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Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 Election Predictions

Here’s how I think the 2012 elections, state and federal, will go 9 months out.

Presidency:

Mitt Romney/Rick Santorum: (375 EV’s)(54.5%)AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
Barack Obama/Joe Biden: (163 EV’s)(44.8%)CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, MD, MA, NJ, NY, RI, VT

Governorships:

Delaware: Jack Markell(D) 64-36 over Jeff Cragg(R). DEM HOLD.
Indiana: Mike Pence(R) 59-41 over John Gregg(D). GOP HOLD.
Missouri: Jay Nixon(D) 56-44 over Dave Spence(R). DEM HOLD.
Montana: Rick Hill(R) 55-45 over Steve Bullock(D). GOP GAIN.
New Hampshire: Ovide LaMontagne(R) 54-46 over Maggie Hassan(D). GOP GAIN.
North Carolina: Pat McCrory(R) 58-42 over Walter Dalton(D). GOP GAIN.
North Dakota: Jack Darymphle(R) 60-40 over Ryan Taylor(D). GOP HOLD.
Utah: Gary Herbert(R) wins running unopposed. GOP HOLD.
Vermont: Peter Shumlin(D) 53-47 over Randy Brock(R). DEM HOLD.
Washington: Rob McKenna(R) 54-46 over Jay Inslee(D). GOP GAIN.
West Virginia: Bill Maloney(R) 52-48 over Earl Tomblin(D). GOP GAIN.

Senate:

Arizona: Jeff Flake(R) 56-44 over Richard Cardona(D). GOP HOLD.
California: Dianne Feinstein(D) 58-41 over Dirk Konopik(R). DEM HOLD.
Connecticut: Chris Murphy(D) 55-45 over Linda McMahon(R). DEM GAIN.
Florida: Adam Hasner(R) 52-48 over Bill Nelson(D). GOP GAIN.
Hawaii: Linda Lingle(R) 54-46 over Ed Case(D). GOP GAIN.
Indiana: Richard Mourdock(R) 58-42 over Joe Donnelly(D). GOP HOLD.
Maine: Olympia Snowe(R) 61-39 over Matt Dunlap(D). GOP HOLD.
Maryland: Ben Cardin(D) 59-40 over Dan Bongino(R). DEM HOLD.
Massachusetts: Scott Brown(R) 52-48 over Elizabeth Warren(D). GOP HOLD.
Michigan: Pete Hoekstra(R) 53-47 over Debbie Stabenow(D). GOP GAIN.
Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar(D) 53-45 over Dan Severson(R). DEM HOLD.
Mississippi: Roger Wicker(R) 63-37 over Albert N. Gore Jr.(D). GOP HOLD.
Missouri: Sarah Steelman(R) 55-45 over Claire McCaskill(D). GOP GAIN.
Montana: Denny Rehberg(R) 53-47 over Jon Tester(D). GOP GAIN.
Nebraska: Jon Bruning(R) 66-34 over Steven Lustgarten(D). GOP GAIN.
Nevada: Dean Heller(R) 54-45 over Shelley Berkley(D). GOP HOLD.
New Jersey: Bob Menendez(D) 53-46 over Anna Little(R). DEM HOLD.
New Mexico: Heather Wilson(R) 56-44 over Martin Heinrich(D). GOP GAIN.
New York: Kirsten Gillibrand(D) 62-38 over George Maragos(R). DEM HOLD.
North Dakota: Rick Berg(R) 51-49 over Heidi Heitkamp(D). GOP GAIN.
Ohio: Josh Mandel(R) 51-47 over Sherrod Brown(D). GOP GAIN.
Pennsylvania: Bob Casey Jr.(D) 52-46 over Tom Smith(R). DEM HOLD.
Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse(D) 65-35 over Barry Hinckley(R). DEM HOLD.
Tennessee: Bob Corker(R) 68-32 over Larry Crim(D). GOP HOLD.
Texas: David Dewhurst(R) 63-37 over Paul Sadler(D). GOP HOLD.
Utah: Orrin Hatch(R) 69-31 over Pete Ashdown(D). GOP HOLD.
Vermont: Bernie Sanders(I/D) 60-40 over Thom Lauzon(R). INDY/DEM HOLD.
Virginia: George Allen(R) 51-48 over Tim Kaine(D). GOP GAIN.
Washington: Maria Cantwell(D) 57-43 over Michael Baumgartner(R). DEM HOLD.
West Virginia: Joe Manchin(D) 53-46 over John Raese(R). DEM HOLD.
Wisconsin: Mark Neumann(R) 52-47 over Tammy Baldwin(D). GOP GAIN.
Wyoming: John Barrasso(R) wins running unopposed. GOP HOLD.

