Ignore the Talking Heads

by admingene on April 8, 2020

APRIL 8, 2020


Once again, I heard someone today on MSNBC talk about the bump that Trump has achieved in his approval ratings since the advent of the pandemic.  Only thing is, the bump doesn’t exist.  According to Real Clear Politics, eight national polls were released today and the average rating for Trump was Approve = 45%, Disapprove = 51%.  If that’s a bump, what will happen when things go back down?

There is also evidence that his approval rating for how he is handling the coronavirus pandemic, which had been slightly positive, now mirrors his overall approval ratings.  The five polls that asked this question gave Trump a combined rating of Approve = 46%, Disapprove = 51%. 

For a brief period of time, Trump allowed Dr. Fauci and others to take the lead at the daily briefings.  But he could not permit that to continue.  In his mind, he must always be the center of attention and he can do no wrong.  So he has quickly reverted to attacking anybody and everybody for the failures of his administration and has reminded everyone of who and what he is.  Maybe David Brooks, New York Times and PBS Newshour contributor, is correct.  Brooks has argued for some time that nothing in the current situation will make much difference to Trump’s approval ratings.  Most everyone made up their minds a long time ago about him and that’s that.

On other topics…

Bernie Sanders picked a good time to suspend his campaign.  With many contested elections in Wisconsin yesterday, he maximized Democratic turnout in the election-that-should-never-have-been.  He is right that he has had a tremendous influence on political discourse in this country, but unlike 2016, it looks like he will be an active participant in the general election campaign.  Perhaps it is true that he and Biden are, indeed, friends.  Once again, we see how much personal relationships can influence world events…

Yesterday, Gavin Newsom announced that the State of California has partnered with a major manufacturer and various non-profits (none of which he has identified as of this writing) to sign a contract that will bring 200 million masks, N95 and surgical, to California every month, and extras will be distributed to other Western states.  In his announcement on Rachel Maddow’s show yesterday, he referred to California as being a “nation-state” because it has the 5th largest economy in the world and he felt it was time to act like it, using its formidable negotiating power.  He is also lending ventilators to other states currently in critical need (like New Jersey).  These are the kinds of things the federal government should have been doing for the last 2 months, at least.  I am very proud of our Governor…

And one final note:  If you still have some idealism about this country, and you don’t hate musicals, you might want to check out the film version of the show 1776 on Amazon Prime.  It is a reasonably accurate portrayal of the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  This is the Director’s Cut and a little long, at 2:45, but only costs $1.99.


by admingene on March 31, 2020

MARCH 31, 2020


Two PACS associated with the Democratic and Republican U.S. Senate campaign committees have just set initial budgets for their first ads ahead of the November elections and they give a good indication of where the battles are likely to be fought, especially since both organizations have purchased ad time for the same five races and the Republicans added one more.

First, the five common ad purchases:

Arizona:           Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to replace John McCain, vs. Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords.  There have been a few polls here and the latest have Kelly with a 6-7 point lead.

Colorado:         Republican Cory Gardner vs. former Governor John Hickenlooper.  From the moment Hickenlooper got out of the presidential race, Democrats have been very optimistic about this one, but I have not seen any recent polling here.

Iowa:              Republican Joni Ernst is not very popular, but the Democrats won’t choose their candidate until June 2.  Her approval ratings have dropped to 47% but the race may depend on the identity of the as yet unknown Democratic candidate.

Maine:             Republican Susan Collins will be facing State House Speaker Sarah Gideon.  A recent poll (March 5) has Gideon with a 4 point lead over Collins

North Carolina: Republican Thom Tillis vs. former State Senator Cal Cunningham.  Two latest polls  (late February) were split, with each candidate having a slight lead

The Republican Pac has also bought air time in Kentucky, where Mitch McConnell will face former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath.  I have already seen a national ad two times on MSNBC for McGrath.  The two most recent polls were conducted in January, with one having a tie and the other showing McConnell up by 3%.

