My previous reports are listed at the bottom. By now, you’ve figured out whether you want to read on.
Too many notes for one post. Part 1 focuses mostly on national and top-of-ticket state races. Part 2 coming after Oct 25 CSC reports are posted (there are surprises, some pleasant). Hopefully, this is new or different information which you don’t have because you are totally involved in getting your conservative or Republican elected.
35% of the votes in this election are already cast. For remaining conservative voters, closely consider your candidate’s positions. Some folks got surprised, or are disappointed, by office holders we thought were conservative. I’ve watched other states become dissatisfied with liberal Republicans and actually do something about it. You are certainly NOT voting for the D. Vote and support, or not, after you CAREFULLY study and understand positions on the economy, education, life, Akaka, civil unions and taxes so that you are informed.
Tale of the tape:
Cavasso closed on Inouye, pegging in only -13 by Rasmussen. Whether you believe the accuracy, hats off to Cavasso. We’ve not seen an R (or poll) that close to “the King of Hawaii.” Projection is 62-36.
HI-1 Djou in the classic toss up. Hanabusa closed the $ gap by out raising the incumbent on two reports, before Djou hammered her ($ raised, not COH) in early Oct. Djou generally bested her on TV debates explaining to Ds his votes with Rs and defending to Rs his votes against Rs. Then, DCCC and local PACs dumped 1M+ on him including an Obama ad. And, Djou is still in there. The NRCC, who pulled out after the Special, came back last week. As Ds realize races are lost on the mainland, they may divert assets to HI. Meanwhile, throw out the polls. When I drafted this yesterday, Hanabusa had the slight edge (1.1 points) and odds (55.7% chance to win), all well within margin of error. Today, it’s .4 point (yes, four tenths) and 52.6%! Expect R and D recount lawyers in the “recent airline arrivals.”
HI-2 Willoughby took Palin’s support while Aiona/F were on island but made a point to avoid the celebration. For some Rs it dangerous to get close to Palin. Palin won’t get Willoughby over this hump but he and the tea party beat the establishment Wharton in the primary and he earned national (Palin, Preager, Van Susteren) attention. Projection is 77-20 but I estimate closer to 64-28, Hirono.
Aiona/F started last week narrowing the gap to 5.2 points and closing fast. The DGA saw the down-trend and jumped in. Then, Transformation. Lind’s timing was good; AB had been out a week and we were halfway through walk in. This may be Abercrombie’s game changer (though he wished it had legs) OR it will cause the religious right to come out and vote. We’re waiting to see Aiona define Abercrombie’s socialist (Christian Coalition took a shot today by email) and anti-military history. Abercrombie is asking Aiona to either accept responsibility for the state of the state or admit he had no say and did nothing the past eight years. I am surprised it took Abercrombie this long to raise this question to Aiona and surprised that Aiona never defined Abercrombie. Polls show a consistent Abercrombie/S growing lead. If this race gets out of hand we can see an adverse impact on Djou and down-ticket races as we did with ’08 Obama. Saw Hannemann for Abercrombie on TV. Do you think Aiona will have Carroll do a commercial? It is not over but to make up 5-6 points at this stage, Aiona/F needs a game changer. Projection is Abercrombie +5.7 with a 84% chance to win.
Nationally, we can forecast as if it is a normal year. But, it may not be normal. Even without a “wave” or a dramatic change, we take the House. I’ve seen from +40 to +57. I like net +47 with two more (net) very possible. If Hawaii stays R, still very possible, we have a 49 seat pick up for 227-208 majority. Remember when we were betting the over-under on 39? Historically, when the house flips, the senate does.
Senate: We take five (ND, AR, IN, WI, PA even with Sestak making a run as I write) senate (for 46 total) with three more (NV, CO, IL) so close it’ll be late before we know. Even if we get only one of those three for 47 seats, it will be huge year. The closer to 50, watch for a couple senators to switch to R. Keeping our seats appears assured but two are close (AK, KY). Taking the majority is hard to see this cycle (‘cepting that wave thing). Note: this means we’ll have 47 Rs, not 47 conservatives.
