Sunday, June 24, 2012


Update 2012/07/13 - Still happy I was wrong, wrong, wrong about this.

I'm not a SCOTUS watcher, so any prediction I make on the PPACA ruling due this week is a WAG.  Nonetheless, based on the political nature of the case, rulings handed down last week, and the general trend of conservative actions over the past decade, I think the ruling will come down as follows: 5-4 to overturn the mandate, 5-4 to overturn the Medicaid expansion, and 6-3 to uphold the rest, with at least one concurrence on the 6-3 ruling.

Update 2012/06/25 - I'm not changing my prediction, but the speculation by commenters at BJ that Scalia and Alito blew their cool today because the PPACA will be upheld on Thursday seems reasonable. I hope they are right and I am wrong.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Hundred Mini-Presidents: June 2012 Edition

As is the case every two years, slight more than one-third of the Senate is up for re-election in 2012.  Below is what I think (as of now, June 3) the outcome in November will be.  Among the tossups, Obama's coattails will be enough to pull along McCaskill in Missouri, which has an AA population of about 15%.  In Wisconsin, a re-energized left will turn out well enough to give Baldwin a victory.  In Montana, Obama hate will work to defeat Tester, and the same emotion in Virginia will defeat Kaine.  If Obama really drives turnout up, Dems will hold Virginia and Montana, and possibly take Indiana.  OTOH, if Obama only wins narrowly, both Wisconsin and Missouri would fall to the Republicans, and possibly one or two others currently in the likely category.

Since the last version of this post, Snowe has retired.  The likely winner in Maine is King, who will caucus with the Democrats while doing his best Lieberman imitation.  Wingnutty candidates have won Republican primaries in Indiana and Nebraska, but the states are so red that the kooks will just reduce the margin some, not give Democrats real hope of winning.

Overall, the results below would be a lousy outcome for the left because there would be more than enough Conservadems to give Republicans effective control even if there are enough Democrats to retain nominal control (with the vote of the Veep).  (Note: I'm not 100% certain how the Veep's vote works when assigning control, but AFAIK it would be like any other vote where there is a tie.)  So, even if Obama wins (very likely) and the Democrats win back the House (unlikely but possible) the overall legislative environment will remain poor for most of the policies I'd like to see changed.

2011-2012 seats5347
Certain holdsCalifornia (Feinstein)Arizona (open R to any R)
Connecticut (open D to Murphy)Mississippi (Wicker)
Delaware (Carper)Tennessee (Corker)
Hawaii (open D to Hirono)Texas (open R to any R)
Maryland (Cardin)Utah (Hatch)
Minnesota (Klobuchar)Wyoming (Barasso)
New Jersey (Menendez)
New York (Gillibrand)
Pennsylvania (Casey)
Rhode Island (Whitehouse)
Vermont (Sanders)*
Washington (Cantwell)
West Virginia (Manchin)
Likely holdsFlorida (Nelson)Indiana (Mourdock)***
Michigan (Stabenow)Nevada (Heller)
New Mexico (open D to Heinrich)
Ohio (Brown)
TossupsMissouri (McCaskill)Montana (Tester to Rehberg)
Wisconsin (open D to Baldwin)Virginia (open D to Allen)
Likely flipsMassachusetts (Brown to Warren)Nebraska (open D to any R)
Maine (open R to King)**North Dakota (open D to any R)
2012 results2112
2013-2014 seats5149

* Sanders is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.
** King is an independent who will probably caucus with the Democrats if there is a tie; otherwise he'll side with the winner so as to get a little more clout for his state.
*** Mourdock defeated Lugar in the Republican primary, and will likely hold the seat for Republicans.