Two other races to note:

Alabama:         Republicans are having their run-off election in July, and whether Tommy Tuberville or Jeff Sessions wins, it is hard to imagine Democrat Doug Jones holding onto this seat. (Tuberville, endorsed by Trump, is the favorite.)

Montana:         Former Governor and presidential candidate Steve Bullock recently entered this race, giving Democrats a chance vs. Republican incumbent Steve Daines.  The only poll showed a dead heat.

Other races to watch as the year progresses:

Texas (Incumbent Republican John Cornyn)

Georgia special election (Incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler)

Kansas (open seat).

Biden, the VP & Other Random Thoughts

by admingene on March 16, 2020

At last night’s debate, Joe Biden may have given us a big hint as to who will be his choice for Vice-President:

  • Last week in an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell, Biden said it was “very important” to pick a vice-presidential candidate who had been tested in the Democratic debates.  That means Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar or Elizabeth Warren.
  • Also last week, Jim Clyburn said Biden should pick an African-American woman for V.P.
  • Last night, Biden also said his first appointment to the Supreme Court would be an African-American woman.
  • Biden needs to pick someone who will help him win closely contested states.  This does not describe Warren or Harris (with the possible exception of Harris for North Carolina).
  • Conclusion:  By declaring he will pick an African-American woman for the Supreme Court he is showing his commitment to this important constituency.  Therefore, although a case can be made for Harris, I think the arrows right now point to him picking the one woman who will help him solidify his support in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – Amy Klobuchar.

Tomorrow’s four primaries, in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio should be big wins for Joe Biden.  However, will the coronavirus keep people away from the polls, especially among one of Biden’s strongest constituencies, older voters?  It probably wouldn’t be enough for Sanders to win any of these states, but it could make the votes closer than they should be.

If you ever run into someone who supported Sanders, Warren or one of the other Democrats, and is reluctant to vote for Biden, just tell them this:  On January 20, 2025:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be almost 92 years old
  • Stephen Breyer will be 86
  • No Republican appointee will be older than 76, and some much younger

Have you ever noticed how the weight and responsibility of being President usually ages a man more than the 4 years in office?  This has been true for every President except Trump.  He has only gotten fatter, both literally and financially.

During the 1980’s, during the AIDS epidemic, many people, including then-President Reagan, feared, ignored and even scorned efforts to fight the disease until Rock Hudson announced that he was gay and he had AIDS.  That put a familiar face on the epidemic and led some people to finally start taking it seriously.  I wonder if when Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife had contracted the coronavirus, this put a familiar face on it, and finally made a lot of people take the pandemic seriously. 

Fearless Forecasts – Super Tuesday 2020

by admingene on March 3, 2020


March 3, 2020

This will be brief:  My best guesses for tonight’s (March 3,2020) Super Tuesday results.

ALABAMA:               Biden

ARKANSAS:              Biden

CALIFORNIA:           Sanders (but Biden will be closer than people have expected)

COLORADO:            Sanders

MAINE:                   Sanders

MASSACHUSETTS:    Sanders (though it could be Warren – probably close)

MINNESOTA:           Sanders (but fairly close with Biden)


OKLAHOMA:            Biden

TENNESSEE:            Biden

TEXAS:                   Biden (but close with Sanders)

UTAH:                    Sanders

VERMONT:              Sanders

VIRGINIA:               Biden

So there it is: 7 for Biden, 6  or 7 for Sanders and maybe 1 for Warren.  If I am grossly incorrect I will blame it all on fake news.

Almost to Super Tuesday

by admingene on February 27, 2020

FEBRUARY 27, 2020


After the Democrats’ 4,335th or so debate on Tuesday, the clear winner so far has been Donald Trump.  Every poll taken in the past year says the same thing – the most important thing for Democrats is beating Trump.  Unfortunately, large numbers of people are voting for Bernie Sanders, the person with the worst or second-to-worst chance to actually reach that goal.


