Tag Archives: Election 2018

Interesting House Races, Kentucky-New Hampshire

The states that range from Kentucky through New Hampshire, in the alphabet, hold 26 House seats, divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans. Althought Minnesota will have four turnovers by party, two will be Republican to Democrat, and two will be Democrat to Republican. Only one very likely turnover, in Michigan, is expected.

Kentucky’s 6th is currently represented by Andy Barr, Republican. Democrat Amy McGrath is neck and neck in polls averaged over time. A recent Republican biased poll puts Bar ahead by 2 points. A recent Democratic biased poll puts McGrath ahead by 7 points. An early September Siena/NYT poll puts Barr ahead by 1 oint, and a somewhat later Pulse poll put them even. So, independent polling says it is a tossup, and biased polling is biased… Can’t call this one a turnover.

Maine’s 2nd district is currently represented by a Republican, Bruce Poliquin, who is being challenged effectively by Jared Golden, Democrat. The two are neck and neck with a slightly higher chance of Golden winning. What is interesting here is that the contest has been a bit of a horse race, with some back and forth. The Siena/NYT poll put Golden well ahead in mid September, and the same source puts Poliquin slightly ahead right now. Too volatile, and close, to call.

Michigan’s 8th district has a Republican incumbant, Bishop, challenged by Democrat Elissa Slotkin, with the two running neck and neck and Slotkin doing slighty better on average over time. The most recent poll, Target Insyght, puts Bishop way ahead, and the turn of the month Siena/NYT agrees. This is one to watch, but it is not a chicken to expect to hatch, as it were.

Michigan’s 11th district is currently represented by Republican David Trott, who is not seeking re-election. Republican Lena Epstein is being challenged by the formidable Haley Stephens, who has been ahead consistently across several polls. The Target Insyght poll, most recent, has them even. Siena/NYT of early october had Stevens ahed by nearly 8 points. 538 puts this race as very likely to be taken by the Democrat, but given the recent shift in polling, I’m not so sure. I’ll count this as a takeaway for now, but we need to look closely at this race.

And now we get to my favorite state, at the moment, Minnesota.

After a tumultuous and uncertain period, we are starting to see some clarity. It is both good news and bad.

Most people are putting Minnesota’s first district, currently represented by Time Walz, who is leaving that seat to run for Governor (and he will likely win the gubernatorial contest), as a tossup. I’ve spent a little time in the district, and I think the Democratic candidate, Dan Feehan, is great. But I do not trust the first district. At present, I have to put this in the turnover category, but going from Democrat to Republican.

Minnesota’s 2nd district is currently represented by the Truly Deplorable Jason Lewis. He is getting his butt kicked by the second time challenger Angie Craig. This is a situation where the good people of the 2nd district went for the Republican during the last election, and are now having serious buyer’s remorse. Last time it was close, Craig almost won. This time, it won’t be too close and Craig will be representing that district. This will be a turnover.

Minnesota’s 3rd district is where I am. The seat is helt by perrenial “he’s not so bad, if you can find him” Erik Paulsen, the Republican incumbent who actually is so bad, and who has contributed materially to the lack of oversight of Trump’s administration (Paulsen is on the committee that could be looking at Trump’s taxes, but they won’t). He is being challenged by Democrat Dean Phillips. Phillips is running a spectacular campaign, and is currently positioned to wipe the floor with Erik

This will be a turnover.

Minnesota’s 4th district is held, by the much loved Betty McCollum, who is beating Republican Greg Ryan and Legalize Pot Susan Sindt by something close to 65-30-whatever’s left.

Minnesota’s fifth district is currently held by African American Muslim Man Keith Ellison. But he is now running for Attorney General of Minnesota (likely to win that race) so the Democrats have selected Somali Muslim Woman Ilhan Omar. I only emphasize gender, ethnicity, and religion here because, well, it is tremendously significant.

Omar is much loved in this district and is beating the other candidate, whom no one can remember, buy a huge margin and can’t lose. So, no turnover, but I thought you’d like to know about the race.

The sixth district is our big problem district. This is the district that put Michele Bachmann in the House of Representatives for as many terms as she wanted to be there. Republican Tom Emmer is there now. Ian Todd, a really nice guy who I hope gets elected for something some day, is trailing way behind. Not Ian’s fault. This district is at present very heavy on the deplorables. The good news, though, is that this district is also now experiencing a pretty serious demographic transition, so in one or two election cycles from now, that 30 point margin between Democrats and Republicans running there will be seriously narrowed. We hope.

Minnesota’s 7th district is solid Democrat. It is a very Republican electorate that has decided to send a Democrat to Congress and likes him (Colin Peterson).

The Eighth District of Minnesota is the great disappointment. The DFL (Democratic party) itself is in shambles in that district. Senseless and brutal infighting allowed for Labor to shove a non-winnable candidate down their throats, with labor now being unable to deliver the votes. Republican Pete Stauber will beat Democrat Joe Radinovich, turning this Democratic district over to the Republicans.

So, in Minnesota, two Democratic districts will become Republican, and two Republican districts will become Democratic. In this way, Minnesota will not be contributing to the Blue Wave in the House. Shame on us.

Interesting House Races, Georgia to Kansas

Among these states, there are 53 House seats, 20 held by Democrats, 33 by Republicans. There are probably two seats currently held by Republicans that are going to become Democratic. There are a few others that might change, but not likely. That is a closing of a 25% gap to a 17% gap, bringing Democrats closer to a majority, but with no cigars being handed out.

