It’s prediction time — from national to local races — with just about a week before the general election. As my breakfast group will tell you, I usually win my bets.
Although I have already cast my ballot for Mitt Romney for president, I see almost no way he can win enough electoral votes, although he can come mighty close. In fact, it could be a squeaker.
I have the final tally — with 270 electoral votes needed to win — with Obama with 271 and Romney with 267. It is quite possible Romney will win the popular vote.
Here’s how I got there:
Obama wins all the swing states leaning to him, including Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.
Romney wins all the swing states leaning to him, including Arizona, Missouri and Indiana.
Now for the wild-card tossup states:
Romney will capture Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire.
Obama will capture Wisconsin, Iowa and … the killer state, Ohio.
Ohio’s unemployment rate is well below the national average, and Obama did, in fact, save the auto industry there. Obama has led there comfortably throughout the campaign, with a tightening only very recently. I believe it will be within two percentage points, but Obama will pull it out. Those 18 electoral votes are critical.
Once the Ohio results are in for Obama, you can turn out the lights and go to bed. Or, you can stay up and watch the U.S. Congress and Senate races. The House will, of course, stay Republican. The Senate will remain Democratic by at least a two-seat margin.
At the Johnson County level, I believe all Republican candidates for the Kansas House and state Senate will sweep to victory. Part of that is because the mood in Kansas these days is decidedly conservative, but also Romney will win decisively in Johnson County, and his coattails will bring along a lot of votes to the local Republican candidates.
Democrat Juanita Roy vs. Republican Greg Smith for the state Senate will be the closest legislative race, decided in favor of Smith by just a few percentage points.
One Democrat in the county will prevail and that is Cindy Neighbor, running for the Kansas Board of Education, over Republican Steve Roberts.
That brings us to the two County Commission races.
Steve Klika will defeat Terry Presta, because of Klika’s deep involvement in the community over the years, and he has run a whale of a campaign. If Klika wins, it will be interesting to see how he interacts with County Chair Ed Eilert. Klika is big on mass transportation. Eilert sees that as a very low priority.
I believe Calvin Hayden will squeak by again in another victory over former commissioner John Toplikar. Toplikar was a lazy commissioner. Hayden has been very responsive and responsible, and voters who have been around know that to be true.
Switching to the other side of state line — where I am somewhat out of my comfort zone — I have felt for some time that there is a surprise in the making. A majority of Missouri voters, who have become more conservative and want a Republican U.S. Senate, will swallow hard and cast their vote for Akin, despite all his gaffes. This would be one of the biggest upsets in the nation. Of course, I should get long odds on this bet.
If you don’t like these predictions, don’t shoot the messenger. I call them as I see them.
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