Although many voters are not choosing Sanders, in a crowded field, his core of supporters is strong enough to have much of the punditry anointing him as the presumptive nominee.  They see him as the Democrats’ 2020 version of Donald Trump in 2016:  a candidate with a strong base against a fractured field that cannot come together behind a candidate who might possibly win in November.  And they may be correct.  On Super Tuesday, Sanders probably will do well in a number of states (especially California and Texas).  With so many candidates in the race, it will only magnify Sanders’ support.  The only hope is for one candidate to do very well, even if that person does not do as well as Sanders, to emerge as THE alternative.  Personally, I am waiting for the South Carolina results before voting, hoping that the best alternative will become clear by Sunday morning.


A few random thoughts on the race:


  • There are two things that give me some slight hope for a Sanders victory in November. First, his success thus far has been built on a strong grassroots organization, something that will be very helpful in the general election, too.  Second, I believe that Sanders appeals to some of the same people as Trump, disaffected people who feel powerless in today’s America.  It is somewhat reminiscent of 1968, when you would see cars with bumper stickers for Bobby Kennedy and then, after he was killed, those same cars would have bumper stickers for the person most unlike him, George Wallace.
  • Bernie’s interview on 60 minutes was a disaster. Whether accurate or not, to most voters it will sound as if Bernie Sanders believes Castro did some good things and only incidentally was not a good person.
  • Bye-bye Florida. And Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and…
  • And that doesn’t even take into account what the Republicans will make of Bernie honeymooning in the Soviet Union and being a Democratic Communist, oops, Socialist. To the Republicans and many Americans, there will be no difference between socialist and communist.
  • In the end, the election will be about Bernie Sanders, when it should be about Donald Trump. If the election is not about the horror in the White House, we lose.
  • Four years ago, I compared Sanders to George McGovern, but I don’t think that is wholly accurate. Bernie is a much more dynamic personality and speaker.  McGovern was a really good man but pretty dull.  Bernie would win more than the one state that McGovern won, but a loss is still a loss.
  • I always like the smartest person in the room. This year, that’s Pete Buttigieg.  Unfortunately, I believe this country is not ready to elect a gay president.  In Iowa, there were instances of people wanting their caucus votes back after they found out he was gay.  We can be sure the Republicans will not let anyone miss this piece of information before the election in November.  So sad.  Maybe in 4 or 8 years.
  • Democrats often look to young, very smart leaders (see JFK, Clinton and Obama). Mayor Pete fits that description.  Republicans don’t like young and they certainly don’t care about smart (see Trump and George W. Bush).
  • Joe Biden more than anyone else in the race, seems to show his age. Or at least he did so in the early debates and campaign events. While he has gotten better, it is what keeps him from connecting with younger voters.  It is definitely not too late, but as everyone says, he must win South Carolina.  He (and maybe everyone not supporting Sanders) needs for Biden to have a solid victory.
  • Gayle King may have summed up one of Biden’s strongest attributes vs. Trump when she said he was “a gentleman”. Most people (even many of Trump’s supporters) abhor Trump’s behavior and are looking for civility in politics and society as a whole.
  • A number of really good candidates either were not able to compete financially (such as Cory Booker and Michael Bennet) or have little chance to get the nomination. In this latter case, I am thinking particularly about Amy Klobuchar.  She would be a terrific candidate against Trump but does not have a realistic path to get the nomination.  But she would be a great Vice Presidential nominee.  I wonder, would Mike Pence trust himself to be on the same stage with her in a debate?  Or would he have to have his wife with him?


That’s it for now.  More when the spirit moves me.  Enjoy the show!

November 2018 – Fearless Forecasts

by admingene on November 1, 2018


November 6, 2018 – Fearless Forecasts


We begin with 2 thoughts that seem to be appropriate in 2018.

“…you can fool some of the people all of the time…”

–Attributed to Abraham Lincoln

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

–Attributed to P.T. Barnum


One Important Note:

Everything is moving very fast in so many races every day, it becomes very difficult to accurately gauge what will happen on Election Day.  And after the debacle of 2016, only a fool would try to predict the outcome of this year’s elections.  So here goes:

Let’s start with the good news.


