Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Wednesday
Nov072012

DiStaso's Disgraceful Error Revisited

Remember about a month ago when veteran Union Leader John DiStaso suggested that the real action for New Hampshire House Speaker would occur when Republicans met in their caucus to choose Bill O'Brien as their leader.  Remember how I was so shocked by such ignorance from a so-called respected reporter that I took him to task, noting that a Republican/Democrat coalition could defeat O'Brien or that even a Democrat could become Speaker.  Now that all indications are that not only DiStaso displayed ignorance with his projections but other main steam media types as well; now that Democrats will control at least 217 seats, maybe something in the 220 range, allow me to rerun my response to "reporter" DiStaso.

Thursday

Oct042012

Media Watch--DiStaso's Ignorance Is Stunning

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 09:56AM

 

 

 

For such a veteran reporter as John DiStaso, the ignorance he displays in his Granite Status column in Thursday's Union Leader must be considered nothing less than stunning.

Always one to lap up slop fed to him by leaders of either political party, DiStaso displays total lack of government and the political situation--not to mention history--by asserting that when the New Hampshire meets on organization day December 5, it will "just a formality".

That may or may not be the case, but for a high paid reporter to say so with such certainty is absolutely mind boggling.

DiStaso then goes on the list O'Brien's supporters, mostly the usual suspects, as if he's being paid by the Speaker to do his bidding.

The reporter correctly reports that Republican will caucus on November 15 and Democrats on November 17 to choose their candidates for Speaker.  However, he asserts, with no factual basis, that the real action will take place when the Republican meet, assuming both O'Brien and challenger Lee Quandt of Exeter win their elections.

That statement assumes that Republicans will be in control, no sure thing as any astute observer of the scene should feel compelled to at least note.  Numbers cruncher William Tucker, admittedly a Democrat, yesterday placed the odds at 50/50 of Democrats taking control of the House.  My own work, as posted here yesterday, is virtually identical, and no one could accuse me of being a Democrat.

But let's say that Republican maintain control.  Off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen Republicans (likely to be elected) who will never vote for Bill O'Brien for Speaker.  That's just a start; I suspect the number is closer to three dozen.  Thus if Democrats win as few as 165 seats they will be able to throw all their support behind a candidate other than O'Brien and deny him the gavel.  You don't have to delve too deeply into history to find the last time that happened, 2004 when all Democrats and only a few Republicans elected Doug Scamman Speaker (of course, we'll never really know who voted for whom since it was by secret ballot).

It's a mere quibble to state that DiStaso most likely has the wrong name for "Paul" Silva as an O'Brien supporter.  I can only assume he means Peter Silva, the Republican leader who took over when D.J. Bettencourt left in disgrace.  Yes, that would be the same Peter Silva who earlier in the year, as a Rick Perry supporter, said he could never support Mitt Romney for President.

Peter, Paul, who's counting.  We all make mistakes (I certainly do here, but I try to correct them...just ask Josh McElveen...that's EE). 

DiStaso's big mistake, an unforgivable one at that, is his insistence that all will be decided when Republicans meet and the rest will be "just a formality".

