Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Friday
Mar022012

How NH Could (Easily) Determine Presidency

The closer it appears the November election will be (and I'm still thinking Romney wins by somewhat less than a squeaker), the more it appears that New Hampshire’s four electoral votes could mean the difference just as they were in 2000 when, despite the contest over Florida, Bush won the Presidency by virtue of Ralph Nader's giving him New Hampshire.

Go to the Real Clear Politics "Battle for the White House" map and the first thing you'll note is that 175 electoral votes are likely for Obama.  He leads for 52 more votes for a total of 227.  158 votes are close to a sure thing for Republicans with another 22 leaning Republican for a total of 181.

I won't bother to go into all these states since they are you're typical red and blue states.  The only quibble might be that Obama could pick off one (of five) electoral votes in Nebraska, one of only two states not to award its votes as a block (in fact Obama took one vote by winning a congressional district in Nebraska in 2008).  Republicans might have an outside shot of stealing New Jersey's 14 electoral votes (with Jewish alienation and a combination of other factors), but most likely if Romney carries New Jersey, he'll have won by a huge margin and wouldn't need the state.

RCP also gives New Mexico (5 votes) to Obama and I continue to believe a Marco Rubio vice presidential candidacy could put this state into play, but for the sake of argument, let's agree that we start with a base of --

Obama 227

Romney 181.

Real Clear Politics and most other "experts" list these ten toss-up states.

Colorado 9, Florida 29, Iowa 6, Missouri 10, Nevada 6. New Hampshire 4, North Carolina 15, Ohio 18, Pennsylvania 20, and Virginia 13.

Missouri should be fairly safe for Republicans as should Pennsylvania for Obama.

For Republicans to have any chance at all, Romney will need to win back Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.

I think he will.

That would bring the total to--

Obama 247

Romney 248

Five states would then still be in play--Iowa 6, Nevada 6, Ohio 18, Colorado 9, and New Hampshire 4.

While the three southwestern states could be real struggles, let's say Obama wins all three (and Iowa)..  That would give him 268 electoral votes.

Romney would get up to 266 by carrying Ohio.

Thus, with New Hampshire's four electoral votes in the balance, it's

Obama 268

Romney 266.

270 wins the day, so whoever wins New Hampshire wins the Presidency.

Actually this isn't a far-fetched scenario at all in a close election.  You could switch Pennsylvania and Ohio around (with Romney carrying PA and Obama OH), and it would still come down to NH--only in this case Romney would have 268 and Obama 266 with only NH remaining.

Obviously dozens of other scenarios could play out, but don't for a minute think that New Hampshire, despite our paltry four electoral votes, won't be the focus of much attention--if the strategists on both sides see a close contest in October.

Of course if Romney were to win 270-268, that one Congressional district in Nebraska would be even bigger than New Hampshire.  That one electoral vote would give Obama a 269-269 tie and send the election to the House of Representatives where, with each state getting one vote, Romney would most likely ultimately prevail, but oh what fun it would be, especially if Obama were to win the popular vote.

To test out the various scenarios, go to the americanresearchgroup.com web site; that's Dick Bennett's polling site.  There's an electoral vote calculator there.  Every time you change a state, the numbers will change at the bottom.  For those with time on their hands, it could be great fun.  Here's how it would look.

AL (9) RepDem   ME (2) RepDem   NC (15) RepDem
AK (3) RepDem   -CD1 (1) RepDem ND (3) RepDem
AZ (11) RepDem   -CD2 (1) RepDem OH (18) RepDem
AR (6) RepDem MD (10) RepDem OK (7) RepDem
CA (55) RepDem MA (11) RepDem OR (7) RepDem
CO (9) RepDem MI (16) RepDem PA (20) RepDem
CT (7) RepDem MN (10) RepDem RI (4) RepDem
DE (3) RepDem MS (6) RepDem SC (9) RepDem
DC (3) RepDem MO (10) RepDem SD (3) RepDem
FL (29) RepDem MT (3) RepDem TN (11) RepDem
GA (16) RepDem NE (2) RepDem TX (38) RepDem
HI (4) RepDem   -CD1 (1) RepDem UT (6) RepDem
ID (4) RepDem   -CD2 (1) RepDem VT (3) RepDem
IL (20) RepDem   -CD3 (1) RepDem VA (13) RepDem
IN (11) RepDem NV (6) RepDem WA (12) RepDem
IA (6) RepDem NH (4) RepDem WV (5) RepDem
KS (6) RepDem NJ (14) RepDem WI (10) RepDem
KY (8) RepDem NM (5) RepDem WY (3) RepDem
LA (8) RepDem NY (29) RepDem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rep Dem  

Thursday
Mar012012

Hitler Learns The Truth About Santa

A friend of mine who enjoys this blog (I am convinced he enjoys it more when I go after Republicans than Democrats!) and who is aware of my fascination for German history (yes including...especially...the Third Reich part) emailed me yesterday suggesting that for a laugh I google--

Hitler and Santa Claus--

I did and two four minute segments from You Tube provide many, many laughs.