Admittedly, I have not looked at these races on an individual, race-by-race basis.  However, all indications point to the Democrats taking control of the House.  While the Brett Kavanaugh hearings seemed to energize Trump’s core supporters, this seems to have become undone by the events of the last week – i.e., the Florida mail bomber and the maniac who killed 11 people at the Pittsburgh synagogue.  Many people were reminded of the damage that Trump has been doing to our country.

Democratic control of the House may not be by much (or it may), but even a one vote majority is enough to stop some of the more terrible things the current administration will try to foist upon this country.  And it will allow the Congress to do its job and begin investigating the rampant corruption (starting with the crook-in-chief).


36 of the 50 states are electing their governors in November.  While most will either re-elect sitting governors or install new governors from the same party as now, there are 11 contests where a current Republican governorship may become Democratic.  There does not appear to be any contest where the reverse is true (Democratic changing to Republican), although Independent and former Republican Bill Walker may be replaced by Republican Mike Dunleavy in Alaska.  These elections are especially important as reapportionment will occur after the 2020 census and the party in power gerrymanders its way to success in Congressional and legislative elections.

At least 7 of the 11 contested elections will be close, as follows:

Florida:    Hottest race in the country.  African-American Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum vs. big time Trump supporter former Congressman Ron DeSantis.  If there is no or minimal hidden racist vote, Gillum will win for the Democrats. (I think he will.)

Georgia:   African-American Democratic legislator Stacey Abrams vs. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.  Massive voter suppression efforts by Kemp and Republicans may help Kemp retain this seat for the Republicans, but race could go either way.

Illinois:     Slam dunk win for Democrat J.B. Pritzker.

Iowa:       Democrat Fred Hubbell will unseat Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds.

Kansas:    Third candidate in the race gives Democrats a chance to defeat anti-immigrant (and undoubtedly racist) Kris Kobach in Alf Landon’s home state.  Unfortunately, Kansas is still soooo Republican, Kobach probably will win; but polling has it VERY close.

Maine:     There has been very little polling in this race, but Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills should have little problem defeating Republican businessman Shawn Moody to replace Incumbent and extremely conservative Republican Paul Lepage.

Michigan:  Democratic State Senator Gretchen Whitmer should defeat Republican Bill Schuette.

Nevada:   Democrat Steve Sisolak has a chance to beat someone with a big family name in Nevada politics, State Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, but it will be tough.  Laxalt uses his middle name because it is the same as his grandfather’s first name (former U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt).  Republican may have a slight edge.

New Mexico: In a contest between two members of Congress, Democrat Michelle Lujan
Grisham should be an easy winner over Republican Steve Pearce.

Ohio:       Close contest but Democrat Richard Cordray, former Director of the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seems to have a very good chance to defeat former U.S. Senator, Republican Mike DeWine.  Despite Ohio’s recent history, I think the Democrat will squeak this one out.

Wisconsin:             Tea Party and now long-time Governor Scott Walker faces a tough
challenge from Democrat Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction.  There has not been a lot of polling done here.  I’m hoping
that Wisconsin voters have         finally had enough of Walker. I believe (hope?)
Evers will win.

In summary, I think Democrats may flip as many as 8 of these governorships out of the hands of Republicans.



Now, for the not-so-good news.

This year, there are 35 seats up for election.

24 are currently held by Democrats

9 are currently held by Republicans

2 are held by independents who caucus with the Democrats: Bernie Sanders in Vermont and Angus King in Maine.

The remaining seats divide as follows:  23 Democrats and 42 Republicans.

