As I was leisurely filming scenes in Montreal’s Old Port Sunday, I realized that not only was it Canada Day (July 1), but it also marked the midway point of the year, and I usually check out my New Years predictions at this juncture.
First I had to recall what the predictions were (I was in an Internet free zone), but once I jotted them down, I ran through them and found out that so far, two have proven correct, two incorrect with eight yet to be determined (I dubbed the prediction 12 for 12 back at the start of the year).
I was right that gay marriage was not repealed by the New Hampshire House and that slot machines (or expanded gambling) was not approved.
I was—barring an unforeseen write-in of earth shattering magnitude—wrong that Ted Gatsas would be the next governor. I was also wrong with my out-on-a-limb prediction that the New Hampshire House would discover the wisdom of raising the speed limit to 70 miles an hour on Interstate highways.
Of the eight remaining predictions, I remain satisfied with all but one. I had Democrats picking up 55 or so seats in the New Hampshire House; I’ve expanded that to closer to 100 seats so that come November 7, the NH House will be very close to 200-200 (my exact numbers now are 202 Republicans, 197 Democrats and Cynthia Dokmo as an Independent).
I’m fairly comfortable with the other seven predictions including Mitt Romney as President (with approximately 53 percent of the popular vote and 300 electoral votes). Although Romney continues to trail by three points or so in most polls, the economic data does not look good, and I’ll stick with the prediction, albeit by a closer margin.
I had Gene Chandler as the next Speaker of the New Hampshire House, and although that was based on Republicans maintaining somewhat firm control (although not enough control for O’Brien to return with the gavel—Gott sei Dank), I’m fairly confident that Gene will be an acceptable compromise.
Keep in mind that these are always things that I think will happen, not what I want to happen (I’ve endorsed Lee Quandt for Speaker).
Democrats could do slightly better than I predicted in the New Hampshire Senate (I had them picking up three seats to from 19-5 to 16-8). With the large number of incumbents not seeking re-election, I would be comfortable increasing the gain to four seats making it 15-9, but keep in mind that Senate redistricting should be a big boon to Republicans.
Republicans should handily maintain control of the U.S. House (I had them losing six seats and will stick with that despite some polls showing Democrats actually leading in the generic Congressional ballot). I am far less confident that Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass will be re-elected, primarily because top of the ticket will not provide as big a boost as I had thought, but let’s assume that Porter and Kuster can be tagged with their support of unpopular Obamacare and the only way to get rid of it is to give Republicans Congressional control. I’ll stick with Guinta and Bass winning, but no gun to my head on this one please.
I remain far more confident than most pundits that Republicans will easily take control of the U.S. Senate. I would reduce my number of gains from seven down to six seats (thanks to Snowe’s decision not to run in Maine). North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wisconsin, and Missouri look like sure pick-ups. The three states which could decide the Presidency (Ohio, Virginia, and Florida) could also produce Republican gains. Virginia is a pure toss-up. Although Sherrod Brown continues to lead in Ohio, 31 year old Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel (former Marine; he looks like a teenager) has received national attention this week as a potential upset winner (blame Obamacare and poor jobs numbers). Although I think Nelson will hang on to defeat Connie Mack in Florida, I think Scott Brown beats the Indian wannabe in Massachusetts, and Jeff Flake easily holds the Kyl seat in Arizona. Call it a gain of at least five seats for at least 52-48 control for Republicans. 53-47 is my new pick.
Gun to my head prediction for governor would now be Ovide, but don’t hold me to this one, and once again these are what I think will happen, not what I hope will happen.
Finally, I’ll stick with my predictions of 8.5 percent unemployment and 2.0 percent growth at the time of the election.
Only Ted Gatsas and failure to raise the speed limit to a reasonable 70 miles an hour stand between me and the chance at perfection for 2012.
But then I suspect something else will go wrong prior to November.