I don’t want to jinx it, but unless all the polls are totally wrong, or something horrendous happens in the next few weeks, the uncertainty on November 4th is not going to be about who is the next President, but about the rest of the elections.* Do the Dems really have a chance at 60 votes in the Senate? Is Massachusetts going to commit budget suicide? What’s going to happen to marriage equality in California?
Sam Wang makes a convincing case that if you have money left to spend on political contributions this cycle, you should spend it on the Senate races in Oregon, Georgia and Minnesota. Of those, the one that jumps out at me is Georgia, because I haven’t forgiven Chambliss for his utterly sleazy ads about Max Cleland. (And Jim Martin’s making sure the voters don’t forget either.)
Increasing the margin in the House is probably less of a priority, but I’m still trying to find some money to toss towards a couple of races:
- Judy Feder’s contest to beat Frank Wolf in Virginia — she’s awesome, and is one of the half dozen or so people in the US who I actually think understand health care reform. That said, he’s a popular incumbent and he trounced her two years ago. Virginia polls close early — 7pm Eastern time** — so that’s a good race to keep your eye on — if she wins, it’s a sign that the Dems are really riding a wave.
- Dennis Shulman in New Jersey. He’s a blind rabbi, a psychologist, running against someone who is incredibly conservative for his district. And I know his daughter.
I’m finding it hard to get too excited about my own Congressional race, but Anonymous is a Woman has some good posts about it here and here. I haven’t seen any polling, but I think Connolly should win easily — the district has moved to the left, and the seat has only stayed Republican as long as it has because of people’s respect for Tom Davis and appreciation of what he’s done for federal workers. I got a very annoying push poll from Fimian last week (although even the poor sap they had doing the poll couldn’t pronounce his name.)
As far as I can tell, we don’t have any wacky policy referenda on our ballot here in Virginia. Here in Fairfax, there’s a parks bonds referendum, which I’m probably going to vote against. Given the huge budget deficit the county is running (due to the collapse of property tax revenue), I just don’t think that it makes sense to borrow for things that are nice, but not essential.
* Not that I’m complaining about this. After the last two Presidential elections,I’d really like one where I’m not sure it’s worth staying up to watch the California returns come in. My dad and I were talking about this and we decided that the question we wanted to ask is: what’s your prediction for what time you go to bed on election night?
In 2000, I was 6 months pregnant, had a brutal cold, and had to catch a
flight to go to a work meeting in Cleveland at 5.30 the next morning. At about 2 am, I finally gave up and went to bed. In 2004, I gave up when they moved Florida back from Kerry to too close to call.
** If you’re likely to be stuck at work and racing home to vote, you might consider going ahead and voting absentee early. If you’re at work *or commuting* for at least 11 hours that day, it’s an approved reason to vote absentee. That sounds like a lot, but a 9 hour day and a one hour commute each way qualifies you.