Those who've seen movies like The Bunker and The Final Days, in which Der Fuhrer goes from calm to irate in mere seconds--will especially appreciate this spoof.

Actually, Hitler's belief in a German comeback in April, 1945, his raging about Steiner with secret reserves to turn the tide, makes about as much sense as his belief in Santa Claus.

Google Hitler and Santa (Hitler and Stalin may come up at first, but just wait).  A clearn version alludes to Alvin and The Chipmunks. 

There's an even funnier x-rated version (if you can't abide the f word, beware).   At one point, Hiitler (with the truth about Santa finally revealed) pronounces (in German of course...the entire thing is in German), "Mrs. Santa had to be even more frigid than Eva Braun."

There's also a two minute version of Hitler speaking to Santa who, for some reason, has put him on the naughty list.

Check out the many Utube postings.  Apparenetly this schtick has been around since 2008, and for those who haven't yet discovered it, you're in for a real treat.

You don't have to thank me...I thank Bill.

 

Thursday
Mar012012

In Praise Of Nate Silver...And A New Feature

After touting Nate Silver and the fivethirtyeight.com web site for months, I've decided to post some comments on that site.  I registered today and added my thoughts on the United States Senate races in light of Silver's outstanding analysis of what is likely to happen in Maine in view of Olympia Snowe's decision not to seek re-election.

Conservatives who aren't overly fond of the New York Times need not fear fivethirtyeight.com even though it's now run by that paper.  It's fair and insightful.

Nate Silver is outstanding.  He'll probably provide more inside numbers than the average political junkie might want, but that's ok.  I also recall a full chapter being devoted to him in a book I was reading recently...it may have been The Declaration of Independents, a look at the new movers and shakers on the political scene.

BULLETIN--BULLETIN--BULLETIN

As of today, I'm offering a new feature on this blog. 

While many people weigh in with brief comments on articles posted here, I'm going to begin giving you more of a chance to elaborate.  I'll be using Guest Commentaries from time to time in the future.  Simply send a commentary to me at steve.vaillancourt@leg.state.nh.us.  Anonymity (pen names) will be allowed albeit not encouraged.  If I find what you have to offer interesting (even if I disagree with you), I might post it, and rather than you commenting on what I write, I'll comment on what you write. 

I can't wait to hear from the long lost Ernie Gore...if he's still around.

Keep in mind that I'm also have a long-standing offer to put you on a list of people who automatically receive anything I write (except for the comments to fivethirtyeigtht.com....you'll have to go there for those morsels).  Just express your interest at the my email address.

Check out fivethirtyeight.com.

You'll be glad you did. 

Thursday
Mar012012

February Revenues Only One Percent Off

            Congratulations to House and Senate Ways and Means Committees.

            Even as the governor and legislative leadership appear at odds over what to do with last year’s official surplus of $17.7 million, February revenues are in pretty much as expected. 

            It’s a light revenue month, and final numbers tomorrow should show the state took in only a million dollars (1.2 percent) less than $81.6 million expected, basically within range of what might be termed a "rounding error".

            That’s actually pretty good news considering business taxes were off $3.4 million (or 29.3 percent shy of the $11.6 million projected).

            Tobacco taxes were $15.0 million, $0.9 million or 6.3 percent ahead of plan, meaning Governor Lynch will have a harder time contending that the ten cent per pack cut will hurt the bottom line as much as he claim.

             Even liquor revenues are in slightly ahead of plan.

             Rooms and meals and real estate transfer tax exceeded plan, but lottery was a loser once again, generating only $4.5 million, $1.2 million or 21 percent short of the projected $5.7 million.

            Real estate transfer monies were $0.9 million or 19 percent ahead of plan.  Rooms and meals came in at $17.3 million, 11.6 percent ahead of the planned $17.3 million, but keep in mind that $1.2 million must be removed from that total as the usual end of month accounting procedure, so the final numbers will show only $0.6 million to the plus side.

            Insurance taxes, due to a refund at the start of the month, came in $0.6 million short of plan.

