Friday, November 04, 2016

Election Night Guide, Part. 3: Hawaii-Louisiana

(I am checking through every state and my political predictions for Election Night 2016: If you have missed any of the other pieces, please click here: Pt. 1: Alabama-Arkansas, Pt. 2: California-Georgia)


President: Even without favorite son Barack Obama on the ballot, this will likely be one of the best Hillary Clinton states on the map.
Senate: It will be weird for Sen. Brian Schatz to not be on the ballot for the first time in years come 2018, as he will finally win a full six-year term in the Senate on Tuesday.


President: I do think that Evan McMullin might hold Trump below 50% of the vote, but this isn’t Utah-Trump gets a very easy victory.
Senate: Sen. Mike Crapo isn’t going to win a Profile in Courage Award for going back-and-forth on his Trump endorsement, but he’ll surely win a fourth term in the Senate anyway.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

President: The Land of Lincoln will give their favorite daughter a proud win, likely by a number similar to that enjoyed by Barack Obama four years ago.
Senate: The Democrats’ easiest Senate pickup opportunity got a lot easier when incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk made a racist remark directly to Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s face during a debate last week.  Duckworth’s been inevitable all cycle, but this probably got her close to double digits. Democrats +1
House: The DCCC’s biggest recruiting miss has to be Illinois, where the 12th and 13th both were possibilities that never went anywhere.  The same cannot be said for the 10th, which features the third consecutive rematch between incumbent Rep. Bob Dold (R) and former Rep. Brad Schneider.  Though Dold has strongly stood against Trump all cycle, I don’t think that will be enough-this is a very blue district, one Clinton is likely to win in a big way, and with support melting for Kirk you could make the argument there’s no pressing reason for the GOP to GOTV.  Democrats +1


President: While it may be closer than 2012, I see no reason to think that a repeat of 2008 will happen here, mortifying Mike Pence in his bid for the Eisenhower Building.  Trump holds, probably by 5-7 points.
Governor: One of the bigger surprises of the past few weeks has been the robust strength that we’re seeing for House Speaker John Gregg.  Whether it’s Trump fatigue, Pence fatigue, ambivalence about Lt. Gov. Eric Holcolmb, or perhaps just wanting a new party in the statehouse after Republicans being in charge for twelve years, it seems very likely the Democrats will get a surprise pickup in Indiana, something no one would have guessed two months ago. Democrats +1
Senate: In literally any other cycle, Evan Bayh would be losing.  Despite being a popular former senator and governor, he has endured a mountain of scandals from his time in office and his period of lobbying, stuff that would normally bring down most candidates.  That being said, he’s never been behind in a poll, not one, and it’s borderline unprecedented for a candidate to lose in that situation.  It’s quite possible that, despite him doing basically everything possible to toss away a race he surely could have clobbered in, we’ll end up seeing Evan Bayh still eke out a victory.  But I can’t quite predict it-the momentum is with Rep. Todd Young, and though he has yet to lead in a poll, I’m getting a Heidi Heitkamp/Rick Berg sort of vibe here.  Republicans win, barely.
House: If the Democrats are going to win the House, the canary in the coal mine is the 9th district of the Hoosier State.  There you have Trey Hollingsworth, a Tennessee native who just moved to Indiana last year and has been largely relying upon finances from his father to set up his business career (the Trump parallels have been made by the left…repeatedly).  The Democrats have the better candidate in Shelly Yoder, a county commissioner and former Miss Indiana.  If Yoder is able to win, it might be an indication that the Democrats are doing better than I anticipated, and a few of the tossups I went with the GOP on could be more in play than I thought.  However, the fundamentals of the seat favor Hollingsworth, and there’s no obvious sign of a Democratic wave so I’m sticking to a GOP hold.

Monica Vernon (D-IA)

President: Clinton has started closing the gap here in recent days, with some polls showing her tied even though this has consistently been the Obama ’12 state most likely to flip red.  I’m thinking the fundamentals of the race have to favor Trump-the number of white working-class voters here are not balanced out like in states such as Nevada or North Carolina with a high minority population, so I’m going with Trump.  I wouldn’t be stunned, though, if this state came home to Clinton.
Senate: For a brief second there it looked like Sen. Chuck Grassley might be vulnerable, and it’s probable that he’ll have his closest reelection in thirty years.  However, he’ll be headed back to DC, likely to decide on the Merrick Garland vote, shortly.
House: The question here becomes-are the Republicans in the middle of a realignment moment in the Hawkeye State similar to one undergone by Arkansas in recent years (where the dynamics of the state shift it swiftly to the right), or is Trump just a rare candidate that can appeal to white working-class voters?  We’ll probably discover that here in the first district.  While the third district seems off-the-table (Rep. David Young’s done a pretty good job establishing himself after a surprise win two years ago), the first district pitting Rep. Rod Blum (R) against Democrat Monica Vernon should favor Vernon.  This is a seat that went heavily toward Barack Obama, and is likely to go to Clinton even if she loses statewide.  However, Blum has done quite well in polling and has turned a lean Democratic race into a tossup.  The question here is how much has the district changed since 2012?  I’m guessing not enough to save Blum, so I’m going with Vernon because on paper this should be a home run for her, but if she can’t win this cycle, it’s likely this seat is Blum’s as long as he wants it. Democrats +1


President: They might not be happy about it (Trump has underperformed in most plains states), but they’ll still vote for Donald Trump once again in the Sunflower State.
Senate: Like I’ve said before, if I have to look up if you have a Senate race, you probably are going to win reelection.  Sen. Jerry Moran gets a second term.
House: The third district, like Indiana’s 9th, is one that would be essential to a Pelosi speakership.  Kansas doesn’t love Trump, and the third district is actually in a strange situation where it probably will vote for Clinton despite it being a Mitt Romney district four years ago.  It’s worth noting that the Democrat (Jay Sidie) hasn’t hidden from his Democratic tag, despite that being a liability, welcoming an endorsement from President Obama.  I think this stays red, but like IN-9 and CA-49, it’s not out of the question that this goes to the left (Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat, held this district for years before retiring).  Keep an eye on it.


President: Trump’s biggest gains will surely be in Appalachian States like Kentucky, where his coal-friendly campaign style and rapport with non-college educated white voters will be a big plus.  Trump in a landslide.
Senate: Interesting fact: Rand Paul still exists.  Also, he’s going to win reelection.


President: Most of the South isn’t Georgia and it certainly isn’t North Carolina, so expect a strong victory for Trump in Louisiana.

Senate: In a race you should probably watch only because it’ll be interesting to see what happens, Louisiana has what is known as a “jungle primary,” where the top two finishers advance to a December runoff.  This is interesting for three reasons.  One, former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke is running in the district, and has been trying to turn the ugliest parts of Donald Trump’s support base into a way for him to win a surprise spot in the runoff, but thankfully that isn’t happening.   Two, the Democrats actually only have two major candidates to the Republicans having four that have more than 5% of the vote-that could, theoretically, open up a situation where the Democrats both advance to the runoff.  It’s unlikely, as the leading Republican John Kennedy has taken a nominal lead over Reps. John Fleming and Charles Boustany on the right side, but it’s not impossible that Democrats Foster Campbell and Caroline Fayard (in some polls running second and third), could somehow advance past Kennedy if the Republicans target him pretty heavily in the last few days, setting up a truly bizarre pickup for the DSCC.  However, It will more than likely be Campbell losing to Kennedy, which gives us our third surprise: John Kennedy, on his third attempt at the Senate, is finally going to win, and so America will have a John Kennedy once more in the Senate.  And this time he’s a conservative, southern Republican.

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