House:

Republicans:(+60)AZ-2, AR-4, CA-3, CA-9, CA-16, CA-41, CA-47, CO-7, CT-2, CT-4, CT-5, GA-12, HI-1, IL-12, IN-2, IA-1, IA-2, IA-3, ME-1, ME-2, MD-2, MD-5, MA-1, MA-3, MA-4, MA-6, MA-8, MA-9, MI-5, MN-1, MO-5, NV-4, NJ-6, NJ-12, NM-1, NM-3, NY-1, NY-22, NY-23, NY-26, NC-7, NC-8, NC-11, NC-13, OK-2, OR-1(Cornilles wins 51-47 over Bonamici tomorrow), OR-4, OR-5, PA-12, PA-13, RI-1, TN-5, TX-25, UT-4, VA-11, WA-1, WA-2, WA-9, WA-10, WV-3
Democrats: (+8)FL-22, FL-25, IL-8, MD-6, NH-2, TX-14, TX-27, TX-35

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Romney vs Santorum: Who Would Perform Best Against Obama and Why?


Many arguments can be made as to who's the stronger candidate to face President Obama and why, whether it's Willard M. Romney's name recognition and Moderate image or Richard J. Santorum's appeal to the pivotal base of support that is the grassroots activists. I will be looking at the electoral aspects of their strengths, where, and why they would perform strongest.

WM Romney's Strengths:

New England-Home to none other than Mitt Romney himself, New England is obviously and unarguably going to be his sole strength. He will play well with the Moderates/Independents, which constitute the majority of voters up here(minus Vermont) and fiscally oriented Conservatives. If he's the nominee, he would put away New Hampshire, give Obama a serious fight for his money in Maine, and stand a decent shot in Connecticut. Santorum, however, would lose Connecticut in a landslide, be in a slightly weaker position in Maine, and probably still be ahead in New Hampshire. While Santorum would play well with the aforementioned fiscally oriented Conservatives and Independents, he wouldn't play terribly well with the Moderates.

RJ Santorum's Strengths:

Midwest-An anchor of Conservatism, the Midwest is likely to vote for the GOP nominee regardless. That said, Santorum has a better chance of turning out the Conservative voters than does Romney. A Romney vs Obama race could well dampen turnout(as did McCain vs Obama in 2008) and put Missouri, the Dakotas, and Nebraska's Second Congressional district in play, as the district went to Obama in 2008.

Old Confederacy-The biggest anchor of Conservatism since Oklahoma, both candidates should be expected to do well here, right? Not so. The Old Confederacy, more than anywhere else, would be a problem spot for the Moderate Romney. Why? In 2008, John McCain underperformed across the board(losing Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia in the process) because of a rightly perceived Moderate streak running straight through his legislative record. Such would be about the same for Romney, except with more of a Moderate record plus the radical inconsistencies in what he says on a day to day basis, he would be in worse shape than McCain was(losing Georgia and possibly Texas and South Carolina in the process).

Rocky Mountains-With the exceptions of Colorado and New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains are a hotbed of Conservatism. Considering Obama's approvals as of late, either candidate would stand a chance against Obama in the two swingy states and rake in landslide victories in the others. That said, Conservatives will be less inclined to get out and vote if the Moderate candidate Romney(like John McCain in 2008 and Bob Dole in 1996) is the nominee, while they will turn out big time if the Conservative candidate Santorum is the nominee.

