What I Think
I don’t believe in waves this year.
Some folks have Mitt Romney winning Missouri by 12 to 15 points. According to the polls below, a more likely outcome is 7-8 points. But regardless, I don’t think Romney carries any statewide candidates across the finish line who can’t get their on their own.
I believe Romney wins, McCaskill wins, and Nixon wins. At that point the determining voters will have punched both sides of the ticket, and they will be free to zig-zag their way to the bottom of the ballot. In this environment I think incumbents – Kinder, Koster, and Zweifel – hold.
What will be most interesting to see is how Romney-Obama and McCaskill-Akin impact the House races. In so much as they are the framing lens through which the voter may regard this election, I think they may contribute to very lumpy voting patterns. For those who see the election as a referendum on the Obama agenda (healthcare and expansive government) they will veer rightward. Those who are alarmed at the retrograde rhetoric and sexist mindset of Todd Akin will tend leftward.
I think we will see suburban women lean Democratic in reaction to Akin. But in rural areas where Obama is least popular and McCaskill least competitive, the Republican sentiment will create mini-landslides.
Overall, I’m forecasting a two seat pick-up for Dems in the state senate. First, there’s the “gimme” seat of Senate 7 (Sen. Jane Cunningham’s redistricted seat) which Dems will have to hand back in two years via Senate 10.
And second, Senate 1 which is anything but a gimme. Actually it’s more like a coin-toss. And given the fact that Jim Lembke won his seat in the giant Democratic year of 2008, he’s certainly capable of holding on this year. But this redrawn district is more Democratic, and the infusion of hundreds of thousands of third-party dollars against him will be the determining factor in his demise.
In the House, I am forecasting Republicans to pick up three seats. This is based largely on the House Republican Campaign Committee’s ability to muscle into tough races and provide the extra push to deliver their candidates. But also Democrats appear to have let a few get away. For example, it looks like Rep. Noel Torpey will return despite being drawn into a 60% Democratic district!
If Republicans grab a net three seats, they will attain the magical 109 number. That’s a two-thirds majority which is sufficient to override the governor.
This will make things very interesting. Part of their ability to win such an oversized majority has rested upon building a bigger tent for the party. (They are all pro-life, so it’s not a real big tent.) But Torpey, for example, is one of several “pro-labor” Republicans. So in some spheres of policy, it’s unclear that Republicans would truly have an override majority.
Will Speaker Tim Jones be able to pick off errant Democrats as Steve Tilley did? Will Jones put the screws on Republicans to make hard votes as Steve Tilley didn’t? Will Republicans’ heavy donors expect the big-ticket items – right to work, anyone? – having funded these super-majorities?
Public Policy Polling (see it here)
President: Romney 53% - Obama 45%
Governor: Nixon 53% - Spence 45%
Senate: McCaskill 48% - Akin 44%
Lieutenant Governor: Kinder 44% - Montee 43%
Survey USA (see it here)
President: Romney 50% - Obama 43%
Governor: Nixon 48% - Spence 39%
Senate: McCaskill 51% - Akin 36%
Rumorville was wrong last week reporting that Democratic House candidate Casey Clark has his TV ads pulled. In fact, the candidate informs me, he increased his ad buys.
That $50,000 check to Cole McNary last week from a mystery woman in California…. is his mother, Ina Tornallyay (nee Risch). Read a 1984 letter to the editor (Southeast Missourian) in support of her then-husband Gene McNary here.
From the donor school of life – the phone is never safe. Once Tuesday passes it will ring again. This time to pay off their debt committees….
My Readers Are The Best Political Junkies in the State So…
Help me out. Here’s a trivia question from one reader. Who can answer it?
If Jason Kander gets elected SoS, he will be the first combat veteran elected to statewide office since ______? My memory goes back at least 40 years, and I cannot think of one.
From the Pelopidas website:
Ilalyn Irwin deleted Johnston and Associates, Bluebird Network, and Cura Advantage.
Patrick Baker added Missouri Dental Association.
George J Kerry added Archbishop of St. Louis.
Andrea Follett deleted Missouri Council of School Administrators, Missouri Association of School Administrators, Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals.
Paul LeVota deleted City of Independence.
Friends of Peter Kinder - $10,000 from William Holekamp.
Freedom PAC - $10,000 from Check into Cash of Missouri.
SEIU Missouri State Council PAC - $22,5000 from Service Employees International Union.
Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer - $5,015 from Schmitt for Senate.
Romine for Senate - $34,569 from Missouri Republican Party.
Missourians for Health and Education - $15,000 from Kansas City Power & Light Co.
Citizens for Ryan Silvey - $25,000 from Rex Sinquefield.
Missourians for Ed Martin - $100,000 from David Humphreys.
Committee to Elect Jeff Roorda - $9,111 from Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee.
Democratic Campaign Committee of St. Louis City - $10,000 from Missourians for Health and Education.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $6,000 from Missouri Health Care Association PAC.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Missourians with Jeffrey Pogue.
MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc - $15,000 from McLane Company.
Professional Firefighters of Central St. Louis County PAC - $9,250 from Lembke for Senate.
UAW Region 5 PAC - $5,000 from National UAW Political Action PAC.
Missourians for Ed Martin - $10,000 from CJW Enterprises Inc.
Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $15,000 from Peabody Investments Corp.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Nueterra Holdings LLC.
Jay Nixon for Missouri -- $10,092 from Don Bedell.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Jon Rand.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from SEIU HCII Missouri PAC.
MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $10,000 from Riverside Liquor.
UTU-PAC - $7,000 from United Transportation Union PAC.
Clint Zweifel for Missouri - $8,000 from James Nutter Sr.
Spence for Governor - $600,000 from David Spence.
Spence for Governor - $10,250 from John Brunner.
Spence for Governor - $22,000 from RGA Missouri PAC.
Missourians for Koster - $50,000 from Life Sciences Fund of Greater KC.
Freedom PAC - $8,000 from Cash America International Inc.
Democratic Campaign Committee of St. Louis City - $28,000 from McCaskill for Missouri.
Clint Xweifel for Missouri - $7,500 from The Union Labor Life Insurance Company.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $50,000 from UAW Region 5 PAC.
Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Midwest Region Laborers Political League Education Fund.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. - $20,000 from Shumake for State Representative Committee.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. - $10,000 from Friends of Caleb Rowden.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. – $10,000 from Vicky Hartzler for Congress.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. - $16,200 from Citizens for Schatz.
Kander for Missouri - $10,000 from Eastern Missouri Laborers’ Education and Benevolent Fund.
Montee for Missouri - $10,000 from Midwest Region Laborers Political League Education Fund.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $30,000 from Midwest Region Laborers Political League Education Fund.
Clint Zweifel for Missouri - $10,000 from Midwest Region Laborers Political League Education Fund.
Happy birthdays to Brad Ketcher, and Planned Parenthood’s Angie Postal.