My record at predictions – as long as we’re not talking sports – is mixed.
Between “Good” and “Friggin’ Great”.
I got the 2004 election within eight electoral votes – in a prediction made at the NARN’s first meeting, with Hugh Hewitt, at Billy’s Lighthouse in January of 2004.
Nailing the date of Hussein’s execution, while admittedly ghoulish and not something I especially enjoy, was further proof of my absolute dominance at games of blind luck (that, further, can’t profit me in any way).
And while I had a couple of glaring flubs in 2006 (the Senate race wasn’t close, Gutknecht lost in CD1, and Pat Anderson got toppled in the Auditor race), I had some amazing picks elsewhere; while I got the wrong margins with Betty McCollum’s wins in CD4, and I didn’t really “predict” the SOS race so much as voice a fear (correctly) that it could all go wrong and we could get Mark “Not Married to Madonna” Ritchie as Secretary of State, I also got the CD2 (Kline v. Rowley), CD3 (actually underestimated Jim Ramstad’s margin over Wendy Wilde), attorney and the Ramco and Henco sheriff’s races very close, nailed the CD5 (Ellison versus Alan Fine and some Ventura party chick) race almost on the nose, and – most importantly – predicted the Sixth District Race right on the nose (Michele Bachmann with an eight-point win over Patty Wetterling).
I present the above for background for the below; I’m going to give my initial predictions for the US House and Senate races this fall. Take ’em for what they are worth; highly preliminary, based on entirely subjective data.
Just like very single one I listed above.
This is subject to revision at least once.
US Senate: Norm Coleman will endure a lefty/media (pardon the redundancy) smear campaign of biblical proportions to gut out a six point win – eight if Ventura gets into the race.
First District: Tim Walz will win – but it’ll be closer than you think, setting up what will be a serious threat in 2010 to end Walz’s career at two terms, especially if Barack Obama wins the presidency.
Second District: John Kline will beat Steve Sarvi by at least ten points.
Third District: Erik Paulsen will confound “conventional wisdom” (which is Strib editorial-board talk for “an opinion pulled from the collective butts of Lori Sturdevant and Larry Jacobs) and beat Ashwin Madia by six. Talk that the Third Distict is “turning blue” will abate – especially if Obama wins, in which cast Paulsen goes on to win in 2010 by at least 12 points against anyone the DFL throws against him.
Fourth District: I’m going to withold predictions on this race…
Fifth District: …and this one. Partly because I’m too close to both, and partly because they’ll be a lot more fun to write about if I don’t try to predict them just yet. I think Ed Matthews (CD4) and Barb Davis-White (CD5) are, at worst, initial steps on a path toward re-establishming the GOP in the cities. This is going to be the subject of another article, soon.
Sixth District: Michele Bachmann will recap her 2006 margin of victory over E-Tink, by at least eight points – maybe better if the regional center-right can get E-Tink’s record of uselessness at MNDoT out in front of the public (juxtaposed, for the fun of it, with his craven, ghoulish performance the night of the 35W Bridge collapse.
Seventh District: Collin Peterson will win. Fifteen, twenty, thirty points? I feel bad for whomever the GOP has endorsed, and I wish it could be different, but there you have it.
Eighth District: Jim Oberstar will slouch onward, the Robert Byrd of the Northland, borne forth on a wave of entitlement swag and an avalanche of yummy pork. He will be America’s first undead congressman.
Expect at least one round of revisions – hopefully nothing drastic.