Sunday with the Senators: Saturday Edition

Vote by JessWe’re 17 days out from the election, and while the main event seems like a foregone conclusion, the Senate is pretty much a nail-biter. Matt will have the Senate race rankings up tonight and we’ll see the specifics, but first, a little context, and a race that no one is looking at, which may actually delay knowing who controls the Senate until 10 December.

Let’s play. We need a net of 4 seats to take back the Senate, assuming that Secretary Clinton wins the general, and thus Tim Kaine would be the tie-breaker. Based on current projections, we’ll pick up Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. Will we hold Nevada? Maybe. If we do we need one more, if not, we need two. The likeliest options should be Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Should be. Could be. The data indicate that if Secretary Clinton wins by 7 points in Pennsylvania and 6 points in New Hampshire, her coattails will be enough. I have been following New Hampshire from a distance and it appears very close. Ayotte is constantly tied to Trump in ads. For some reason, a lot of politicians don’t seem to get that everyone has a phone, and thus video capabilities, and when you call Donald Trump “a role model” that’s going to make the ads even if you disavow some of his actions. A lot will depend on how much money is poured into the ads in the next couple weeks. The polls have been tied, and just yesterday WMUR said that Hassan is 8 points ahead: is it an outlier or has the die been cast?

Pennsylvania is so tight there’s no daylight in the polls. Brooklyn knows this and that’s why both Clinton and Kaine will be in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia today. Should be noted that Secretary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Senator Kaine, President and Mrs. Obama, Vice President Biden and even Bubba the Big Dog have all been here. Upcoming in the next two weeks, Anne Holton (Senator Kaine’s wife), Jill Biden, Jon Bon Jovi and Katy Perry.  It seems as though the street closure information is an almost daily occurrence on the traffic reports.

All of these folks are here in our little corner of the world not to make sure that Secretary Clinton beats the her opponent, described thusly yesterday in the NY Daily News:

Never have we questioned a candidate’s fitness to serve.
Then came Donald Trump — liar, thief, bully, hypocrite, sexual victimizer and unhinged, self-adoring demagogue.

As an aside, I’m memorizing that so I can say it as quickly as I can recite two all beef patties…. Sorry for the digression. Back to the thought: All these folks are here to make sure that the win is big enough to boost Katie McGinty over the top. Pat Toomey has not yet said whether or not he’s voting for Donald Trump, and he was asked repeatedly in this week’s Senate debate.  He was pressed by the moderator, who elicited that Toomey “would probably” let his constituents know prior to election day. He’ll have another chance at next week’s debate.

Pat’s choice is stark. If he won’t vote for Trump, he loses the entirety of southwestern Pennsylvania and Pennsyltuckey because all of those Trump voters will skip the “Senate” line. However, it increases the possibility of ticket splitting in the collar counties. And it’s the collar counties that will decide this election. HOWEVER, the ads tying him to Trump are so ubiquitous that he may not be believed by the deciding voters in the collar counties who are predominantly white, middle to upper class, well educated women.

So that brings us to Louisiana. Yes, you read that right. Now, DCW and all the other people doing Senate rankings have Louisiana as red. Yeah, The “liar, thief, bully, hypocrite, sexual victimizer and unhinged, self-adoring demagogue” is going to win there. But Louisiana is not having an actual Senate election on November 8th, they’re having a jungle primary.  There will be 24 names on the ballot. Here they are, with tags to Wikipedia.

The Republicans:

The Democrats:

The rule is that if someone gets above 50% he gets to be Senator. Normally this is serial hooker John David Vitter, but he’s sitting this one out. And it looks like no one will get there because the polling shows the following: John Kennedy 24%, Foster Campbell 19% and Caroline Fayard 12%. The top two vote-getters will take part in the 10 December run-off. Here’s the funny part, while Kennedy is currently a Republican, the first time he ran for the Senate, he did so as a Democrat. In addition, Campbell and Fayard are both Democrats.  Fun fact: everyone who polled at 5% and above will make the debate on 2 November and I really, REALLY hope it’s streamed. As an aside, Brooklyn, the DNC and the DSCC will still have millions in the bank on the 9th of November. Imagine the money that might be poured into that run-off.

So there you have it. A little frame while waiting for the rankings. And remember — VOTE — in some states you can be voting already. Please vote, and bring 5 friends.


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