Place Your Election Bets

Analyzing and predicting election outcomes is a job for a political scientist.

As a graduate with a B.A. in political science, you are taught to analyze and breakdown the landscape of politics and how the pieces fit into the ever-changing face of our nation.  You are also taught to put aside your emotions, because politics, like sports, can make people behave and act irrational and lose perspective because they are so caught up in an election.

My biggest pet peeve is when someone tells me how and who to vote.  I’m not going down that road.  If I don’t tell you who to vote for, I expect you to do the same.  Secondly, I will never tell you who I voted for.  That’s my business and my right to keep it private.  I won’t ask the same of you.

...and that message is "please vote. Do it for the kids!"

As a graduate of political science, I think it would be fun and interesting to make some predictions on how things will shake out later tonight when the polls close.  Remember, this predictions are for entertainment purposes only.  I don’t advocate placing bets with the bookies in Vegas.  As Furio would say, “Bet with your head, no over it!”

Senate: Grassley over Conlin (by > +7%):  If this was the big chance for a woman to win a Congressional seat in Iowa, it puzzles me on why Conlin didn’t do more in this campaign to make a dent.  The age factor is moot, since both of them are over 65 and have been in the public eye for a long time.  Once again, Iowans, male and female, don’t think a woman is ready to head to Congress (more on that later…)

Congressional: all 5 seats will not turn over.  Latham, Braley, Loebsack, King, and Boswell will be re-elected easily.  Only Boswell will be a little closer, but despite the national talk that Boswell could lose to Brad Zaun, people continue to underestimate how cagey the old man is.  He’s no Rasputin, but he knows how to campaign.  Brad Zaun is too abrasive and what works in the Statehouse will not work in Congress.

Loebsack, as I wrote, wins easily over Marianne Miller-Meeks, which will be another notch on the Iowa voters’ belt when it comes to not electing a woman to Congress.  Regardless of political affiliation, Iowa and Mississippi are the only states not to send a female to Congress. The GLBT community is free to marry in Iowa, but we can’t send a woman or a minority to Washington.

For women and minorities, the road to Congress from Iowa is foiled again.

Might want to look into figuring out how to cross those barriers soon, if not later.

Governor: Branstad over Culver (between 7 and 12%). Despite some encouraging news about Iowa’s economy, it’s too little too late for Chet Culver.  The Iowa Film Office fiasco, CIETC, and other miscues stands out.   I felt that Branstad should have never listened to Doug Gross and run for governor again, but I’m not his advisor.

The numbers don’t lie:  most voters were not crazy about both guys, but they remember the most recent events and those events happened under Culver’s watch.

If Branstad does win, he should take heart this little advice:  what worked in 1983, 1989, and 1995 isn’t going to work in 2011.  The game has changed dramatically and new players are holding the deck of cards in the Statehouse.  It might be a good idea to learn the new rules.

Judge retention: Martha Ternus, David Baker, and Michael Streit will be retained (by > 5% each).  The Iowa Poll says that it is 37% to 34% in favor of not keeping the state Supreme Court justices.  Those numbers are too close to call.  It could go both ways, but Iowans are smart enough to understand that one ruling isn’t going to destroy the world.

My prediction is that this group will stay intact. It would be a surprise if any of the three justices are not retained.

I’m not going to give a prediction on the national races because the local races directly impact us more than what goes on in California, Kentucky, or elsewhere.

In a nutshell, Iowa loves incumbents and things will go chalk in Congress, but not at Terrace Hill (sort of, since we may end up re-electing a former gov.).  The perception that this election is about the Tea Party will be surprised to see that the incumbents will be the main headline in this state.

From looking at this, it don’t look like a straight ticket to me.  It’s looks like whoever is the best person for the job, and incumbents are the ones we are comfortable with.

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2 thoughts on “Place Your Election Bets

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