Equal Strengths:

Great Lakes-The Great Lakes states[minus Illinois(Democrat), Indiana(Republican), and New York(Democrat)] will be by and far the most hotly contested region in the entire country in the upcoming Presidential race. Several factors will influence the end result, such as high unemployment, Obama's flagging approvals, and the ongoing war against public-sector unions. If the union busting is successful, unemployment is high, and Obama's approvals continue to flag, then it does not matter if the nominee is Romney or Santorum, as either will win handily. But if the inverse happens, then Romney would have to be considered the best bet to defeat Obama. If the latter circumstances transpire, even Romney would face long odds.

Pacific Northwest-The Pacific Northwest has tended toward favoring Liberalism in the past few decades. Oregon may be within reach if my predicted Presidential numbers by Congressional district averages pan out(resulting in a 49.8%-49.4% GOP victory), and Washington is definitely within reach for two reasons. (1) The President has registered negative approval ratings in Washington State, and (2) state Attorney General Rob McKenna is poised for a landslide victory in the Governors race, which may provide coattails for either Romney or Santorum.

These are my views on how either candidate will perform in the various regions, and I would like to hear yours in the comments.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Why I'm Supporting Rick Santorum for President


In this ongoing Presidential election, there are many candidates out there angling for our support. After long and careful consideration, I have decided to support former US Senator Rick Santorum, and here are the issues on which I base my support:

1. Health Care: Mr. Santorum has been a long-time proponent of market-driven, patient-centered health care solutions. He believes that everybody should have access to high-quality and affordable health care, with decisions being made by patients and their doctors instead of by government. If elected, Santorum will work to repeal President Obama's universal health care plan, make more readily available such options as Health Savings Accounts and high deductible insurance plans, reduce health care costs through competition, allow patients to buy coverage with pre-tax dollars, and enact meaningful tort reform. By contrast, Mitt Romney was the genius behind the universal health care system in Massachusetts on which Obama based his health care system, and Newt Gingrich was, at one time or another, a proponent of the individual mandate, which was an instrumental part of Obama's health care plan.

2. Second Amendment: Mr. Santorum is an ardent defender of every law abiding citizen's Second Amendment rights. As a US Senator, Santorum wrote legislation eliminating the requirement that fishermen and hunters turn over their Social Security numbers when obtaining a license, supported legislation protecting law-abiding gun manufacturers and dealers from frivolous lawsuits, and vehemently opposed the Assault Weapons Ban, guided by his belief that the real answer to gun violence is the enforcement of existing laws. If elected, Santorum would be guided by the same principles that guided him through those votes in the Senate. By contrast, Romney was a supporter of gun control during his gubernatorial run and signed gun control legislation into law on July 1, 2004.

3. Entitlements & Spending: Rick Santorum believes that entitlement reform and caps on spending are the way to economic solvency. He believes we must live within our means, prioritize our national security and defense spending, refocus the government on constitutional principles, consolidate duplicative programs, eliminate wasteful programs, and reform and modernize Medicare and Social Security in order to put us on the path to fiscal solvency. If elected, Santorum pledges to cut $5 trillion of congressional spending within five years, reduce spending levels down to at least 2008 levels, freeze defense and entitlement spending levels for five years, pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, stop the implementation of all remaining federal stimulus dollars, freeze pay for federal workers for four years, eliminate agriculture and energy subsidies, and eliminate funding for the following: United Nations-owned agencies, the National Labor Relations Board, Dodd/Frank regulatory reform, and Planned Parenthood. He also vows to phase out bankrupt mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac within five years and sell wasteful and inefficient federal properties. By contrast, during his term of office as Governor, spending levels increased by 32%(from $26.3 billion to $34.7 billion), which does not account for the costs of RomneyCare.

4. Foreign Policy: Rick Santorum is one of the few people sounding the alarm about the dangers that Iran poses to the United States. While a US Senator, he sponsored a bill authorizing taxpayer dollars to support Iranian pro-democracy movements and keep dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from attaining a nuclear warhead. If elected, Santorum will assist Iranian pro-democracy groups, refuse to negotiate with Iran, work with Israel to deflect the nuclear threat and determine the proper course of military action against Iran, treat all scientists tied to the Iranian regime as enemy combatants, freeze bank accounts and issue travel restrictions to Iranian officials, build a comprehensive missile defense system, re-evaluate the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and authorize research into the threats posed by an electromagnetic pulse attack. This all sharply contrasts with Ron Paul's views on this matter. Paul's positions are that Iranian affairs are none of our business, that it does not concern us if Iran attains a nuclear weapon, and that Israel's safety is of no importance in the greater scheme of things.