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

Monday
Nov052012

Cue Rod Stewart; It's Time To Wake Up Maggie

 
Even if you don't trust numbers from the WMUR/Granite State Survey (UNH), there's plenty of other polling data which convinces me for the first time that Ovide LaMontagne will become a four time loser in the race for Governor of New Hampshire.
UNH had Maggie up 11 points (54-43).  Let's say Ovide gets the late deciders (not likely!) and let's say Andy Smith is overpolling Democrats by six or seven points.
It's still tough to see how anyone but a rabidly partisan Republican could spin other numbers into an Ovide win.
Even Rasmussen (my favorite) has Hassan up five (50-45) at the same time he has Obama up only two in the state.  NEC has her up two (47-45).
I opened my TV show, the very last edition of The Liberty Express, with Rod Stewart, my favorite singer of all time, today.
"Wake up Maggie; I think I've got something to say to you."
No, it's not late September and I really should be back in school.
It's early November, and Maggie Mae is on her way to the corner office.
Blame it on the New Hampshire GOP which insists on putting forward those like Ovide and Bill O'Brien who are such social neanderthals that while they dominate primaries, they are easily blown away in the general election.
I don't think Maggie winds up winning by ten (let's call it three), and I'm still picking Frank Guinta to beat Carol Shea Porter who is three (49-46) with WMUR and I can't believe that Kuster is leading Charlie Bass by the 10 (53-43), so I'll stick with Charlie, and I'll stick with a 13-11 Republican lead in the NH Senate and a 201-198-1 lead in the House, but if...if...if...the WMUR numbers are right for top of the ticket, Democrats could well take both Houses by narrow margins.
Again, I'm sticking with Romney in New Hampshire, Guinta, and Bass but only a fool would stick with Ovide in light of these numbers.
When it comes to predictions, I may be wrong, but I'm not fool.
"Wake up Maggie, I think I got something to say to you."
CONGRATULATIONS!
Monday
Nov052012

Let's Call It 279-259 and 51-48 Romney

First the caveats.
The averages of most national polls (from both Pollster and Real Clear Politics) show President Barack Obama ever so slightly ahead in the popular vote and with enough electoral votes to retain the Presidency tomorrow.
Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com gives Mitt Romney only a 13.7 percent chance of winning; he has it 307-231 in electoral votes and 50.6-48.5 in popular votes.
The RCP average has Obama up 48.5-48.1 in the popular vote and with a 201-191 lead in electoral votes (with 11 states deemed toss-ups).  Pollster (the Huffington Post site) has it even better for Obama, up 48.0-46.8 in popular vote and 277-191 on the electoral side with four toss-ups (not enough for Romney even if he won all four).
However, I'm going against the grain for two very good reasons.  The pollsters I most admire, Gallup and Rasmussen, each have Romney up by a point, 49-48.  Gallup had suspended polling for most of last week in the aftermath of Sandy, but is out with its latest numbers today, and Romney clings to a lead.  Other polls actually have a tie in the popular vote (CNN at 49, Monmouth at 48, and Politico at 48).  How then, you might ask, is Obama ahead in averages?
It's simple.  One or two polling firms--those which I have targeted in the past as not reliable--have the President ahead by more than one.  Pew, for example, has Obama up 50-47.  I believe both Pew and Marist and Survey USA are oversampling Democrats by such a large margin that they simply cannot be trusted, neither for national or state polls.
Fox example, while Rasmussen has a 49-49 tie in Ohio and Monmouth has Obama up only a point, Survey USA has him up five points (49-44) there.
There's also word that CNN is oversampling Democrats by 11 points (it was seven points four years ago) to get to a 49-49 tie today, and that Romney leads by 20 or more with Independents.  Anyone who thinks Democrats will turn out with four percent more than in 2008 simply cannot be trusted.
However, I'm not going with Republican hacks like Dick Morris who come up with 325 electoral votes for Romney or even the highly respected Michael Barone who puts Romney at 315.
I'm more in the Karl Rove camp.
Here's how I get to 279-259 for Romney.
Nearly everyone agrees that 39 states and the District of Columbia are not in play (Minnesota is the only question mark there and then only with the Morris types).
In that group, Obama leads 201-191.
6 of  the states remaining are:
North Carolina 15--R
Florida 29--R
Virginia 13--R
Michigan 16--OB
Pennsylvania 20--OB
Wisconsin 10--OB
Let's give Romney the first three (the only argument might be Virginia where the RCP average has Obama up 0.3 points, but Rasmussen has Romney up two 50-48) and Obama the next three (Republicans think they have a shot in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania where Bill Clinton is making four stops for Obama today).
That gives Romney a lead of 248-247 with only five states in play.
Nevada 6--OB
Iowa 6--OB
Ohio 18--R
New Hampshire 6--R
Colorado 9--R
While Iowa could be close (ARG has Romney up 49-48), it seems reasonable to expect Obama to win there and in Nevada to get his number up to 259.
If we give Romney Ohio, he would be up to 266, still three shy of a tie and four shy of a win.  Thus, even with Ohio, Romney would either need to pick up Colorado or New Hampshire.
I have him picking up both.  Although RCP has Obama up 1.5 points in Colorado, it's largely because unreliable Survey USA has him up five and PPP up six; I'll go with Rasmussen again--he has Romney up three in Colorado (hey, aren't there a lot of Mormons in that state?).
New Hamsphire could be more problematic.  Most polls show Romney behind by two which is in fact the average.  Even Rasmussen has Obama up 50-48.  ARG has it 49-49; the WMUR Poll (which has been all over the map) has Obama up 51-48 (unless it's changed again in the last minute or two); NEC has Obama up 50-46; and PPP, a Democratic pollster, has it only a two point lead 50-48. 
The reason I've stopped trusting UNH numbers (WMUR) is that the same poll which shows Obama up by only three has Maggie Hassan, unlike all other polls, up by 11.
Let's put it this way.  Even if Obama wins New Hampshire, Romney still wins nationwide 275-263 if he holds on to Ohio and Colorado.
That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
On the generic front, it's nearly dead even.  Rasmussen has it 46-46, but the way things break, that should be enough for Republicans to hold onto most of their advantage in the U.S. House (I still have Democrats picking up only six seats).
My U.S. Senate predictions from a year ago are--shall we say--inoperative however.  I had Republicans getting to 54 seats with a gain of seven, but now--thanks to unforced errors in Indiana and Missouri and Olympia Snowe's decision not to run in Maine--Democrats seem likely to hold control 51-49.  Kaine has pulled ahead of Allen in Virgina; Nelson leads Mack in Florida; only one poll (UMass) has Scott Brown ahead in Massachusetts; and even with a Josh Mandel upset in Ohio and wins in North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana (no sure thing) and Wisconsin (no sure thing), Republicans, thanks to the right wing fanaticism in primaries again, will come up short.
Where's Vince McMahon to rig things when Linda needs him?
Monday
Nov052012

