Sunday, November 4, 2007

Exhaustive Election '08 Predictions

Since what is supposed to be the craziest election in a century is now exactly one year away from today, I think it's a good time to make some wild predictions that will make me look like a genius or an absolute punk.

So here goes nothing:

Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District
In Gard vs. Kagan II, Steve Kagan narrowly wins re-election (by less than 3%). The campaign will be just as nasty as the last, if not more so, and it will all come down to money. Kagan will have plenty of it, not only from his own personal fortune but also from all of those new friends he's just met in Washington; Gard will not. 2008 will just not be a year to invest in Republicans and Gard will feel the pinch.

No Democrat will lose his or seat, not even Mary Landrieu whose campaign will be seen by Louisiana Democrats as a kind of last stand against an emergent state GOP. Sen. Landrieu does not win by much, though.

Mark Udall takes over Wayne Allard's Colorado seat.
Mike Johanns keeps the Chuck Hagel's seat warm for the GOP.
What the hell, Tom Udall (and not Heather Wilson) wins the New Mexico open seat.
Mark Warner crushes Jim Gilmore by no less than 15% in Virginia.

Jeanne Shaheen defeats John Sununu.
And while I'm on a roll predicting an imminent Republican catastrophe, why not go for the exacta and say Norm Coleman loses a squeaker to Al Frankin. I think talk of the Republican swing in Minnesota is pretty over-rated and they love a Wild Card in that state. Basically I'm just saying this because it sounds more convincing than "Oh hell, what the fuck!"

Jim Risch will take over Larry Craig's seat.

This one isn't easy, but I just don't see how anyone but Rudy Giuliani wins. Romney will do well (but not necessarily win) in Iowa and New Hampshire (where a surprising John McCain might siphon off support), but even his very expensive team of cut-throat operatives in South Carolina will do him no good there. Once he loses any potential momentum gained prior to South Carolina he gets whacked on Clusterfuck Tuesday (Feb 5th).

Fred Thompson never comes close. He's an empty suit, folks -- the quicker the GOP comes to this conclusion, the easier it will be to move on.

McCain soldiers on through the end of February, then gracefully bows out. It will be a very emotional press conference reminiscent his 2000 withdraw announcement. He then goes on the warpath regarding the torture issue and is periodically a remarkable pain in the ass to his GOP brethren for the rest of the campaign.

Huckabee loses state after state with a smile on his face and some genuinely funny one-liners. VP buzz abounds.

Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo will continue to say stupid shit.

Here's a crazy one: Ron Paul gets at least 10% in New Hampshire.

The GOP convention will be a nightmare. All of the candidates will get to make a speech, except for Paul. Tommy Thompson introduces someone much more important than he is to the crowd. The affair will look more like the 1992 than the 2004, except that instead of a crazy-ass speech by Pat Buchanan, there will be almost four days devoted exclusively to trash-talking the Dem candidate. All three times the phrase "health care" is used it will be joined in the same sentence with the phrase "socialized medicine." Joe Lieberman is invited to give the Zell Miller Annual Lecture by a turncoat Democrat. He accepts. Even though the Democrats eventually wins more seats in the Senate, no punitive action is taken against him for fear that he will just get on with it and officially defect to the GOP.

The theme? 9/11, of course.

Giuliani's nomination takes off after a convincing win in South Carolina and Hizzoner rewards Gov. Mark Sanford with the undercard of the ticket.


No clue. Let's just say it won't be anyone currently running for president, but will be someone perceived to be a moderate who actually has a more liberal record than Clinton does.

There will be marginal improvement in the security situation in Iraq, but no improvement in the political situation. Giuliani will use this a reason to bomb Iran. The Bush Administration will not bomb Iran.

Bush will continue to veto Democratic spending bills.

Two most important issues facing voters: Iraq and health care.

On election day oil will be at least $120 a barrel.

Hillary Clinton will out raise Rudy Giuliani by a minimum of $75 million dollars.

There will be at least two more Clinton fund-raining scandals between now and the election day.

Hillary, and she'll run away with it. Giuliani will do his best to soothe the concerns of the Evangelical wing and will succeed in preventing them from bolting the GOP all together, but they simply won't come out in the numbers that elected George Bush. Meanwhile Democrats will come out in force. Women in particular will help elect Clinton -- she'll win that demo with at least 55%. The RNC will throw everything they have at Hillary, and some of it will stick, but it will be nothing that Hillary can't recover from.

Basically, Rudy Giuliani is an asshole. That's a great quality if you're prosecuting the mob and trying to appear like you're a tough guy mayor who's cleaning up the streets of the City that Never Sleeps, but the rest of America will not accept that in a President. Rudy will probably spend at least half of his time attacking Hillary (Clinton will spend far less going after him) and eventually it will start to wear on people: they will want to see more than Hillary sucks and 9/11.

So far Rudy's campaign has two defining characteristics: his advisers are batshit insane and he has a loose acquaintance with the facts. The more frequently these two become issues, the less viable a Giuliani presidency will seem to voters.

And this is all before the Clinton campaign gets to throw so much as a punch in Rudy's direction. I've said this before: Giuliani will be eviscerated by the Democratic attack apparatus. Their job will be to make sure every voter in America knows that Rudy Giuliani is an asshole and they will have little trouble in finding material to work with.

By the time of the Democratic convention Hillary will be up 10 points in the nationwide polls. She'll win the popular vote by at least eight points. Clinton wins Hawaii, Washington state, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky (why not?), Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Florida and the rest of New England for a final Electoral College score of 344 - 194.

There. I've said before that I don't care for wishy-washy predictions. Short of betting that Dick Cheney will shot another guy in the face, I don't think I can get much more explicit than I have here. Some of these are deliberately ridiculous to account for the inevitable ridiculousness of ongoing events. These are in no way endorsements, just predictions. If next month Hillary Clinton thinks it would be a great idea to go on national TV, take off all her clothes and set an American flag on fire while singing the Internationale, then I will be wrong about all of this now, won't I? Basically, I've seen nothing from the Republican party that suggests their current situation will improve and they are going to be in a world of hurt next November.

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