Friday, September 28, 2012

My Predictions for 2012 Elections

Here are my predictions for the 2012 elections.

Presidency: Obama will win re-election, most likely by a rather large number of electoral votes, but a relatively close popular vote.

House of Representatives.  All Representatives are up for re-election every two years, each has a two year term.  Republicans maintain control, but lose some seats.    Right now the numbers are 240 Republicans, 190 Democrats and 5 vacancies.  If I had to put actual numbers, I would say in 2013 it would start as 230 Republicans, 205 Democrats, no vacancies.   As always, all House seats are always up for grab, but Obama will probably lend some extra effort to the Democrats, along with the general hatred of the House that has developed over the past couple of years.

Senate:  One third of all Senators are up for re-election every 2 years, each has a six year term.  The Democrats will lose a couple of Senate seats, but maintain a bare majority, including the independents.  Currently the totals are 51 Democrats plus 2 independents, vs 47 Republicans.  But far more Democrats are up for re-election this cycle (21 Democrats + 2 independents vs 10 Republicans up for re-election).  This does not give the Democrats many chances to pick up an extra seat or two.  I expect that after the election we will have 50 Democrats plus 1 Independent vs 49 Republicans.    The same will happen in 2014 (20 Democrats vs 13 Republicans up for re-election)  But 2016 gives the Democrats a real chance to win back some seats (10 Democrats vs 24 Republicans up for re-election).

Most likely this will end with far more gridlock.   To end it we will either need real leadership among the Republicans (unlikely) or a greatly enhanced deal making by Obama.   Slight differences in numbers could tremendously affect the next administration.

The main advantage to the Democrats will be Supreme Court judge picks.   We can replace some aging liberal Judges, and, god-forbid, there is the chance one of the older conservative Judges will get ill and need to be replaced. 

Given the GOP's continued concentration on far right national politics, this could be the path for the foreseeable future.  The Democrats controlling the Presidency and sometimes the Senate, while the GOP controls Congress by putting forth moderate Republicans in moderate districts and zealots in the conservative districts.

If nothing changes, then eventually - they will turn off the moderates and lose the House.  This may cause them to rethink their strategy, but nothing short of losing the house will do this.   The other hope is that a true Republican leader emerges.  Someone that can go against the far right zealots that rule local politics and put forth a solid centrist platform that revitalizes the Republican Party.

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