The Hat Trick has been AWOL lately…unfortunately the Hat Trick’s day job has gotten in the way, plus some travel. Add in to that a little bit of political/election apathy and you pretty much have the whole story. However, since it is November 4 and Election Day, the Hat Trick feels he should probably comment on what is going on…
Bottom line is that Senator Obama’s days as a member of the United States Senate will quickly be coming to a close as he gets the promotion to the White House. I don’t think it will be a landslide, but a solid victory…nothing like the close elections of 2000 and 20004. At this juncture the Hat Trick feels that Senator Obama will turn Virginia and Colorado and possibly Florida. Finally, the Hat Trick thinks Ohio will also go his way, sealing the deal. Also, unlike 2004 (and especially unlike 2000!) we should know the winner fairly early in the evening…likely by 11:00pm if not sooner.
The Hat Trick has felt for a while that Senator Obama would be victorious so I have been more focused on what happens in the House and Senate races…as a lobbyist this is the arena that will impact me the most. For pro-business conservatives, like the Hat Trick, the future doesn’t look pretty. The Hat Trick predicts that Democrats will gain 30 seats in the House…bagging 34 Republican-held House seats and losing four of their own seats. The Hat Trick’s “Upset Surprise Special” will be Pennsylvania’s 12th District, home to Democratic Representative John Murtha, an outspoken critique of the Iraq War and a Member of Congress with some significant ethical lapses in his past, including involvement in the “Abscam” scandal in the late 1970s, among other glitches. In 2008 Murtha is in trouble by publicly stating that his congressional district is a racists area and would not vote for Senator Obama. His constituents were not pleased and has turned an easy race for re-election into a real challenge for Murtha. The Hat Trick thinks this is the “Upset Special” for this election.
The races in the Senate are somewhat murkier although the Hat Trick predicts a solid night for the Democrats but not quite enough to get to a filibuster-proof 60 votes. The Hat Trick predicts Democrats will win seven seats, bringing their total to 58 seats (56 Democrats and two Independents who caucus with the Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut). This is how the Hat Trick sees the shakeout of those seven Senate races:
Alaska – Senator Ted Stevens loses for the first time since his appointment to the Senate in 1968. A conviction on corruption charges last week in D.C. Federal Court did not help his re-election efforts.
Colorado – Open Senate with the retirement of Senator Wayne Allard, a Republican. A former red state turning purple, and possibly blue, Republicans nominate the most conservative candidate possible, alienating moderates in an election year not friendly to Republicans. Democrats nominate House Rep. Mark Udall of the Udall Family dynasty and will win handily.
New Hampshire - Senator John Sununu hasn't exactly electrified the Senate since his arrival in 2003. Changing trends in New Hampshire (both House seats went to the Democrats in 2006) plus being opposed by a popular former Democratic governor of the state will put the Senator into enforced retirement after one term.
New Mexico - See Colorado. Republicans nominate most conservative choice to run against a Udall (this time House Rep. Tom Udall). Results are the same...welcome to the Senate Tom Udall.
North Carolina - One would think that Senator Elizabeth Dole would be okay in North Carolina but that state is becoming more purple by the day. A large turnout of Black voters for Senator Obama are going to kill Dole's re-election hopes. Of course it never helps your re-election efforts to spend most of your time in your Watergate condo in Washington, DC with your husband, former Senator Bob Dole, instead of the state your actually represent.
Oregon - Moderate Senator Gordon Smith (a cousin of the Udall clan mentioned above) is just going to get bagged in a state trending to become "really, really blue" with the current hippy/progressive contingent in Portland these days. If Smith had a D instead of an R after his name he would be fine.
Virginia - See New Mexico and Colorado. A former Red State now trending Blue, Republicans nominated an unpopular, very conservative, former Governor to face popular, moderate/business friendly, former Governor. How do you think this is going to turn out? The irony is that Republicans had a moderate, very popular House member retiring (Rep. Tom Davis) who wanted to run for the Senate but was maneuvered out of the nomination by the conservative wing of the Virginia Republican Party in a state trending moderate in recent years. Good move guys!
Finally, the Hat Trick feels that Senator Norm Coleman in Minnesota will prevail in his race against former Saturday Night Live comedian Al Franken. If ultra-liberal, jokester Franken wins this seat then God help us all...
The Hat Trick may provide some further commentary as Election Day 2008 continues. Feel free to comment on the Hat Trick's predictions...and, as always, regardless of who you support, please go out and vote...even if it is "None of the Above." A lot of people in our past history died for our right to vote and it is important to exercise that right every single election.