Here is how the 35 seats shape up:

Safe/Very Likely Democratic (21)              Safe/Very Likely Republican (7)

California (Dianne Feinstein)                    Mississippi (Roger Wicker)

Connecticut (Chris Murphy)                      Mississippi 2 (Cindy Hyde-Smith)

Delaware (Tom Carper)                          Nebraska (Deb Fischer)

Hawaii (Mazie Hirono)                            North Dakota (Kevin Cramer)

Maine (Angus King)*                              *Texas (Ted Cruz)

Maryland (Ben Cardin)                            Utah (Mitt Romney)

Massachusetts (Elizabeth Warren)            Wyoming (John Barrasso)

Michigan (Debbie Stabenow)

Minnesota 1 (Amy Klobuchar)

Minnesota 2 (Tim Smith)                         *Democrats are excited about

New Jersey (Robert Menendez)                Beto O’Rourke in Texas, but no

New Mexico (Martin Heinrich)                  poll has had him closer than 5 or

New York (Kirsten Gillibrand)                   6 points in weeks.

Ohio (Sherrod Brown)

Pennsylvania (Bob Casey)

Rhode Island (Sheldon Whitehouse)

Vermont (Bernie Sanders)*

Virginia (Tim Kaine)

Washington (Maria Cantwell)

West Virginia (Joe Manchin)

Wisconsin (Tammy Baldwin)

*Independents caucus with Democrats


7  Contested Seats

Arizona – Open Seat, currently held by Republican Jeff Flake

Currently held by frequent Trump critic (but also someone who usually votes with Trump), Jeff Flake, this may be the best chance for the Democrats to capture a Republican seat.  Eventually, the changing demographics of Arizona will give Democrats a breakthrough.  I think this is the year:


Florida – Bill Nelson, Democratic incumbent

Another very close election, with Governor Rick Scott the Republican candidate.  Most recent polling gives Nelson a very slight edge.  Who am I to disagree?


Indiana – Joe Donnelly, Democratic incumbent

Six years ago, Donnelly won this seat when Republicans nominated an extreme “tea party” candidate.  But Indiana is a very red state.


Missouri –Claire McCaskill, Democrat incumbent

As was the case six years ago, McCaskill will have a very tough time holding onto her seat in another red state.  This is another one that is VERY CLOSE.  This prediction comes with a lot of hope.


Montana – Jon Tester, Democrat Incumbent

This is the seat that Trump has targeted as the one he most wants the Republicans to win.  But Montana is an unusual state – very red in presidential elections, but more volatile in other statewide contests.  However, on Halloween, Libertarian candidate Rick Breckenridge dropped out of the race and endorsed strong Trump supporter, Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale.  This could change everything, or nothing.  For now, I will stick with my initial thoughts on this race.


Nevada – Dean Heller, Republican incumbent

Early on, this looked like a good chance for a Democratic pick-up for Congresswoman Jacky Rosen.  It is still possible.  It should be close.


Tennessee – Open Seat, currently held by Republican Bob Corker

In another very red state, Democrats are hoping for an upset.  Republicans have nominated a very right-wing Trumpite, Marsha Blackburn.  Democrats have the popular former governor, Phil Bredesen.  This one should be closer than most Tennessee elections.




Democrats win 23 seats

Republicans win 11 seats

Independents win 2 seats (and caucus with Democrats)

Senate will have:    46 Democrats

52 Republicans

2 Independents (who caucus with Democrats)

This gives Republicans an effective 52-48 majority, one better than what they have today.  Even in the unlikely event that Democrats win Nevada and Tennessee, Republicans will still hold a majority because of the Vice-President’s tie-breaking vote.  But considering that Democrats had so many, and Republicans had so few seats to defend, maintaining the status quo is not too bad a result.



Fearless Forecast – 2016 Presidential Election

by admingene on November 3, 2016


November 8, 2016:  Fearless Forecasts

           For this year’s election projection, I will look at each state individually.  Someone recently asked for my track record predicting the presidential races.  It is pretty good, although I find this year much more difficult to predict the swing or toss-up states.  Here are my past results for the 50 states and the District of Columbia:

2012: Missed 1 state (Florida – predicted for Romney, went to Obama)

2008: Missed 1 state (Indiana – predicted for McCain, went to Obama)

2004: Missed 1 state (Ohio – predicted for Kerry, went to Bush)

2000: Missed 1 or 2 states: (New Hampshire – predicted for Gore, went to
Bush; Florida predicted for Gore…)

Bottom Line this year:  Hillary Clinton will be elected.

