Saturday, November 11, 2006 

Predictions Wrap-Up

Monday morning I posted some predictions for Tuesday's results. I'm both pleased and disappointed that they were particularly accurate; I made conservative predictions, and DFL/Democratic candidates exceeded my expectations enormously, but unfortunately I was right on our big loss in the state, the governor's race.

I was more or less correct on all of the constitutional officer races except the Anderson/Otto race, and of course the U.S. Senate race. I underestimated Bachmann's margin, I thought the 3rd would be a little closer than it was, and I called the 1st the wrong way.

The predictions for the Legislature were far too conservative. The DFL picked up 2.5x as many seats in the Senate as predicted, and almost 4x as many in the House. The national predictions were similarly conservative; I undercalled the Senate by two seats and the House by (so far) 6 seats.

Overall, not too bad, and as I said, I'm pleased that my predictions were more cautious than the results bore out.


Lourey to Run Again?

A reader forwarded an e-mail this morning from outgoing Sen. Becky Lourey's now-defunct gubernatorial campaign. The e-mail was a request for donations to the campaign; it's been pretty well known that the campaign has been in debt since her loss at the DFL State Convention in June. Contained within the e-mail?
Imagine, if everyone who voted for Becky Lourey in the DFL Primary contributed just $5, she would retire her campaign debt and be well on way to her next great public service adventure! (emphasis mine)
"Her next great public service adventure!" Lourey's son Tony won the race on Tuesday for her Senate seat, so it's unlikely that she'd be pursuing that office again, and her home in Kerrick is within House district 8A, held by DFLer Bill Hilty. Unless Hilty or Tony Lourey are retiring or she plans on making a primary challenge, the only opportunities for her in the next two cycles would be the '08 Senate race or another crack at the governor's mansion in 2010. Could she already be planning one of these races?

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Election Aftermath

[I've waited to finish this post until the major results were all final. In living with so much Republican control for so long, I've learned not to take things for granted. However, it appears now that we really have done what we thought we'd done. Thank God. - NSP]

"The times they are a-changin'"
- Bob Dylan

So...we won. It's odd to be able to say that, but we won. We won nationally and we won at the state level. Congress will be returning to Washington in January to a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, and the Legislature will be returning to St. Paul to large DFL majorities in both the House and the Senate as well. With the sad exception of the governor's office, we will also have Democrats in the constitutional offices. Despite an embarrassing loss in the 6th, we will be sending a majority DFL delegation to Washington. We won, and it's going to mean a brighter future for our state, our country, and just possibly our whole world.

A lot of my fellow bloggers have already written a lot on the results at the state and national levels. As this post is up almost four days after Election Day, I don't see the point in my doing the same. The Big E has some Hatch/Ellison comparison, MNCR has some analysis of polling accuracy, Mintellect has returned for a little post-election rundown, and of course Kos is a great source for information at the national level. Lots of other bloggers and media folks have posted enormous amounts of analysis already; it's there for the finding.

Both Congress and the Legislature are now controlled by Democrats, but we still face relatively strong Republican executives. One of the keys to our success will be to neutralize them early by passing overwhelmingly popular legislation that they are likely to veto to protect the interests their extremely conservative bases. Stem cell legislation, minimum wage legislation, and legislation to allow direct negotiation with pharmaceutical companies are examples of this. Framing the next two (national) and four (Minnesota) years is important, and if we can force Republican leaders to veto centrist, mainstream pieces of legislation, it can quickly become clear to the public that their priorities are our priorities and the Republican executives stand against them. It will be pretty hard for Pres. Bush to lose any more support, but weakening Gov. Pawlenty can only be a good thing. Having the public on our side will allow us to be successful with our other, potentially more divisive priorities.

One of the things I've been thinking about most since Tuesday is how we treat Republicans now that we control three chambers that we didn't before. Particularly in the U.S. House, Democrats have been pretty mistreated for quite a long time, and I'm sure the same is true in the U.S. Senate and MN House, though I doubt that it has been as bad. Matt Stoller at MyDD wrote a little bit about this a month ago. While Republicans are obviously not due any of the advantages of the majority, I believe that to treat their caucus as second-class would be to sink to their level, a level unbecoming of the Democratic Party; as nice as it would be to turn the GOP's behavior around on them, such turnabout accomplishes nothing. Though we're still riding high on our victory on Tuesday, it's impossible to say how 2008 or 2010 will treat us, and were we to abuse the Republican caucuses things would likely be worse the next time they retake a majority. In the interest of real bipartisanship, I hope that we are fair - but tough. We can run all over our opposition in a lot of ways without being unfair or nasty. For the sake of our democratic system I deeply fear that nastiness becoming permanent in St. Paul and D.C., and I wish it weren't the burden of Democrats to turn it around, but it is. Let's take this opportunity to show once again why we're the better party.

All that said, it will be intriguing to see how the GOP handles being the minority party again. With all their talk about a "permanent Republican majority" it may be that some of them really believed that they would never lose again. It's tough to lose so much so fast, but it's no more than the remaining members deserve. Don't be surprised to see a number of Republican retirements or possibly even party switches over the next two years.

By the way, to those faithful few who are still around to read this: I'm still embarrassed about the state of this blog over the past months, but I intend to increase my time commitment to it and blog consistently and frequently in the future. You can expect quite a bit more NSP from now on.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006 

Post-Election Analysis This Evening

There will be some post-election analysis and thoughts coming a little later this evening sometime Saturday. Sorry.

Monday, November 06, 2006 

Pre-Election Predictions

Official NSP Predictions:

U.S. Senate: Amy Klobuchar in a blowout
Governor: Tim Pawlenty by a hair
Secretary of State: Mark Ritchie by a small but surprising margin
Attorney General: Lori Swanson by less than predicted, but still a solid margin
State Auditor: Pat Anderson with room to spare

1st CD: Gutknecht in a nail-biter
2nd CD: Kline in a blowout
3rd CD: Ramstad, but Wilde comes closer than expected
4th CD: McCollum in a blowout
5th CD: Ellison well over 50%
6th CD: Bachmann in a squeaker
7th CD: Peterson in a blowout
8th CD: Oberstar in a blowout

MN House: DFL +5
MN Senate: DFL +2

For my Congressional predictions, see Predict06.

I've taken a conservative line here; I don't think that Dems will do as well as is the current CW. There will be enough to take both Legislative houses, but not the governor's race. Nationally, we'll take the House with a few seats to spare, but the Senate will be out of reach until at least 2008. Some of these predictions aren't ones I want to make, but they are my best guesses, and for the gubernatorial, auditor, and congressional races, I'd be more than happy to be wrong.

This will probably be my last post until the morning after. Good luck to us all, and make sure you leave it all on the table.

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