart!

District 21--64.77-35.23 Democratic Edge (that's not a typo)

 Talk about stacking and packing!  Republican redistricters have created a district no Democrat could ever lose (they crammed Portsmouth and Durham together).  However, in the process, they proved to be too cute by half.  They thought they would lock out former Senator Martha Fuller Clark, of Portsmouth, by putting her in with incumbent Mandy (baseball mom) Merrill, of Durham.  Then Mandy decided not to run.  Welcome back Martha, and a big thanks to those stackers and packers.  Oh yes, the Republican lamb is Peter Macdonald, of Lee (yet another highly Democratic town).  There's not enough mint jelly in the state to go with this lamb.

District 22--58.59-41.41 Republican Edge

Republican Chuck Morse

Even Raybo, if injected with enough truth serum, would have to admit Democrat Victoria Czaia (who?), of Atkinson, has no chance...absolutely none against Senate Finance Chair (and once rumored to be gubernatorial candidate) Dick Morse of Salem.  'Nuff said?  I think so.

District 23--53.56-46.44 Republican Edge

Republican Russell Prescott

A funny thing happened on the way to the 2012 election.  Two actually.  This is the district in which Russ Prescott, of Kingston, knocked off Maggie Hassan in the 2010 Republican sweep.  Well, Republican redistricters took huge chunks of Republican territory out of District 17 and placed it here.  Prior to that I had this district as literally 50/50 (50.08-49.92).  Now, especially with Maggie in the race for Governor and Democrat Carol Croteau, of Kingston running, Prescott appears to be safe.  No absolute sure thing, but I'd give three to one odds, even with a gun to my head!

 We've saved the best for last, not just because it could determine control of the senate (Republicans lead 12-11 if you're keeping track), but because it's numerically last.

District 24--51.56-48.44

Republican Nancy Stiles

Thanks to the miracle of redistricting, Republican incumbent Nancy Stiles (who stunned Martha Fuller Clark two years ago) gets a district that I had as +14.48 for Democrats to one with a slight Republican edge.  Portsmouth is gone; Republican areas have been added.  The only complication is that former Senate President and Executive Council Bev Hollingworth, like Stiles, lives in Hampton, and she's running.  Only because I'm forcing myself to call all 24 races am I going with Stiles here.  She's done such a good job that she deserves re-election.  She's not one of those radical right wing Republicans so easy to demonize this year, but Raybo and Company will still probably find a way to demonize her.  I'd like to see polling data here; it's the one section of the Seacoast where Romney should be okay, but Ovide could drag Stiles down.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

THE FINAL SCORE--13-11 Republicans

To recap, we had:

1--Democrat Jeff Woodburn

2--Republican Jeanie Forrester

3--Republican Jeb Bradley

4--Democrat David Watters

5--Democrat David Pierce

6--Republican Sam Cataldo

7--Democrat Andrew Hosmer

8--Republican Bob Odell

9--Republican Andy Sanborn

10--Democrat Molly Kelly

11--Republican President (now and future?) Peter Bradgon

12--Democrat Peg Gilmour

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