Governor: Current 24R and we end with 31 (net +7) with a very real possibility of two more (FL, VT where RGA just dropped $400k more). Sabato says +8 or more. HI moved from lean D to toss up but it is slipping away from Aiona/F. RGA did “a whirlwind trip through gubernatorial battlegrounds with a group of top GOP governors, showcasing Republican leadership in the states” but not HI.
Expect several races to be fought well after Nov 2 as they wait for AB or recount fights. Winning helps in ’10 but also impacts 2012. “It is not just how Governors affect redistricting, but [considering house and senate seats] it is very difficult to win the presidency just running on the two coasts.”
Caveats: anything can happen. A slight tick to the left and Ds (barely) maintain the House. A slight tick right and Rs have an historic number of House wins and take the majority in the senate. Watch for races to get ugly this last week (contrary to Inouye on TV saying they already are) as everyone throws everything in hopes that something sticks.
Finally, money. Most analysis does NOT take into account cash available and certainly doesn’t factor the enormous amounts of outside money. Unions, Chamber of Commerce and GOP-affiliated PACs have done the most IE. Of the national cmtes, the RGA is the most viable with some 25M+ still to spend. HI is not so much on their radar as they target states which have the most redistricting changes coming. The RGA still has 1/4M in Hawaii to support Aiona/F which helps down-ticket. RNC and HRP have run out of money. NRCC won’t keep up with the DCCC on the Djou race and it’ll come to GOTV effort. NRSC has the $ momentum but lags Ds in COH, neither are playing in HI but the NRSC today dumped 3M into CA and another 3M into FL. The cmtes are taking out more loans than usual (10M+ at a whack) to hold on (Ds) or win the final week (Rs). Locally, liberal PACs (unions, issues) are dropping money against Djou and Aiona (and a lot in a lot of local races) while conservative PACs (what there are) can’t keep up.
What I hear: Conservatives are upset with Djou’s position on Akaka, DADT and civil unions. Some believe Djou is ignoring them assuming he’ll get their votes. It is a calculated risk. Aiona is placating conservatives who stand against the damage of the Akaka Bill while simultaneously justifying not signing the Taxpayers Protection Pledge. One question being asked more often – How can conservatives give anyone who supports the Akaka Bill the moniker of fiscal conservative? Aiona chose to court the religious right rather than conservatives and election numbers will tell if he made the correct decision. Aiona’s and Djou’s internal polling must be telling them it is an acceptable risk. Candidates are pandering so much that it could hardly matter what they agree to or say. While many conservatives and Rs will vote for both candidates because they are better than the D, some are balking. They know that, after Lingle’s example, HI conservatives and Rs will accept liberal policy to elect an R. Either way, it hurts our local races if our people don’t vote.
HI-2 Hirono’s Senate (you read that correctly) campaign. Lingle is campaigning for Aiona and now it is in her interest to support Djou. Her favorability, according the S-A, is up to 44% (with -7 approval rating). More HI conservatives, especially those who identify with the tea party, are increasingly emboldened by what they see on the mainland i.e. you don’t have to support any R just because of the R. Party leaders support all Rs, that’s the job of everyone from Precinct chair all the way down to party chair. But, people not in party leadership positions, who previously held their nose and voted R (as in liberal R), are seeing their mainland counterparts set principle above convenience. I understand both sides. Lingle’s down numbers are not that bad for an out-going gov so she announced her intent for Akaka’s seat. I don’t see D competition. ………… until now. Rematch. Hirono’s aired two (or three?) commercials, so far, and don’t know about radio or mailers. She burned 700k+ even though Willoughby has not gotten much traction. Are we seeing Lingle’s Senate opponent? That means a 2012 open HI-2 and open house/senate seats as incumbents try to move up. Meanwhile, Case never seems to actually fade away. If any of you are still fooled that he is moderate, or independent, back to politics 101 for you. Anything can change: I see, again last night, affirmation that Akaka intends to run so the other Ds (better) wait their turn.
Have you noticed that you can’t open a political website, or almost any website, without seeing a hit against one of the candidates? I can’t watch TV, listen to the radio, open an email or click to a website without seeing some organization defining an opponent. It’s about time.
Early voting closes this weekend. Election day is Tuesday (next Tuesday). Hope conservatives win. Good luck to all Rs. Part 2 coming after I review CSC reports.
Djou – Remember When? Update
Races to Watch
Primary Election – Fun With Numbers