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Tuesday
Dec182012

13 For 13--2013 Predictions

 

In somewhat chronological order, here are predictions for 2013.  There may well be revisions along the way. As always, I kept track last year and was doing fairly well on my legislative predictions (except for my out on a limb prediction that NH legislators would be sensible enough to raise the interstate speed limit; I should have known better); then we got to the election, and top of the ticket predictions brought me down.  I did very well with revised New Hampshire Senate predictions (24 for 24) and better than almost anyone else with NH and US House predictions, but I missed the U.S. Senate predictions big time...thanks in large part to the idiotic Republican candidates in Indiana and Missouri.  Shut up about abortion already, you Grand Old Party.  Anyway.  We plow bravely ahead for 2013.

1.  Cliff Avoidance--We will approach the so-called fiscal cliff (whatever that is), but as New Years Day dawns, we will for the most part have avoided going over it.

2.  Lord Stanley's Cup Again--Early in the year, NHL players and team owners will agree to a settlement which will allow for an abbreviated season and for Lord Stanley's Cup to be contested in June.  (They better.  I'm certainly not the only hockey fan who just doesn't seem to miss it this fall; absence is not making the heart grow fonder!).

3. Brown Returns--With John Kerry moving on to Secretary of State, my favorite United States Senator, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, will be back by midyear. Who will Democrats put up?  Governor Patrick?  Probably not.  Ted's widow?  Probably not.  Martha Coakley again?  Scott should be so lucky.  Brown will win because Obama won't be on the ticket to bring out the no-nothing Democratic vote!

4. No Gay Marriage Repeal--This is an easy one.  The New Hampshire House will most assuredly not repeal gay marriage.  I'm not even sure if head pounding Republicans will even try, but hey, if they couldn't get it out of the House when they had a 299-102 advantage in 2012, how will they be able to do it when they trail 219-179 right now?  They won't.

5. Photo ID Remains--This one isn't quite as easy, but my guess is that photo ID will not be repealed in New Hampshire.  As much as Democrats might want to repeal it, they are faced with opinion polls which show support in the three to one range nationwide and a New Hampshire Senate which Republicans still control 13-11.  My guess is that this repeal will not even make it out of the House; it's not such a bad thing.

6.  No Slots For NH--Once again, expanded video gaming (aka slots or casinos) will not make it out of the New Hampshire House.  Despite the support of Governor Maggie Hassan, most elected officials in her own party opposed expanded gambling as do most Republicans.  Even with the state desperate for a new revenue source, slots will not make it.

7. Bye, Bye, Tax-Funded Scholarships--Democrats will be successful in repealing that tax-payer funded scholarships bill which narrowly passed in 2012 (with John Lynch's veto being overridden).  I'll be with Democrats one this one.  It's totally against the spirit of our Constitution to provide tax money for religious schools, no matter how much the money is laundered in the process.  Besides, it's never good to use tax policy for social ends.  Democrats know this; I'm surprised more Republicans don't.

8.  Bye, Bye, DOMA--While it's always dangerous to predict what the United States Supreme Court will do (as we learned in the Obamacare decision), my guess is that the court will strike down the defense of marriage act which allows certain states to deny rights other states have given to gay people.  That simply cannot stand and although the court would rather see gay marriage legalized through the legislative process, it will come very close to legalizing it as an equal protection issue.  You might even see a margin of more than 5-4, but I won't go that far on a limb.

9.  Death Remains--For the third time, the New Hampshire House will vote to repeal the death penalty, but despite Governor Maggie Hassan's willingness to sign the bill, the Senate will come up just short of the 13 votes needed to pass it on to the governor's desk.

10.  Gatsas Again--Manchester Democrats will not find a serious candidate to go up against Mayor Ted Gatsas.  Garth Corriveau?  Come on, I said serious.  Patrick Arnold?  Come on, I said serious.  Gatsas will win albeit by a slightly less margin that two years ago when he faced sacrificial lamb Herbert...let's say closer to a two to one than a three to one margin, but that's plenty good enough.

11. Mininal Charter Changes--The Manchester Charter commission will not agree to major changes.  Nothing like bringing back partisan elections or getting rid of Aldermen at Large or getting rid of the spending cap.  Maybe they'll propose getting rig of the silly primary election and going with a runoff plan (if necessary) such as Nashua does, but that'll be the extent of it.

12. Girard And Lopez Back--Former Manchester Aldermen At Large Rich Girard and Mike Lopez will both get re-elected albeit not necessarily for the At Large seats.  As I understand it, Girard lives in Ward 2; Lopez in Ward 10.  They could run in their wards, or a certain Joe could prove once again that he's unworthy of public support (as he certainly is). 

13. No Fat Men Need Apply--This is my out on a limb prediction.  We won't have New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie to kick around any more.  Forget about running for President in 2016.  The man who did so much to help get Barack Obama re-elected (remember Sandy) will lose his re-election bid, and I say, Gott sei Dank.  I'm not a Christie fan!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it...at least for now.