Iowa‘s 1st district is currently represented by Republican Rod Blum, who seems to be firmly behind Democratic challenger Abby Finkenauer, according to 538. Finkenauer has been ahead across several polls in this much polled race, since last February. That includes partisan polls both Democratic and Republicans, as well as the Siena NYT poll and Emmerson College.

This is a takeaway.

Republican incumbent Peer Roskam, in Illinois 6, is somewhat likely to lose to Democratic challenger Sean Casten. The numbers are not statistically separated, but Casten is pulling forward quickly, but mainly in Democratic leaning partisan polls. As recently as early September, the Siena College NYT poll put Roskam ahead by one point. Yet, 538 puts Casten at a slightly higher chance of winning. I’m going to hold off on this and suggest that Casten wins with a large Blue wave.

Illinois 12th district has a Republican incumbent, Mike Bost, with a strong Democratic challenger, Brendan Kelly, who is statistically almost identical, but slightly behind. There is a Green Party candidate, Randy Auxier, running in that race with 3 points. With the Green Party candidate there, I can’t give this race to the Democrats except in a strong blue wave which, hopefully, sinks the Green as well as Red.

In Kansas’s 3rd district, Democrat Sharice Davids seems highly likely to pull off a take away from Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder. The polling is strong, and 538 gives their odds at close to 8:2

Kansas 2nd district is currently held by Republican Lynn Jenkins, who is not running for re-election. Democrat Paul Davis is a tiny bit ahead of Republican Steve Watkins. Polling is sparse and the numbers are variable. This is not one to put in the takeaway list, but it could move there, and is definitely a race to watch.

US Senate Will Be Republican Controlled or 50-50

According to me. And, I quickly add, that this is NOT a formal analysis. This is just my gut feeling combined with looking at the polls and stuff. Bottom line: Missouri and Nevada are the key states to watch.

Montana is considered a toss-up state, but I do not regard it as one. Tester is well established and has been ahead in polls, including good polls. Democratic incumbent senator John Tester will pass the ultimate test and put his challenger on the mat.

Nevada is a tossup. Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen has had a strong showing in several polls, and was gaining on incumbent Dean Heller. It is possible that there is a Kavanaugh effect. In my first iteration of an an analysis across the Senate, I’d put Nevada in Heller’s pocket. But there if urban labor can get organized, and if the Kavanaugh effect blunts over time, I can see Rosen clear to a victory. So, I’ll put Democrat Jacky Rosen in the win column in my Plan B analysis.

Arizona is going to be interesting. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was strong through the summer, but McSally’s campaign sallied forth and caught up in September. One could see the last month in Nevada as a volatile horse race. What looks like a last minute Kavanaugh backlash may wear off. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Sinema will win in Arizona.

I hate to say it, but Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, in North Dakota, is going to lose, and the Republican Kramer is going to win. This race is considered by many as a tossup, but it is more of a toss-out.

If Beto O’Rourke wins in Texas, I’ll eat my cowboy hat. He never really had a chance of beating Cruz. Texas is an asshole state, and everything is Texas is extra big,and Cruz is a the biggest asshole of them all. Too bad.

Some analyses put Senator Tina Smith in an uncertain column for her return to represent Minnesota. I would have done so a couple of weeks ago as well, but the North Star state is coming together. Probably a Kavanaugh effect in favor of the DFL. Smith will win in Minnesota.

In Missouri, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill seems to be losing. But if there is a race the Democrats can pull out of the ditch by doing things like sending lots of money, allowing Mich McConnell to ram through 16 right wing judges so the Dems could go home and campaign, and that sort of stuff, it is this race. I will not underestimate McCaskill. She’ll be returned. And, no, there was no Kavanaugh effect there.

Democrat Donnelly is solid in Indiana.

Democrat Nelson is taking off in Florida and will win there.

All of the other races are going as they are going. There will be Democrats in Wisconisn, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Republicans in Mississippi, Tennessee, and the other usually Republican states.

The only uncertainty is Nevada. Leaving Nevada out of the count, there will be 49 Democrats and 50 Republicans. If Nevada actually goes, as currently seems likely, to the GOP, the Party of Hate will have two more Senators than the Democratic Party. But, it is distinctly possible that Nevada will send a Democrat to the Senate instead, which will cause the Senate to break 50.

Of those I’ve assigned, obviously, Missouri is the most uncertain. Everything seems to depend on Missouri and Nevada.

Minnesota Could Get A “State Bank” if Rebecca Otto Becomes Governor

In 1919, the farmers of North Dakota got fed up with predatory lenders, and successfully lobbied for a credit union style state-run bank for them to use instead. Private sector financial institutions elsewhere in the country would have none of this, and destroyed this initial effort by freezing the North Dakota bank out of access to bonds, and by underwriting a political attack on bank supporter Governor Lynn Frazier, leading to his recall. Frazier was, in fact, the first governor to be successfully removed from office in the United States. The leader of the anti-farmer and anti-labor movement, a member of the Independent Voters Association party, took over the governor’s seat. Frazier was later elected senator.

State Auditor Rebecca Otto on her farm.
Although anti-farmer interests managed to get rid of pro-farmer and pro-union Frazier, they didn’t exactly get rid of the bank. It continued to exist, but with an altered mission. Today, the bank is still a state bank. The state uses this bank to hold its funds, instead of using a privately owned bank. Local governments can optionally use it, as can other entities.

A state bank that is not chewed up by Wall Street goons has the potential to help a lot of people and advance important progressive ideals. Therefore, you can expect Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, and of course, bankers, to vigorously oppose it.

But Minnesota may well get a state bank. Continue reading Minnesota Could Get A “State Bank” if Rebecca Otto Becomes Governor