5. Taxes: Mr. Santorum is a staunch advocate for lower taxes and a simplified tax code. As a US Senator, he voted for both Bush tax cuts. If elected, Santorum will work to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, the Death Tax, the Marriage Tax penalties, the cap on deductions for losses stemming from real estate sales, the corporate income tax for manufacturers, and the tax on repatriated taxable corporate income. He would also work to lower the capital gains and dividend taxes, to triple personal tax deductions for every child, to cut the corporate tax rate in half, to retain deductions for charitable giving and necessities, and to increase and make permanent the research & development tax credit. By contrast, taxes went up during Romney's tenure to pay for programs he implemented.

6. Life & Marriage: Rick Santorum is one of the leaders in the charge against abortion, same-sex marriage, and embryonic stem cell research. As a US Senator, he supported measures banning both partial birth abortions and judicial extension of marriage rights to same-sex and unmarried couples. He also supported extending legal protection both to babies who survive attempts at induced abortion and to unborn babies who are victims of crimes. If elected, Santorum would work to stop taxpayer funding of both overseas abortions and embryonic stem cell research. He would also defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, ban all chaplains from performing same-sex marriage ceremonies on federal property, and amend the Constitution to include a Personhood Amendment(declaring everybody, born and unborn, a person) and a Federal Marriage Act(banning judicial extension of marriage rights to same-sex and unmarried cohabiting couples). By contrast, Gingrich and Romney have taken alternating positions on these issues through the years, while Paul is a proponent of same-sex marriage.

7. Border Security & Immigration: Rick Santorum is an ardent proponent of securing our borders and restricting illegal immigration. As a US Senator, Santorum opposed amnesty, in-state tuition, health care services, Welfare, and educational benefits for illegal immigrants. In addition, he opposed chain migration(meaning one immigrant sponsors numerous other immigrants for admission), the establishment of guest worker programs, and allowing illegals to participate in Social Security. He supported building a border fence on the mexican border, the visa lottery, allowing foreign workers into the US for farm work, and visas for skilled workers. If elected, Santorum would do as he did in the Senate and fight to secure our borders and to make the legal immigration process faster and more efficient so that we can attract skillful, talented entrepreneurs from all regions around the world. Contrast this with Romney, who has favored an in-state tuition program and hired illegals for work at his home, and Paul, who has compared a border fence to the Iron Curtain, and you see the stark differences.

8. Energy & Offshore Oil Drilling: Rick Santorum is an ardent proponent of energy independence and offshore oil drilling. As a US Senator, Santorum opposed disallowing oil leasing programs in Alaska's "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;" opposed slashing oil usage by 40% by 2040; and opposed banning drilling in ANWR. He supported the Bush administration's energy policy, which targeted 100,000 hydrogen powered vehicles by 2010, drilling in ANWR on national security grounds, preserving a budget for ANWR oil drilling, and the authorization of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. If elected, Santorum would approve the Keystone Pipeline slated to go from Canada, through the Midwest, to Illinois. By contrast, Romney opposed the Yucca Mountain Repository.

In conclusion, I hope this endorsement has been informative and has convinced you to support Rick Santorum for president. Since this election is the most important one in modern times, there is a high volume of other options out there, so choose carefully.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Road to Victory 2012: How Rick Santorum Can Win the Nomination by Super Tuesday


In case you're not aware, in the closest vote in Iowa Caucus history, Mitt Romney beat out Rick Santorum by 8 votes. One week ago, Santorum was in the single digits. Considering his strong showing in IA and Conservative desperation to support a formidable alternative to Romney, the money and poll numbers will start flowing Santorum's way. Bachmann's departure will most assuredly help Santorum more than anyone else. People are skeptical that Santorum can make it. I'm optimistic that he can. Here's how I think Santorum could wrap up the nomination battle by Super Tuesday.