Two Upset Specials For Tomorrow

 
No guts, no glory.
That's my motto when it comes to predictions. 
Thus, to go along with the usual predictions, I've come up with two what I call "out on a limb" predicitions, long shots which I expect to come through, one for the state, one for the country.
I have long thought that Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown is too liberal for that (or any) state and have been intrigued by the possibility of an upset win for 35 year old Josh Mandel who looks even younger.  He's been elected statewide (state treasurer), spent eight years in the Marine Corps, and although polls have consistently shown him running behind Brown, I am now prepared to go out on a limb and pick him to spring an upset.  Why?  Because I believe Mitt Romney will carry the vital Buckeye state and it won't even be all that close as hundreds of thousands of evangelicals show up who sat out the election four years ago.  Thus, Madel wins as well.  (Rasmussen has it a dead heat today, and you know how I trust Rasmussen most among pollsters).
Here in New Hampshire, I am less confident to predict an upset in the highly Republican fourth Executive Council district, but hey, no guts, no glory.  I'm going to predict Democrat Chris Pappas, former State Rep, former Hillsborough County Treasurer and co-owner of the popular Back Room Restaurant, defeats Republican Robert Burns, current county treasurer.
This is the third straight election these two have faced off.
Pappas beat Burns 52.6-47.6 percent (89,417-80,969) for tresurer in 2008; Burns beat Pappas 58.3-41.7 percent (68,438-48,808) in the Republican sweep of 2010.
The council district is arguably even more Republican than Hillsborough County, so this will indeed be an upset.
I'm not the first to predict the upset; Kevin Landrigan did in his Sunday Telegraph column.
Not only am I predicting the upset, I'm a Republican voting for Democrat Pappas.  I've worked with both of them at the county level (in a position that should be non-partisan) and when it comes to competence, it's no contest.  Pappas is by far the better choice.
You don't have to thank me, Chris (not even with an order of chicken tenders!).
Mmm, mmm, good.