           Trump seems fairly well assured of receiving 159 electoral votes from these states:  Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.  (Note: There is one Maine Congressional District that will probably give its one electoral vote to Trump.)

Clinton seems fairly well assured of receiving enough votes for victory even without winning any toss-up states, with 272 electoral votes from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.  (Note: There is one Maine Congressional District that will probably give its one electoral vote to Trump, leaving Clinton with 3 of the 4 electoral votes from Maine.)

Battleground States

Arizona – 11 Electoral Votes

Clinton has made a race of this, but I only see her
winning if this becomes a real landslide, and thanks
to James Comey, that will not happen.  Arizona will go to:                               TRUMP

Florida – 29 Electoral votes

Very close.  If Trump does not win here, even if he manages
to flip some states where he now trails, he still won’t win.
Early voting clearly breaking for Clinton.  This will be tight,
but it will go to:                                                                                                         CLINTON

Georgia – 16 Electoral votes

This is a battleground that either one could win?  Hardly.
Seems very likely to be a state for:                                                                        TRUMP

Iowa – 6 electoral Votes

No reputable poll has shown anything but a Trump lead
in a long time.  Although the race will not be a landslide,
it should be a win for:                                                                                             TRUMP

Nevada – 6 Electoral votes

Some recent polls show Trump ahead, but I think the
combination of a strong ground organization and a
significant Latino population will give Nevada to:                                         CLINTON

North Carolina – 15 electoral votes

Touch and go for both candidates, but it is still the South
and therefore will go to:                                                                                      TRUMP

Ohio – 18 Electoral votes

As everyone probably knows, no Republican has won the
White House without winning Ohio.  He won’t win the
election, but Ohio will go to:                                                                             TRUMP

Utah – 6 Electoral Votes

Independent Evan McMullin might squeak past Trump
here, but probably not::                                                                                    TRUMP



With the projections in the 10 Battleground States, the final totals may look like:

Trump Safe States                            159 Electoral Votes
Trump Battleground States             72 Electoral Votes

Trump Total                               231 Electoral Votes

Clinton Safe States                          272 Electoral Votes
Clinton Battleground States             35 electoral Votes

Clinton Total                              307 Electoral Votes


If not for James Comey’s ill-advised and poorly-timed (and possibly illegal) letter to Congress, Clinton would have won more easily, with an especially greater chance in North Carolina and Ohio.  Of course, if between the time I write this and election day, there is some resolution to the emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer, things could change, one way or the other.  But based on the vast number of emails to be examined, that seems unlikely.  Although one should never underestimate the lengths that Republicans will go to prevent a Hillary Clinton presidency, I nevertheless believe we will have our first woman President on January 20, 2017.


Senate 2016 – Fearless Forecast

by admingene on November 3, 2016


November 8, 2016 – Fearless Forecasts

This year, there are 34 seats up for election.
10 are currently held by Democrats
24 are currently held by Republicans

The remaining seats divide as follows:  36 Democrats (and Independents who caucus with the Democrats) and 30 Republicans.

Democrats need to win 14 seats to have a majority if Clinton-Kaine win.  Republicans need to win 21 seats to have a majority (20 if they have the Vice Presidency).

