I’m not going to waste your time making a bunch of predictions on races that we are all going to agree with. What fun is that? Instead, I’m going to make predictions on races that I believe are very close or could go either way. Remember, this isn’t what I want to happen, this is what I think is going to happen.
Let’s get it started.
1st District: Toss Up
Braley celebrated his birthday on Saturday. I’m sure his wife got him something nice, but the DCCC and other liberal groups gave him a million dollar gift to help him save his seat. The late spending might not be enough, so don’t discount Lange.
This race will go down to the wire. If forced to make a pick I’d say Braley survives. I hope I’m wrong.
2nd District: Toss Up
Miller-Meeks has worked hard and put a lot of money into her race. If anyone deserves to be the first woman in Iowa to be elected to Congress it’s her. I also think that if she does win, she will be a fixture in Congress for years to come. I believe that Loebsack is on the ropes, but I still believe that the 2nd District is the most difficult seat in Iowa for Republicans to win.
I hate saying that these races are a toss up, but they are that close. I think the seat leans Loebsack.
3rd District: Zaun
Get ready for a reply of primary night. Back in June, Zaun himself seemed surprised that he won. Even his staff admitted that they were surprised they did so well. I think the same thing is going to happen tonight.
Boswell is still hitting Zaun on ethanol and traveling the rural part of the district in the final days of the campaign. He’s also still airing negative ads. In fact, I don’t think Boswell has run one positive ad in the entire campaign. I think that Zaun pulls it off.
Iowa Attorney General – Miller
I think Tom Miller might be the only statewide Democrat to win tonight. It will be a shame if that happens. In Miller we have a guy who is borrowing money from his staff to keep his campaign afloat. Too bad the Des Moines Register doesn’t see the problem with that.
My prediction that Miller wins is based on the fact that he has been a fixture in Iowa for decades. His argument that Findley doesn’t have the experience is effective, especially since Findley looks so young. I REALLY hope I’m wrong on this.
State Treasurer – Jamison
Dave Jamison is a much better campaigner than I thought he would be. Very quietly he has gone about his business and run a solid, no frills campaign. He’s jabbed Fitzgerald at the appropriate times, and wisely ran the same radio ads that worked for him in the primary in the general election too.
Nobody knows what the State Treasurer does or who it is. That means people don’t care either, which is why Jamison wins tonight.
Secretary of State – Schultz
People do care who the Secretary of State is, but the mere fact that Mike Mauro is a first term incumbent means he’s probably going to get beat tonight. Schultz is great on the stump but he hasn’t run as good of a campaign as Jamison has. If he had this would be a no doubter in my opinion. Still, I think he wins tonight.
State Senate Races
I see that there is a lot of information on the State House campaigns on the site today, so I’ll give a little love for the Senate. Why we keep ignoring the Senate frustrates me, maybe that would be different if McKinley showed a little more fire.
Here is how I see it.
Two Slam Dunks – Bill Dix and Sandy Greiner will win tonight. I also think they become instant leaders. Don’t think that I didn’t notice that Iowans for Tax Relief gave Dix a $60,000 contribution in October.
Kent Sorenson – I’ll be honest, this race worries me a bit. Kent has proved himself to be an outstanding legislator. He would be an incredible addition to the Senate. I think I might just show up and sit in the gallery to watch him go after Gronstal if he wins.
The problem is that Gronstal knows this too and is committed to do anything to prevent it from happening. Between Gronstal’s negative attacks on the radio and Staci Appel’s TV ads, Sorenson has been bloodied up. I also didn’t like seeing that Democrats have 1160 more absentees in his old House District than Republicans have. Still I think Sorenson pulls this one out, but unlike other Republicans I’m nervous about this seat.
Rick Bertrand – I don’t believe the hype. I think that the Democrats will hold all of their open House and Senate seats in Sioux City.
Who’s Makin Bacon? – I am. I think Rob Bacon beats Rich Olive tonight. Just a hunch, but I think Republicans have a better shot at that seat than Bertrand’s seat in Sioux City.
Bring Me the Chicken Man – I think Mark Chelgren, aka Chickenman, will win tonight. The guy loves Keystone beer, heck he’s probably throwing a kegger tonight, but for some reason I think this guy has a shot.
So there you have it. I think the Senate gains fives seats, meaning the balance in the chamber will be 27 Democrats and 23 Republicans. Don’t be sad, Republicans didn’t win the Iowa Senate until 1996. I expect the same thing to happen this time around.
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