Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A huge change in the Presidential race may be happening in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania hasn't voted for a GOP Presidential candidate since 1988. With the exception of only two states (Maine and Nebraska), all states have a "winner takes all" rule in giving its Presidential Electors to the person who gets the most votes in his state. For example, Al Gore won the state of Wisconsin by approximately 5,000 votes in 2000 but was granted all ten Electors from the state instead of five or six he may have gotten for splitting the vote.

Article II Section I of the Constitution gives each state broad latitude in how it chooses its Electors, so Pennsylvania's prospective change will almost certainly survive any court challenge (if it comes to that). Right now there are eighteen Electoral votes in Pennsylvania (2 Senate seats and 16 House seats) and what will probably happen under a new plan will be each candidate will be awarded all the congressional districts he carries, and, if he gets the most votes in the entire state, he'll get the two other Senate Electoral votes as well. This has huge implications: even if Obama were to carry the state in 2012 it is very likely he would lose at least ten of the congressional districts which would grant the GOP candidate ten Electoral Votes. Obama's will be overwhelmingly strong in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh but he'd lose in most of the rest of the state which would account for his actually winning less Electoral votes than his GOP opponent.

If you assume 206 Electoral votes are certain for the GOP and 60 more are leaning in the GOP's direction, they would only need four more to win the needed 270-they would come from Pennsylvania.


The Snitch

Monday, September 12, 2011

Look for two big GOP wins tomorrow

Look for a big win by the GOP tomorrow in the special election in New York's Ninth Congressional District, vacated by Anthony Weiner who resigned in June after an exploding sex scandal doomed a once very powerful liberal Democrat. The district has not gone Republican since the 1920s but dissatisfaction with the President in domestic policy as well as his apparent anti-Israel positions in a district that has a high percentage of observant Jews has put the seat in play. Democratic politicians have crossed the aisle to support Bob Turner, a Catholic businessman who is the GOP's choice to run and is getting the overwhelming support of political independents in the district. Tomorrow in NY CD 9 you'll see the following result:
Bob Turner (R) 51%
David Weprin (D) 42%
Others 8%

In Nevada CD 2, Republican Mark Amodei will crush Democrat Kate Marshall in tomorrow's special election in this traditionally GOP district. The seat covers most of Nevada except the area around Las Vegas and is reliably conservative. Marshall looked to have a shot a few weeks ago (actually the Democrats tried to have the Secretary of State declare a "winner takes all election" without a primary to split the GOP vote among Republican rivals but was shot down by the courts which demanded a primary for both parties) but now looks like she'll get hammered tomorrow. Her attacks on Amodei, saying he'll "take away Medicare" don't seem to be resonating and he'll cruise to victory. I believe he'll win by 17 points tomorrow.

The New York election is particularly important as it shows the President's weakness with political independents. In 2008 he won 52% of the Independent vote but is not polling more than 38% of that block now. In some polling in NY CD9 he's getting less than 30% support within this all-important voting cohort. If Turner cruises to victory tomorrow in a district that hasn't voted for a Republican congressman in eighty years, alarm bells should go off all over Washington.


The Snitch