Okay, here we go… enjoy (or hate) and we’ll see if I’m right at poll closing time. Short version: I think it might not be as big a tsunami as Republicans are hoping for. The idea that Republicans are going to pick up 70 or more House seats just strikes me as too giddy by half. And the Senate will stay in Democratic hands (by the way, to all my rightie friends, and an alarming number of liberals — the term is “Democratic” … not “Democrat.” Enjoy!
U.S. Senate – pick-ups and holds, lightning round:
- Arkansas: Bye-bye, Blanche (easy R pick-up)
- California: Barbara Boxer keeps her seat, in part because Jerry Brown wins pretty easily (D hold)
- Connecticut: Blumenthal tosses McMahon into turnbuckle (D hold)
- Delaware: Coons wins, O’Donnell becomes next Fox News superstar, Palin, suddenly feeling a bit older and less fly by comparison, begins hating on her immediately (D hold)
- West Virginia: Manchin becomes the new Ben Nelson/Mary Landrieu, base hates his guts, White House gives in to his every tantrum (D hold)
- Indiana: Coats wins the seat vacated by Evan Bayh, who immediately begins contemplating primarying the president in 2012, buoyed by PUMAs and a cool new Republican friend with a strange wig, named Rarl Kove… (R pick-up)
- Louisiana: I guess they like guys who use hookers in the Big Easy (R hold)
- New Hampshire: Ayotte wins (R hold)
- Ohio: Rob Portman wins (R hold)
- Missouri: Roy Blunt wins (R hold)
- Wisconsin: I’m guessing Feingold loses, but I’ll never for the life of me understand why (R pick-up)
- Kentucky: I like Jack Conway, I think he’s a great candidate, great looking, great future, but I’m guessing he fails this time due to the Aqua Buddha backlash. The Senate gets much more interesting, and Mitch McConnell gets a leadership challenge by Paul and other forces close to Jim DeMint. (R hold)
Senate nail biters:
- Illinois: Giannoulias by a hair over Mark Kirk, and thankfully it’s not Blago’s hair… (D hold) Kirk screams ACORN! and demands a recount
- Alaska: I’m with Smerconish. This one goes to a recount without anybody screaming ACORN! … but in the end, I’m going with Murkowski … though I’m not feeling too confident about it and could see McAdams squeaking through (R hold)
- Nevada: I’m with Ralston. Turnout operation means Reid wins it, but barely (D hold) … Angle screams ACORN! and demands a recount
- Colorado: Hickenlooper wins the governorship, and his vote plus anti-Tancredo indies help carry Bennett over the line by a nose (D hold)
- Washington: Patty Murray hangs on, sneakers slightly scuffed but still in tact (D hold)
- Pennsylvania: this one is my way out on a limb pick for the night’s election surprise. Pennsylvania has long been the GOP’s white whale, but like Joe Scarborough, I’ve never believed the hype. This is a union state. It’s an elderly state. Pat Toomey is for outsourcing and he’s for privatizing Social Security. I think turnout oppo by the very strong union ground troops in that state can still squeak Sestak through. The PA state party in PA is good, they’re pushing hard in Philly to take advantage of their registration advantage and get black voters out, and there’s already early evidence of unusually heavy voting in suburban Lehigh County and other urban areas where Dems are strong. (D hold, which in a way is also a pick-up, given that it has been both a Dem and a Republican seat — both times with Arlen Specter…)
GOP picks up 46-47 seats, which if Dems get all 7 R pick-ups, including Joseph Cao’s seat in Louisiana, means the House majority will be a 1 vote affair in either direction. Operation: Gridlock.
Florida statewide and Congressional
- Alex Sink ekes out a victory for governor (alternate ending: Rick Scott cries “ACORN fraud” and sues, demanding a recount. The Florida Supreme Court kicks it up to John Roberts and friends, who along with his coven, after consulting with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, awards the race to Scott. And the streets go wild!)
- Republicans sweep the cabinet seats, Pam Bondi’s facetime on Fox News triples, triggering a hissy fit by Sarah Palin, who responds by getting her agent to arrange for her to succeed her daughter on “Dancing with the Stars” in a desperate battle to both out-flank Bondi and beat Christine O’Donnell to the punch.
- Amendment 4 fails (which means the developers win … suckers…)
- Amendments 5 and 6 pass, causing mass panic in Tallahassee
- Amendment 8 (class size rebuke) fails. John Thrasher dies a lonely, smoking man in a windowless room after being defeated by anti-SB6 voters (and a TV lady)
- Amendment 2 passes (you deserve it, veterans!)
- Amendment 1 passes too, eliminating public financing from campaigns, and causing Jeff Greene’s interest in sunshine state politics to be renewed.
- The balanced budget/no taxes non-binding referendum passes overwhelmingly, causing a brief panic in the Orlando are as the tea party movement’s collective orgasmic reaction rips the space-time continuum, resulting in a series of sonic booms. (More on the amendments here.)
- Joe Garcia wins D25 (and David Rivera moves back to the Bronx to resume his secret espionage … I mean “consulting”… career)
- Ron Klein hangs on in D22 (Allen West screams ACORN! and threatens armed revolution with the help of his biker friends…)
And for the big finish:
FLSen: Marco Rubio wins with his designated 45 percent of the vote and becomes the front-runner to be Mitt Romney’s running mate. Half of Dems blame Kendrick Meek, half blame Charlie Crist. If I’m wrong about the governor’s race and Rick Scott wins, he appoints Jeb Bush to fill the seat when Marco scampers off to Utah for de-Palinization training. If Sink is the governor, she appoints Charlie Crist to the Senate seat, causing Jeb’s head to literally explode. George LeMieux checks into alcohol rehab after Senator Crist refuses to return his repeated, increasingly desperate phone calls.
Alternate ending: and this is, to be sure,very much an outside possibility (though apparently, Meghan McCain buys it, along with a bunch of other really strange predictions…) but what the hell. In this scenario, which I’d say has about a 10 percent chance of coming true: the Panhandle re-reviews the Amex records and decides they can’t pull the level for Marco. Undecideds also break against him, and Kendrick Meek’s support collapses to just the black vote plus a handful of die-hard liberal Dems. So the finish winds up as Rubio 43, Meek 12, Snitker 2, Crist 43, in which case, it comes down to a few hundred votes … and we’ve got ourselves a recount! Mm… recount …
I’ll be on MSNBC on and off between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. to talk election results, so if I’m wrong more than I’m right on these, feel free to throw things at the teevee.