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Reader Comments (4)

Well, Steve: I projected (I don't make "predictions," since I base my projections on lots of analysis -- as you do -- but also look at national and state "mood," which is more difficult to calculate), ALL the races on November 6th, as I did in 2006, 2008, and 2010. And I did my projections in June, without the need for latter revisions -- and at a time many were saying it would be a washout for Republicans.

In June, I said we'd have a House of 180 to 210 Democrats, with Terie Norelli standing an excellent shot at being Speaker, a Senate of 12-12 D and R -- you were more precise on that -- and that Barack Obama would win reelection and win N.H., Carol Shea-Porter would win, Ann Kuster would win, and Governor would be either Maggie Hassan or Jackie Cilley (my June projection was before the September primary) and either would "smash" Ovide Lamontagne. All that is in my Portsmouth Herald column in June.

But you were close -- closer by your precision on the N.H. House and Senate, so I'll concede a tie. We were both way better than the predictions of the "professional" pollsters and commentators, and they only got close when they recalculated the weekend before the election. You and I were both much earlier with our analysis.

About your new predictions, I think the Voter ID law will be changed to allow for more ID cards, i.e. Student IDs, and I think Gov. Christie will be reelected, and if John Kerry becomes Secretary of State that a Democrat will win over Scott Brown. You're right about DOMA -- I think the margin will be 7-2, or better. Prop 8 will be 5-4 one way or another, but I lean to our side winning.

You're certainly correct about gay marriage repeal -- we won that one, thanks in large part to you in 2009 in passage, and your efforts last year and this past Spring in stopping repeal. Thank you for that.

The fiscal cliff will be solved in steps, with at least the middle class tax cuts -- maybe under $1 million -- being secured for January 1st. Republicans don't want to be blamed for that not happening -- they're not THAT crazy. I don't know that much nowadays about internal Manchester politics to judge your predictions on that -- last time I was very involved was 10 years ago helping David Gelinas, and a bit before then helping Jim Normand, and before then helping Fern Gelinas and Chris Spirou -- but I agree that Ted Gatsas has good message-making and a personality to match.

Merry Christmas -- Happy Holidays -- to you. I do wish this Faux News-inspired "War on Christmas" would end, and people would just take greetings with the intent they're made instead of being upset that someone does, or doesn't say "Merry Christmas." To me, I'm just happy when people are nice to me and give me greetings of any kind!

I don't question anyone's religion, as long as they let their religion guide their own lives and they don't try to rule or dictate my life or others. We're better than that, and thanks to our Founding Fathers and Mothers (women were behind it all too, even though they couldn't vote), we value people of all religions in this nation, and even those who don't believe.
December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Splaine
I agree completely on the faux war on Christmas; in fact, I've stopped watching O'Reilly because I'm sick of hearing him claiming that Xmas is under assault. If you want to have a Merry Christmas, go for it. If you want a Happy Holiday season, go for it. Whatever you want, go for it; just don't try to foist your views on me. The founders, mostly Deists but not all, believed in toleration for all. I just finished a biography of Ben Franklin who moved from close to atheist early in his life to a near deist at the end...so not only are different people different, but many change during their life time. Nothing wrong with that.

I obviously disagree on Scott Brown. Which Dem will run? I heard today it'll be Ben Afleck. Bring him on.

I tried not to do too much with Manch politics because people who follow this in Vienna and Venice are probably not very interested in Manchester, but I had to throw a few in for the local folks. Maybe I should have gone international--how about Assad will be dead by Easter? Not that he's thinking of Easter.

I admit to being wrong on my top of the ticket predictions. I made them at a time I didn't know how hard Billy the Bully and Ovide would work to destroy to GOP--not to mention folks like Akin in Missouri, that buffoon in Indiana, the Hills County sheriff candidate, DJ, et all. Foolishness does have consequences. I suspect Bass would have lost anyway, but Guinta may well have survived but for the GOP brand name destruction.
December 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt
We know there's a lot of money to be made from donations and selling advertisements and products when we come up with faux wars on anything. Faux News knows their War on Christmas builds their viewer base.

I'm getting concerned now that both you and I may have missed our projections about the Fiscal Cliff. It's beginning to seem like they really could let us go off. But I think things will eventually work themselves out.

About our next rounds of predictions and projections, we should team up. I was able to be accurate way back in June because I looked at the "mood factor," and despite what the polls were telling us, I projected the impact of the constituencies that would turn out on November 6th to rebel against the Romney-Ryan-Lamontagne-O'Brien attacks on everyone from gays and lesbians and women and union to seniors and the 97 percent of us. You and I can do a better job than lots of these professional pollsters because they can't look at the big picture beyond their statistics.
December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Splaine
May I ask a dumb question related to marriage repeal and House procedure?

Do members of the minority in the House have a guaranty that their bills will get a floor vote? I know that when marriage repeal was under consideration in 2011-2012, it was understood that a vote had to be taken on Rep. Bates' bill; there was no avoiding it. But does this hold true if the bill is introduced by the minority party, as would probably be the case with marriage in 2013? If that is the case, what is to prevent the minority party from flooding the House with hundreds of bills on all manner of issues just to gum up the work of the majority?

Also, Merry Christmas, Rep. Vaillancourt!
December 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

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