With voters going to the polls in less than 48 hours in one of the most important elections in American history, I thought I would try to predict some outcomes. The caveat here is that unreliable polling data, Republican voter suppression, and the unique interest in this election makes predicting results difficult. Still, I love politics and making what I hope are accurate guesses is fun.
I will make predictions in the most important Senate races being decided.
Currently, Republicans have a 51-49 advantage in the Senate. This year, 35 Senate seats are on the ballot. Of the 35 seats being decided, 26 are currently held by Democrats and nine are held by Republicans.
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema will beat Republican Martha McSally. The winner of this race will replace the retiring Jeff Flake. In a race neither candidate deserves to win, I’m going with Sinema because McSally’s lies and negativity have been more pathetic than Sinema’s. Pretending you support people with preexisting conditions after having voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act is wrong. Accusing your opponent of treason is simply disgusting.
Democrat Bill Nelson will keep his seat by defeating Republican Rick Scott. Scott, a former health care executive, has spent millions of his own money trying to convince Floridians he won’t take coverage away from people with preexisting conditions. Given his opposition to expanding Medicaid and the fact that his fortune was made by denying people coverage, he obviously can’t be trusted.
Democrat Joe Donnelly will defeat Republican Mike Braun and keep this seat. Donnelly is certainly not my idea of a Democrat. He voted to confirm Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. On the plus side, he voted against Brett Kavanaugh. Still, any Democrat is better than any Republican this year.
Democrat Claire McCaskill will beat Republican Josh Hawley and hold her seat. Josh Hawley is the attorney general of Missouri. In that role, he joined a lawsuit seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Running for the Senate, Hawley is appearing in commercials pledging to cover people with preexisting conditions. I guess he is hoping the people of Missouri don’t realize the lawsuit he backs would result in people with preexisting conditions having no legal protection.
Democrat Jon Tester beats Republican Matt Rosendale and keeps his seat. Trump desperately wants to beat Tester (he has gone to Montana four times). That alone should encourage people to vote for Tester. Still, I’m banking on the fact that Tester has been elected twice before and this is a good year for Democrats.
Nevada is absolutely critical if Democrats have any chance of taking control of the Senate, because Nevada is the only state won by Hillary Clinton where a Republican is defending.
Democrat Jacky Rosen will beat Republican Dean Heller. This race is going to be a cliffhanger. We may not know the result for days. I’m going with Rosen, because Heller has always been on the wrong side of the health care debate. Also, I’m expecting Trump’s racist attacks on the Latino community to help Rosen.
Democrat Bob Menendez–whose probable but unproven corruption should disqualify him–will hold his seat over Republican Bob Hugin (who has loaned his campaign 24 million dollars). Even though Democrats made a terrible decision when they didn’t force Menendez from the race, New Jersey voters (highly educated and aware of what’s on the line) will hold their noses and make sure Democrats keep a blue seat.
Republican Kevin Cramer beats Democrat HeidI Heitkamp and turns a current blue seat red.
North Dakota is one of the most conservative states in America. Heitkamp barely won in 2012. Her success was do, in part, to a huge vote total from the Native American community. Thanks to another terrible court ruling allowing Republicans to disenfranchise people of color, a North Dakota law requiring voters to have a street address (many Native Americans don’t) the court is helping the GOP decrease voter turn out in the Native American community. In a close race, this law, obviously targeted at Native Americans who vote for Heitkamp, could make all the difference.
Republican Marsha Blackburn beats Democrat Phil Bredesen and keeps this very red seat red.
In spite of Taylor Swift’s famous endorsement of Bredesen and the reality that Blackburn is an extreme right-wing candidate, the GOP keeps this seat. Blackburn is a Trump Republican. In Tennessee, Trump is popular.
In an upset that seemed truly impossible a few months ago, Democrat Beto O’Rourke beats Republican Ted Cruz.
Admittedly, this may be wishful thinking. With the race widely considered too close to call and Cruz being a terrible candidate, let’s hope for the moon.
In a sign of desperation and an illustration of who he is as a person, Cruz accused O’Rourke of donating campaign money to support the caravan of migrants coming to the United States from Central America. The truth is that some of O’Rourke’s staffers used 300 dollars to donate food and supplies to a charity. The donation is being reported to the Federal Election Commission as required by law.
Democrat Joe Manchion beats Republican Patrick Morrisey and keeps his seat.
Manchin was the only Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh. But he supports the Affordable Care Act. Manchin isn’t at all progressive, but Democrats need the seat.
Democrat Tammy Baldwin keeps her seat over Republican Leah Vukmir.
In 2016, Wisconsin stunningly, narrowly went for Trump. It seems the good people of Wisconsin have realized the error of their ways.
The Senate After the Election
If my predictions are correct, the Democrats will claim Republican seats in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. Republicans will take a seat from the Democrats in North Dakota. That will give Democrats a pick up of two seats. That will give the democrats a 51-49 advantage. Democrats win the Senate!
I can’t remember when I hoped so much to be right about something.