New Hampshire(1/10/12): Santorum's got no shot at winning here. The best he can shoot for is third place. One thing that could really hurt Mitt Romney is Newt Gingrich's attacks on him going into NH. Gingrich may not reasonate, but his attacks just might. If some of those attacks stick, we could be looking at either a narrow Romney victory over Ron Paul or an outright defeat of Romney. I currently think Romney will win with 34%, versus Paul's 29%, Santorum's 19%, Jon Huntsman Jr's 9%, Gingrich's 6%, and Rick Perry's 3%. Huntsman would drop out and endorse Romney, but seeing how thin Huntsman's support is, I don't see how that particularly helps Romney.

South Carolina(1/21/12): This will be the big fight. A make or break moment for Santorum, and Perry's last stand. Santorum must unify the Evangelical vote behind him in order to win. Romney only needs a Perry/Santorum split to win. I see Santorum unifying the Evangelicals(who will realize soon enough that Perry is doomed) and winning SC with 44%, versus Romney's 28%, Gingrich's 15%, Perry's 9%, and Paul's 4%. Perry would drop out and, like Bachmann, not endorse anybody, and his voters would largely go to Santorum, with the rest going to Gingrich.

Florida(1/31/12): Another make or break moment for Santorum, and Gingrich's last stand. Gingrich must win over the large senior vote that has flocked in droves to the home of the fountain of youth in the past few decades in order to win. Santorum, buoyed by his win in SC, must win over the Grassroots Conservatives, for which an endorsement from Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Rick Scott, and/or Congressman Allen West would go a long way. I see Santorum unifying the Grassroots Conservatives and winning FL with 39%, versus Romney's 29%, Gingrich's 21%, and Paul's 11%. Out of money, out of hope, and verging on destruction, Gingrich drops out and endorses Santorum.

Nevada(2/4/12): Santorum's got no shot at winning here. This is viewed by many as a Romney stronghold, but this could be what breaks Romney. Why? Paul polled a formidable second place here in 2008, and with his organization and the number of youth voters in the Las Vegas area, he could poll either a narrow second or actually beat out Romney, delivering the fatal blow to Romney's campaign. Don't worry, Romney will be in this until Super Tuesday, but by this point, his once great chances at the Presidency have just about vanished overnight.

Maine(2/4/12-2/11/12): With the support of Governor Paul LePage(and the forthcoming support of Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, if they've not endorsed him already), Romney's got a decent advantage going in. Santorum only has a remote chance here. I see Romney prevailing 47-36-17 over Santorum and Paul.

Colorado(2/7/12): There's not been any polling from Colorado for one month, but the last one showed Gingrich up 19 over Romney. Considering all that's gone on by this time and vote pockets in Boulder and Denver, Paul starts this one out with a built-in advantage. Paul prevails over Santorum and Romney 40-31-29.

Minnesota(2/7/12): With Bachmann not endorsing anybody and former Governor Tim Pawlenty behind Romney, Romney's chances are pretty good here. Santorum still may have a decent shot, though. At this point, I see Romney winning by a 45-39-16 margin over Santorum and Paul.

Arizona(2/28/12): Senator and 2008 GOP Presidential nominee John McCain's endorsement is supposed to help Romney, right? Not necessarily. McCain's job approval numbers have been flagging for the better part of a year, and is now almost as unpopular in AZ as Joe Lieberman is in Connecticut. With the high volume of Conservative Republicans in AZ accounted for, I see Santorum winning Arizona with 49%, versus Romney's 38% and Paul's 13%.

Michigan(2/28/12): Michigan, the state that elected Mitt's father, George Romney, to the Governorship way back when. For this reason, Romney's home free here. Santorum's got no chance. Romney wins with 54%, versus Santorum's 37% and Paul's 9%.

Washington(3/3/12): There has been no polling on this, so there is no way to tell.

And then it's on to Super Tuesday, where Santorum attains the GOP nomination for President of the United States of America.