            Since February is such a light month for business taxes, it would be overstating the problem to read too much into the high percentage shortfall.  March and April will tell the tale there.

            These numbers will make it difficult for Governor Lynch to defend his contention that there’s a built-in $14 million deficit in the legislative plan.

            Considering that Medicaid monies, which missed the mark in a previous month, are now expected to be in late but according to plan, revenues are running $15 million ahead of plan and due to the continual progress in rooms and meals and real estate transfer monies, we could well finish $30 million ahead of plan (barring no unexpected downside news on the business tax or interest and dividends front ).

            The legislature wants to put the $17.7 million 2011 surplus in the rainy day fund which, currently at $9.3 million, is way shy of the surplus maintained by a single county, Hillsborough (around $16 million in surplus on an $85 million budget).

            You just can’t make this stuff up.

            February revenues will do little to settle the arguments one way or the other.

Wednesday
Feb292012

No Change For Senate Predictions Of 54 and 16

            Despite two developments this week which could favor Democrats, Maine Republican Olympia Snowe’s decision not to seek re-election and former Nebraska Democrat Senator Bob Kerrey’s decision to run for the seat Ben Nelson is vacating, after much consideration, I have decided not to change my New Years prediction that Republicans will gain seven seats to take control of the U.S. Senate 54-47.

            Why?

            Although Maine must now go into the lean Democrat column, a major change (Nate Silver at fivethrityeight.com moves it from 15 to 80 percent for Democrats; I would agree), I would move Nebraska only from a sure Republican pick-up to a likely Republican pick-up.  In other words, I don’t expect Kerrey will win, and until I see different indications from the so-called expert pundits, I’m not going to put that seat back in the Democrat column.

            Beyond that, Republicans seem to be doing better than I originally thought and may be able to pick up an eighth seat to offset a potential loss in Maine.

            I had seen Republicans winning Nebraska, North Dakota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Montana, Virginia, and New Mexico and maybe Ohio while holding Massachusetts and Arizona (and probably Nevada).

            It now appears less likely that Democrat Sherrod Brown will lose in Ohio, but Florida is looking more and more like a Republican pick-up with baseball trumping the space age (Mack vs. Nelson), especially if Mitt Romney picks Marco Rubio as his running mate at the top of the ticekt.

            Even more importantly, the seven potential pick-ups seem to be solidifying.  Roanoke College is out with a new poll which shows George Allen moving ahead of Tim Kane by eight points in Virginia. 

            Rasmussen has Tommy Thompson 14 points ahead of Democrat Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin (although PPP, the Democrat hack outfit, has Baldwin improbably up by one, more of a wish than real numbers I suspect).

            It’s so bad in Missouri that Stu Rothenberg has moved Democrat incumbent Clair McCaskill to underdog status, something I suspected all along but something pundits rarely do to an incumbent.  Obama will most likely lose Missouri—Democrats can no longer count on enough votes in the St. Louis area to offset the rest of the state—and McCaskill will go down with him.

            Democrat incumbent Tester trails in Montana.

            A Suffolk/Channel 7 poll has Scott Brown up by nine over Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts; he won’t win by that much, but he should win.  Update--Rasmussen has Brown up five (49-44) and Mass Opinion Dynamics has him up ten (52-42), so the Warren boom has apparently fizzled.

            Republican Jeff Flake looks like a sure winner in Arizona to replace retiring John Kyl, and while I’d like to see numbers from New Mexico to see who will be favored to replace Democrat Jeff Bingaman, I’d double down on the prediction of a net gain of seven for Republicans if forced to do so as we enter March.

 

            I’m also sticking with a gain of only three seats for Democrats in the New Hampshire Senate (currently 19-5 for Republicans) which means Republicans would hold a 16-8 lead come December.

            Four Republicans are not running again, and I suspect three of those seats will go to Democrats—the Tom DeBlois seat (18) in Manchester; the Gary Lambert (13) seat in Nashua—don’t be surprised to see both Betsi DeVries and Betty Lasky back; and the new District 4 seat (changes are so severe that it would be stretching it to refer to retiring senator James Forsythe as the incumbent) is tailor-made (some would even say gerrymandered) for Democrats to control.  That’s the Dover-Somersworth-Barrington area which a Republican could win but would never be favored.

            Democrats (with the possible exception of Lou D’Allesandro in District 20) should hold all five seats they currently occupy, and even if Lou loses, a gain for Democrats might be possible in the other Nashua district (Luther—12) although with redistricting, the district leans more to Republicans.

            Bottom line—while 54 remains a good bet for Republicans at the national level, 16 remains the best bet for the New Hampshire Senate.