Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First Thoughts

First, see all Missouri election results here.


In the big picture, there really weren’t any surprises last night.  The statewide races all came in neatly with some margins larger or smaller than expected.  Dems picked up two state senate seats as forecast and Republican picked up four state house seats, one more than I wrote I thought they would two days ago.


Romney carried the state easily by nearly a ten point margin 53.9% to Obama’s 44.3%, but there was no evidence of coattails in the statewide races…


Senate: McCaskill 54.7% - Akin 39.2%

McCaskill destroyed Akin in the end.  She had the largest margin of victory of any statewide candidate.  There was an amazing 685,000 vote swing from Obama’s 260,000 vote deficit to her 425,000 vote victory margin.



Governor: Nixon 54.7% - Spence 42.6%

Nixon finished up with a twelve-point victory.  There will be grumbling about how he didn’t help House Dems when he had plenty of money and plenty of cushion.  It’s déjà vu all over again. (My column from four years ago on this subject).



Lieutenant Governor: Kinder 49.4% - Montee 45.4%

I think we all saw this coming, but still it’s “wow.” Kinder was left for dead by his own party’s biggest donors eighteen months ago; he was forced to swallow his pride and retreat from the gubernatorial race; he faced a sudden million-dollar primary from Sen. Brad Lager.  And now the morning after, he’s the only Republican standing.   Only one word for him: in-fucking-destructable.  Or if you prefer a longer, hyphenated word: lieutenant-governor-for-life.


This is actually the most intriguing result of the night.  Is he the new presumptive GOP gubernatorial nominee in 2016? Is it Auditor Tom Schweich?



Secretary of State: Kander 48.8% - Schoeller 47.5%

If there was one upset, it was this.   Rep. Jason Kander dug it out with hard work and smart work from the moment Robin Carnahan announced her retirement until the very last hour on Election Day.  Schoeller was drained by a tough primary and found himself way behind in the money race despite some big checks.




Treasurer: Zweifel 50.3% - McNary 45.5%

There was a lot of talk about a late McNary surge, and clearly Zweifel didn’t have McCaskill, Nixon, Koster margins.  But he did win with some padding.  And unlike Kander and Kinder, he managed to break the 50% barrier.  Treasurer is a term limited position so Zweifel needs to start the plotting now.  Will he barrel into a gubernatorial primary with Koster? Angle of a US Senate run against Roy Blunt?  2016 will be here before you know it.



Attorney General: Koster 55.8% - Martin 40.7%

After McCaskill, Koster had the largest margin of victory.  Poll consistently had him ahead so there wasn’t much drama to this race last night.  He is on track for the governor’s mansion in 2016.  If he’s facing Schweich, he’ll need to try to neutralize Schweich’s donor base – Fox, Danforth, stem-cellers.



State Senate

Senate 1 – Scott Sifton eked out Democratic win over incumbent Jim Lembke.  The margin was actually a little larger than I’d have guessed 50.9% to 49.1%.


Republican Gary Romine and Ryan Silvey had comfortable margins in winning their Democratic districts of Senate 3 and Senate 17.


And Terry Swinger got blown out by Doug Libla in Senate 25, losing by 12 points.  But “blown out” is relative.  Swinger didn’t fare so poorly when you consider that Barack Obama lost Dunklin County by 30 points.  And Stoddard County by 50 points.  Yes 50 points.  Romney 73.8%, Obama 24.5% in that bootheel county!



State House

Quick thoughts…


With a hand from redistricting a fair number of incumbents lost: House 5 (Tom Shively- D), House 20 (Brent Lasater - R) 40 (Paul Quinn-D), House 94 (Cloria Brown – R), House 132 (Melissa Leash – R).



Jefferson County comes through for Dems – Jeff Roorda and Mike Frame all will return to Jefferson City, and TJ McKenna becomes a third (or fourth?) generation McKenna to serve.  Sam Komo fell short, but Dems can feel okay about JeffCo.  Will Roorda challenge Jake Hummel for minority leader on Thursday?  Because what Dems need now is an internal fight.



Ballot Issues

The surprise of the night was Prop B.  I thought it would pass, perhaps narrowly or even by fingertips, but I thought it would pass.  It shows the strong anti-tax sentiment in Missouri that we can’t raise a tax on a documented public health menace.


St. Louis win local control; Court plan down in flames (24% yes to 76% no); and anti-health exchanges measure passed easily.



First Thought: Winners

Losers in next Update later today…



MATA – Trial attorneys had a two big wins.  The utter destruction of the court plan change (50 point margin); and the defeat of Jim Lembke to which they devoted hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Joyce Aboussie – She flexed some muscle in corralling Democratic support for Scott Sifton.


David Chilenski – First the primary win of Jamilah Nasheed, and then the general election of Scott Sifton.  The Democratic operative will likely announce his re-retirement this morning.  But you know, everything he thinks he’s out...


David Barklage – mostly wins in his client portfolio last night: Senate 3, 19, 21, 25; HRCC, Kinder and a couple of Props.


Labor – Strategic bets on Republican legislators went well – Silvey, Schaefer, Torpey – while backing of stalwart Dems Nixon, Koster, Zweifel also paid off.


Tightline Strategies – Ken Morley’s shop had Nixon’s sizable win and Kander’s whiskery margin.


St. Louis County Democrats – suddenly the St. Louis County Republican Senate delegation was halved.  The loss Cunningham’s district and Lembke’s seat leaves Sens. Eric Schmitt and John Lamping as the only two standing.  And Lamping’s district will be in play in two years.


Rob Mayer – The pro tem episode is closed and now he’s a judge.


Jo Ann Emerson – She stepped into the void left without a presidential campaign in the state to rally the troops in the southeast corner of the state, and pretty much ran the table - missing only knocking off incumbent Rep. Steve Hodges and TJ McKenna.


Jeff Roe – chief strategist behind Prop B defeat.


Tim Jones – Not only does Jones get an even larger Republican majority in the House, he also got the defeat of any statewide rivals for 2016.  Look for an AG run he wouldn’t have had if Martin had won.


James Harris – You say court plan change down  in flames, I say a contract extension on the Humphreys gravy train.


Jane Cunningham – passage of anti-health care exchange a nice code to her truncated Senate career.



And because you must know when you start your day…



Happy birthdays to Time Warner’s Jarad Falk, former Rep. Doug Ervin (46), and Sen.-elect David Sater (65).