It's midterm election time yet again and if we know anything about midterm elections it's the fact that during these perilous times; A) The president is usually unpopular and B) The party opposite of the President usually makes out like a masked cat on election day.
Do these rules of the road hold true this time around? I would say yes but to what extent is the biggest question of all. If the GOP takes control of the U.S. Senate, and as they are expected to do, maintains control of the House then we can expect a wonderful 2 years of New York City rush hour gridlock in Washington D.C.
We will analyze the toss-up states.
Arkansas (Lean GOP). Incumbent Mark Pryor (D) is in real trouble his challenger Tom Cotton (R) seems to be running away with the race but Tom Cotton's polling advantage is hard to judge. I will predict that Cotton's current lead is around 4%, within the margin of error.
New Hampshire (Lean Dem). Scott Walker (R) is trending upward in the last 4 weeks but does he have enough in the tank to unseat Jeanne Shaheen (D)? Seeing that Walker has only polled ahead once in the last year I would say not but you can't ignore the trends.
South Dakota (Lean GOP) A month or so ago South Dakota was viewed as a lock for the GOP but that lock has been downgraded to a GOP lean. Independent candidate Larry Pressler (I) is the main reason for Mike Rounds (R) down-trending lead. We may, at the end of the day see the Democratic candidate prevail but as of today Mike Rounds (R) lead is just outside the margin of error but not by much. The RCP polling average in this race means little considering the massive down-trend for Mike Rounds (R) over the last 4 weeks.
Kentucky (TOSS-UP) This is a true toss-up. Alison Lundergan Grimes has alienated her base over the last few weeks and that may result in lower voter enthusiasm in locations key for Grimes; places like Louisville and Lexington. If the turnout is below 50% statewide then Grimes loses.
Iowa (Lean GOP) Bruce Braley (D) had a massive lead early but Joni Ernst (R) has surged over the last 8 weeks to take, what appears to be, a consistent lead, although that consistent lead is well within the margin of error. If the urban turnout is heavy Bruce Braley (D) may prevail but if turnout is light then the GOP will take this seat. The GOP chances rests on the shoulders of the ever-shrinking farming vote, if the farmers rally the GOP wins.
Kansas (Lean GOP) I am going to go out on a limb here and call this one for the GOP because the attacks on Greg Orman (I) painting him as a Obama loving liberal is clearly taking a toll on his polling average. Incumbent Pat Roberts (R) has surged over the last 4 weeks so this race comes down to momentum and if Roberts keeps the pressure on Orman then the GOP should prevail but this one is going to be close and the likely outcome will be less than 1% for the victor. I wouldn't be surprised to see a recount in Kansas so we may not know for a week or two who the victor is.
Colorado (Lean GOP) Incumbent Mark Udall (D) is in real trouble because Cory Gardner (R) has surged over the last 4 weeks. Clearly the momentum is on Cory Gardner's (R) side. This one will be close but this massive surge in momentum for the GOP may be too much for the Democrats to overcome with only 2 weeks left to go.
Georgia (Lean GOP) This is very close. Moron David Perdue (R) has enjoyed the lead for most of the race until recently. I call him a moron because if he is defeated it will be a self inflicted wound, or fatality. He made some very controversial remarks about outsourcing jobs that has Rural Georgia up in arms. The only thing that can save him is Obama's dismal approval and the hope that Obama eventually sinks his Democratic opponent. This is one of the few states were the runoff is in effect. So if neither candidate makes it to 50% then we'll have to wait until January for a run-off election. At this time David Perdue (R) is full damage control mode, if he can stop the bleeding he should prevail on election day. He is praying that Amanda Swafford (L) doesn't receive more than 3% of the vote or we will see a runoff.
North Carolina (Lean Dem) This state has swung back and forth a few times between the Red and Blues teams. However, incumbent Kay Hagan (D) is polling on the upswing but her opponent Thom Tillis (R) is surging. The momentum swings in this state is ridiculous and so is the amount of money spent so far, near $100 million. Nuts!
Louisiana (Lean GOP) In this open primary state it appears that a runoff election will be required in December. Tea Party fave Rob Maness (R) is clearly screwing it up for the traditional GOP as his surge in support as of late will drive this election to a runoff. However, Incumbent Mary Landrieu (D) is in trouble. Her jet-set snobby attitude is clearly rubbing the electorate the wrong way. She needs massive support from the African American community to win, something she is unlikely to get. So GOP candidate Bill Cassidy (R) will likely prevail in a runoff.
Republican Party- 52
Democratic Party- 47 (Both Independent Senators currently caucus with the Democrats.)
Toss-up - Kentucky
If Kansas goes to a recount, Kentucky goes to Grimes, Georgia to a runoff and Louisiana to a runoff we will have 48 Democratic Party controlled seats and 49 GOP controlled seats the day after election day. We will not know for a week or 2 the results in Kansas. The GOP needs 51 seats to gain control so with these 2 runoff elections likely we will have 2 excruciating months to wait before we know who will control the Senate.
At this time I will predict this will be the case. So save that champagne kids you will have to wait a few months before you can celebrate. If we have to endure 2 runoff elections anything can happen so my predictions may not mean snot by January and there is a decent chance that the Dems maintain control of the Senate because we all know the Democrats will bring the thunder (in the form of cash) in these two runoff elections.