Branstad. Not much else to say other than that Culver will be embarrassed but will still try to spin it as being not that bad, even after he loses by double digits.
Grassley. He’s going to embarrass Roxanne Conlin, even more than she’s done to herself. This could hit 60%-40% margins.
Iowa Attorney General:
This one’s going to be a barn burner, folks. There has been a last minute ad blitz by Tom Miller, and truth be told, he has some pretty effective ads. However, while Brenna Findley may not have ever tried a criminal case, if you know how the AG’s office works, Tom Miller hasn’t tried a criminal case in decades either. That’s what his deputies and assistants do when they are not loaning his campaign almost $100,000 illegally. Miller’s job is more administrative. He’s supposed to be doing things like setting policies that keep his office working smoothly and not missing deadlines that set two violent sex offenders free. Oops, little late for that.
Findley has been polling slightly behind but has steadily gain ground and is within striking distance. If Branstad pulls out a strong double-digit win, I think Findley can ride his coattails to victory. If GOP turnout is good but not great, Miller may squeak it out. I’m going to be optimistic and say Findley 50.5%, Miller 49.5%.
Bottom line: too close to call.
Iowa Secretary of State:
Hello Matt Schultz! This young go-getter is going to win the this office for the GOP and finally clean up elections in this state, and I can’t wait for it to happen. Schultz 53%, Mauro 47%
This is also going to be a tight one. Dave Jamison has given Michael Fitzgerald a run for his money, pun intended. I think this one is going much the same way as the AG’s race. If GOP turnout is fantastic, Jamison gets it. If it’s not quite as good as expected, Fitzgerald might get a chance to lose another $300 million of IPERS money. Once again, optimism rules the day – Jamison 51%, Fitzgerald 49%.
Iowa’s 3rd CD:
Leonard Boswell has done just about everything but call Brad Zaun a child molester in this one. It hasn’t been pretty. And let’s face it, Zaun’s brought a lot of this on himself. He’s made comments that were easily taken out of context (and some that didn’t even have to be taken out of context) that have come back and bit him in the backside. He is a candidate with some personal baggage that should have been exposed in the primary, but wasn’t. That’s hurt him greatly in the general because he waited far too long to break out the “my wife says I’m a good man” ad. It’s a good and effective ad, but it may be too little, too late.
Bottom line: If voters remember Boswell is a jerk who never shows up for a public forum and votes for everything Nancy Pelosi tells him to, he may lose. If voters have been sufficiently distracted by the “Brad Zaun is the Devil” ads, Zaun probably won’t overtake the Boz. This one’s going to be close, but I think Boswell, sadly, might eek it out. Boswell 52%, Zaun 48%.
Iowa’s 2nd CD:
Mariannette Miller-Meeks paid her dues and took her lumps in 2008, and I think it will all pay off 2010. This district is notoriously difficult for Republicans, but this is an unusual year, and this is an unusual GOP candidate. Miller-Meeks is the type of person who, even if they don’t agree with her on everything, elicits respect from almost everyone she meets, even liberals. Add to that the fact that Dave Loebsack is about as exciting as a toadstool with a personality to match (and a voting record that’s contributed to the recession and historically low congressional approval ratings), and we may have the perfect storm to elect a Republican in Iowa’s most liberal congressional district. I say Miller-Meeks takes it 52%-48%.
Iowa’s 1st CD:
This is probably one of the most interesting and watched congressional races in the country. If someone had told me a few months ago that Bruce Braley would be beatable by election day, I would have laughed. But the unbelievable has happened.
Outside groups have been spending a lot of money attacking Braley’s record, and, let’s face it, there is a lot to attack. This guy is truly one of the most liberal in the House, and it’s about time that fact was exposed to the people of the 1st District. And unlike Zaun, Ben Lange has run a stellar campaign and doesn’t have any baggage for the DCCC to dredge up. Lange has had some fantastic ads that really seem to be connecting with the constituents.
Bottom line: It’s going to be a close one, but I think Lange gets the upset victory 51%-49%.
There are so many variable in this one, I’m not even sure it’s possible for me to make any decent predictions other than that the GOP takes the house back, getting a small majority.
There would really have to be a perfect storm for the GOP to have any chance of knocking Gronstal off his throne. Realistically, I think the Dems maintain control, 26-24. But, Kent Sorenson is going win and take on the role of “pain in Mike Gronstal’s a$$,” which is going to be highly entertaining.
Sadly, this probably isn’t going to happen, but it should. All of you people who jumped on the “this is too risky” bandwagon ought to be ashamed of yourselves. And the rest of this section goes out to you.
I love how you anti-retention people talk so reverently about the Framers, and yet you ignore the fact that the Framers wrote the provision into the constitution requiring that the Constitutional Convention question be on the ballot every 10 years. If the Framers didn’t ever want us to take advantage of it, then why is it there?
You guys remind me of all the pro-retention people. “The system we have to elect judges (or amend the constitution) is great! We wouldn’t change a thing about it, including the periodic retention vote (or the periodic constitutional convention vote). We just don’t want people to use that system to actually vote no on the judges (or to actually vote yes on a constitutional convention).
I know, you keep asking if we really want to give Mike Gronstal a chance to meddle in the state’s constitution?
Newsflash: he already is. He’s messing with the constitution by not even allowing a vote on the marriage issue.
The whole point of a convention is that the Framers wanted to give the people a way around an unresponsive legislature. Mike Gronstal has refused to even let the Senate vote on the marriage issue. If that’s not an unresponsive legislature, I don’t know what is.
Mike Gronstal will not be running the convention. Even if he tries to interfere, if the people voted for a convention, that means they want a marriage amendment. I would love to see Mike Gronstal commit political suicide by giving the people of Iowa the middle finger on this issue.
I think all three judges are going to lose their jobs. This will be because of widespread frustration on several issues, but the marriage issue in particular. The pro-retention advocates have no one to blame for this but the unresponsive legislature, who really forced the issue with their inaction. With voter’s having no other place to put the blame or vent their frustration, this pressure cooker is going to blow on Tuesday on the back of voters’ ballots.
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