Despite the almost innate ability of the Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I think
Tuesday will be a long night for the Democrats. Why? A real trend seems to be in the making with late deciding voters breaking for the Republicans. Specifically my best guess is that by the time we wake up Wednesday morning the Republicans will have picked up 7 Senate seats and be favored to win the run-offs in Georgia and Louisiana making for a total gain of 9 seats. Moreover although the
Democrats will likely win in Virginia and New Mexico those two races will be surprisingly close. In terms of the House, the Republicans appear to be on track to picking up between 10-15 seats thereby surpassing their 2010 majority and possibly passing their postwar record majority in 1946. In terms of governor races, contrary to all earlier expectations the Republicans might net one governorship, with their only major loss in Pennsylvania. Until a week ago I thought Scott Walker would lose in Wisconsin, but I now think he will eek it out.
In my mind three very important races in the country involve the fight against one of the most reactionary elements in the Democratic Party, the public employees unions. In Rhode Island Democrat Gina Raimondo had the audacity as State Treasurer to push through fundamental pension reform against stiff union opposition. No surprise the unions are backing Republican Allan Fung. In the failed state of Illinois incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn is hanging on by his finger nails against Republican Bruce Rauner. A Rauner win would signal that there is still hope for Illinois to deal with the biggest unfunded public employee pension liability in the country. Lastly in California in the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction education reformer and Democrat Marshall Tuck is squaring off against the incumbent Democrat fully backed by the teachers unions, Tom Torlakson. A Tuck win would send a message that Sacramento's most powerful lobby can be beaten and ignite the long smoldering civil war within the Democratic Party.
As they say in poker, "read em and weep." I'll comment on Wednesday morning on how far off base this is and the implications for next year's governing.