An Anon commenter the other day praised Michael Barone’s political astuteness and reminded me to pay more attention to him.
I’ve been a Barone admirer for years, but Anons reminder was welcome, especially now with the election at hand.
Barone posted at his blog last evening: "Election Prediction: Democrats Won't Get a Filibuster-Proof Senate."
He provided thumbnail assessments of each of the senate races considered “in play.”
He concludes his post:
What's my bottom line? If I had to bet $1,000 on each of these races, I would bet on Smith (OR) and Dole (NC) to lose, and Coleman (MN), Chambliss (GA), and McConnell (KY) to win. That, assuming Sununu (NH) doesn't somehow pull it out, would leave the Democrats with 58 seats. (But I could easily be wrong on any or all of these races, and I reserve the right to change my prediction before Tuesday.)Here’s Barone’s thumbnail for NC:
Fifty-eight Democrats would be enough to stop filibusters if they can get a couple of Republicans (and not drop any Democrats) on an issue, but not enough to run the table.
It's a little scary to think that major differences in public policy can be settled by the outcomes in just a few close Senate races. But then, major differences in public policy were settled by George W. Bush's paper-thin victory in 2000.
Our representative democracy gives both parties huge incentives to squeeze just a few more votes out, because they can make a huge difference in the long run.
In North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole trails Kay Hagan, 46 percent to 44 percent. Hagan made much of the fact that Dole did not spend much time in the state in 2005 and 2006, when she chaired the Senate Republicans' campaign committee, and Dole has not led in any poll since early October. But neither candidate has been ahead by 7 points in any poll since July. This looks like a real nail-biter.Dole is running very negative ads. When an incumbent does that in the last few days of a campaign, you know it’s a certain sign the candidate’s internal polling is saying she’s in trouble.
Barone's entire post's here.
A few weeks back I posted in response to Barone's column: "The coming Obama thugacracy."