Here is how the 34 seats shape up:

Safe/Very Likely Democratic (10)               Safe/Very Likely Republican (16)

California (Kamala Harris)                         Alabama (Richard Shelby)

Colorado (Michael Bennett)                       Alaska (Lisa Murkowski)

Connecticut (Richard Blumenthal)           Arizona (John McCain)

Hawaii (Brian Schatz)                                  John Boozman (Arkansas)

*Tammy Duckworth (Illinois)                    Johnny Isakson (Georgia)

Maryland (Chris Van Hollen)                     Idaho (Mike Crapo)

New York (Chuck Schumer)                       Iowa (Chick Grassley)

Oregon (Ron Wyden)                                  Kansas (Jerry Moran)

Vermont (Patrick Leahy)                           Kentucky (Rand Paul)

Washington (Patty Murray)                      Louisiana (primary 11/8)

North Dakota (John Hoeven)

Ohio (Rob Portman)

Oklahoma (James Lankford)

South Carolina (Tim Scott)

South Dakota (John Thune)

Utah (Mike Lee)

*Pick up of Republican held seat


8  Contested Seats:  7 currently Republican, 1 currently Democratic

Florida – Marco Rubio, Republican incumbentl

When Rubio wasn’t running, this looked like a sure bet for the Democrats.  Although this is still close, and a good Democratic turnout could result in an upset, it will be tough for the Democrats.


Indiana – Open Seat, currently held by Republican Dan Coats

Former Senator Evan Bayh has come out of retirement to try and return to the Senate.  For a long time this looked like an easy Democratic win.  Apparently, the Bayh campaign has left something to be desired and this is now very close.  Even though this is a red state, Bayh probably needs to win for the Democrats to take over the Senate.


Missouri – Ray Blunt, Republican incumbent

Although this is another close race, most polling over the last month has Blunt with a slight lead.  With Trump carrying Missouri, this will probably hold.


Nevada – Open Seat, currently held by Democrat Harry Reid

This is the only seat the Democrats are defending and it could look better.  Polls have been all over the place.  Turnout will be everything, even more so than in many other races.  Most recent polls show a surge for the Republican.


New Hampshire – Kelley Ayotte, Republican incumbent

Another tight one.  Most recent polls, except one, have Ayotte ahead.  She has helped herself by disavowing Trump.


North Carolina – Richard Burr, Republican incumbent

Although this is another close race, like Missouri, most polling over the last month has Burr with a slight lead.


Pennsylvania – Pat Toomey, Republican incumbent

This seat has been high on the Democrats’ list, and for good reason.  Katie McGinty has led all through the fall.


Wisconsin – Republican Ron Johnson, Incumbent

Democrats were devastated when Russ Feingold lost his bid for re-election in 2010.  But he is back this year and has led all fall.


Democrats win 13 seats
Republicans win 21 seats

Senate will have:     49 Democrats
51 Republicans

This gives Republicans the continued ability to block everything Clinton wants to do, including appointing a ninth U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

If you are looking for opportunities for the Democrats to get that one extra Senate seat, pay particularly close attention to Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina.


What A Year We Are Having

by admingene on March 27, 2016


MARCH 26, 2016


Everyone seems to be asking how could we have gotten to this point, where Donald Trump might be the Republican nominee for President.  And everyone seems to have the same answers:  1)white people, especially the less educated, less affluent men (and some women) are angry about the economic and social changes in American society, feel powerless as whites become an ever-decreasing proportion of the U.S. population, and are scared of the future;  and 2)the modus operandi of the Republican Party, begun when Bill Clinton was first elected and that reached new heights of stridency, mean-spiritedness, and subtle racism, most notably as practiced on FOX News, has found its logical conclusion in Trump.  It has also been well-documented that those with authoritarian outlooks on the world, who are looking for that one person who can make everything all right, are drawn to his candidacy.  Ergo, the stereotype of the racist, xenophobic, fascistic appeal of Donald Trump.


Before and even after the first Republican debate last summer, columnists like George Will and other conservatives were crowing about the outstanding group of candidates who were running for their party’s presidential nomination.  Particularly after that first debate, however, it was clear that none of these candidates was even worth a vice-presidency (or its proverbial warm bucket of spit).  They ranged from the maniacal Rick Santorum to the most disliked person in Congress by his own party, Ted Cruz, to the ridiculous Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  Anyone who seemed to have a brain in his or her head and an ounce of common sense, was clearly wasting his time (pronoun chosen deliberately).


