I thought as me first diary I should take a look at what lies ahead in 2012. Take in mind, while I do take in mind facts in each state, these are purely speculative and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, I do put in mind three factors which I think would affect state by state results:
1.) Obama on the ballot: With Barack Obama most likely running for reelection, his presence on the ballot should increase Democratic turnout that was not present in Virginia or New Jersey in 2009, and will definitely have an impact of key states.
2.) Tea Party: Just as Obama’s presence will mobilize the left, I expect the Tea Party to have the same impact on the Republicans as they are currently having during the current primary calendar.
3.) 2011 Redistricting: I suspect by the time the states redraw their Congressional Districts, a number of House members may be drawn out of their old districts and may be seeking greener pastures of higher office.
So here’s my completely speculative predictions for 2012. I’ll look at the Senate first:
Arizona: Jon Kyl, once looking like a dead duck, seems to have gotten a second wind with immigration reform once again front and centre. Gabrielle Giffords is probably the most likely challenger, however at this point it doesn’t look like Kyl will be unseated.
Kyl 51%, Giffords 47%, Others 2%
California: Dianne Feinstein will be 79 years old, and while normal people expect someone that age to retire, this is after all the United States Senate, so I’m working with the assumption that Feinstein is running for reelection. Schwarzenegger is the only statewide Republican who’s won statewide, so I’ll use him as a template.
Feinstein 55%, Terminator 41%, Others 4%
Connecticut: Three words: Murphy vs. Lieberman. Republicans won’t even run a candidate to give Joementum a better chance to win.
Murphy 52%, Lieberman 48%
Delaware: I actually think Tom Carper will retire. Beau Biden, after recovering from his health scare, will make up for not running for his father’s seat. Republicans will pick a sacrifical lamb.
Biden 56%, Republican 44%
Florida: I’ve got three different scenarios for this one. George Lemieux might run, and possibly Jeb Bush. Marco Rubio does NOT win in 2010, and tries to take on Bill Nelson.
Nelson 53%, Lemieux 46%, Others 1%
Bush 57%, Nelson 40%, Others 3%
Rubio 51%, Nelson 48%, Others 1%
Hawaii: At 88 years in 2012, I’m guessing Akaka’s going to retire. Linda Lingle is going to run. In case Akaka doesn’t retire:
Lingle 51%, Democrat 49%
Indiana: I think Lugar’s got one more term in him, but this time the Dems aren’t letting him get away unopposed like last time; I’m just going to pull Baron Hill out of my arse here. Look for the Tea Party to make some kind of third party bid here.
Lugar 60%, Hill 30%, Tea Partier 10%
Maine: Tea Party makes good on its threat. Snowe faces a primary challenge and LOSES. Shockwaves are felt for about a week before people focus on the race. Mike Michaud runs for the Democrats and gets easiest pickup ever.
Michaud 58%, Republican 42%
Maryland: I think Cardin’s pretty weak. If the GOP finds another Michael Steele type candidate (I mean Steele before he became RNC Chairman), namely a black Republican, they might have a chance.
Black Republican 49.8%, Cardin 47.2%, Others 3%
Massachusetts: Pretty sure everyone is going to be watching this one come election night. Brown is popular now, but with Obama on the ballot and strong Democratic turnout this isn’t going to be the lucky break he got with Martha Coakley. Let’s just use Michael Capuano as the expected candidate.
Brown 51%, Capuano 49%
Michigan: This might be Stabenow’s last stand. The popularity of Dems in Michigan has gone down because of the economy, but with Obama on the ballot there is still a chance she could be saved. But this would depend if the GOP nominates a Tea Partier or a moderate Republican. Let’s use Dick DeVos as an example.
DeVos 50%, Stabenow 49%, Others 1%
Minnesota: I don’t see Amy Klobuchar losing at all.
Klobuchar 62%, Republican 36%, Others 2%
Mississippi: Same thing with Roger Wicker I see with Klobuchar.
Wicker 61%, Democrat 39%
Missouri: This is most likely going to be a McCaskill/Talent rematch.
McCaskill 52%, Talent 48%
Montana: Montana only has one Congressional district, so it’s not going to be changed anyway. Still, Denny Rehberg might be interested in running against a less stronger candidate like Jon Tester, who squeaked past the hapless Conrad Burns by a hair.
Rehberg 54%, Tester 44%, Others 2%
Nebraska: a Rasmussen poll last year showed Gov. Dave Heineman leading Ben Nelson by 31 points. Heineman’s very popular and could be seeking higher office after reelection this year. Either Nelson’s going to retire, or Heineman is going to run against him.
Heineman 59%, Nelson 41%
Heineman 70%, Some Other Guy 30%
That’s all I’ve got for now. Stay tuned for Part 2 of me Ridiculous 2012 Senate Predictions.