So now we have the specter of “establishment” Republicans desperately trying to force an open convention in July, where Trump might be denied the nomination.  Who knows if they will succeed?  But if they do, will Trump and his supporters go along, will they force Trump to run as an independent, will they stay home, or will they vote for the Democrat, even if it is the reviled Hillary Clinton?  All but one of those scenarios is good for the Democrats.  That one is the possibility that Republicans will choose someone liked (or not disliked) by most people in the party, who has the experience and gravitas to match Clinton’s, and who the party can unite behind.  Otherwise, whatever the Republicans do will probably be good for the Democrats.


Ah, the Democrats.  Even though she may not agree, the Sanders campaign has been good for Hillary Clinton.  She will still be the nominee, but the Sanders campaign has meant that she will have had the opportunity to respond to many of the arguments against her.  In short, Sanders has further toughened up an already tough woman.


As some Republicans have noted, (even George Schultz and S.F. Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders), her foreign policy address after the Brussels terrorist attacks demonstrated that she is the only candidate who understands world politics, foreign affairs, and how to deal with the international threats we face.  If all candidates were gathered together, she would be the only adult in the room.


Finally, my opinion of Bernie Sanders.  No, I don’t feel the Bern.  How do you spell Sanders?  I spell it M-C-G-O-V-E-R-N.  Just imagine the Republican commercials if he were the nominee:


  • Picture of Stalin, Picture of Khruschev, Picture of Sanders
  • Or perhaps a wedding ceremony, idyllic young couple leaves for their honeymoon, shot of couple superimposed on Soviet Union military parade from the 1960’s. (Sanders went to Russia for his 1988 honeymoon.)


So there we would have it (at least according to their opponents):  Sanders vs. Trump, the Commie vs. the Nazi.



That’s it for now.  More when the spirit moves me.  Enjoy the show!

U.S. SENATE CAMPAIGNS: Fearless Forecasts

by admingene on November 4, 2014

This year, there are 33 seats up for election (there are other safe Republican seats up because of retirements, but this note only deals with the regular 33).

20 are currently held by Democrats
13 are currently held by Republicans

The remaining seats divide as follows:  33 Democrats and 32 Republicans and 2 Independents, who caucus with the Democrats.

Democrats need to win 15 seats to maintain a majority, including the Vice President as a tie-breaker in a 50-50 split.  Republicans need to win 19 seats to have a majority.

Here is how the 33 seats shape up:

Safe/Very Likely Democratic (11)               Safe/Very Likely Republican (16)

Delaware                                                Alabama

Illinois                                                    Alaska*

Massachusetts                                          Arkansas*

Michigan                                                 Idaho

Minnesota                                               Louisiana

New Hampshire                                       Maine

New Jersey                                             Mississippi

New Mexico                                             Montana*

Oregon                                                   Nebraska

Rhode Island                                           Oklahoma

Virginia                                                   South Carolina

South Dakota*



West Virginia*


*Indicates change of party winning seat


6  Contested Seats


Cory Gardner (Rep) vs. Mark Udall (Inc. – Dem)

Gardner has been running ahead for a long time.




A close race where Republican David Perdue is now running slightly ahead of Democrat Michelle Nunn.




Perhaps the closest race in the country, between Republican Tea Partier Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley.  In spite of being generally pessimistic this year:




Incumbent Republican Pat Roberts vs. Independent Republican Greg Orman has been very close for weeks, but I find it hard to believe that Roberts won’t win.  Even if Orman wins, he says he will caucus with the majority party, which in the next Senate will probably be Republicans.




Democrats’ dreams of defeating Mitch McConnell with Alison Grimes are just that.



North Carolina

This is another very difficult race to predict between Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis, but being an optimist:




Democrats win 13 seats
Republicans win 20 seats

Senate will have:
46 Democrats
52 Republicans
2 Independents (who caucus with Democrats)

This makes for an effective total of 48 Democrats and 52 Republicans. (But it could be as much as 54-46).