Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Vote Early, Vote Often

So the day has finally arrived. After nearly two years of posturing, campaigning, carefully scripted debates, distortions, lies, fabrications, gotchas, and other assorted crap endemic to our political systems, we're finally down to the part that matters, voting. And just based on empirical evidence, we're probably going to have record voter turnout this election. Donna and I were numbers 94 and 95 this morning at 8am, an hour after the polls had opened. Usually, when I vote at that time and that place, I'm like 25, and there was a steady stream of people coming into Memorial Hall. There seemed to be more people out and about today as well. I saw really long lines in a couple places on my way to work, and the Great Philly Democratic Machine apparently worked late into the night or obnoxiously early this morning because there were Kerry/Edwards signs everywhere.
Frankly, I'll be really glad once the election is over and I stop getting the pre-recorded phone calls from Gov. Ed Rendell and Bill Clinton, or the daily reminders for Donna and/or myself from the Democratic party to vote, and who should I vote for. Or the knock on my front door from the non-shrieking liberal MoveOn.org activist urging me to vote Democratic. The pollsters calling weren't so bad, but I'm glad TV will go back to airing the million and one commercials for Lipitor, Valtrex, Synestra, Allegra, et al, instead of the really heinous political ads we've seen. Now all that's left is to watch the Daily Show tonight and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

So who did I vote for? Well, these were the races in my district:

U.S. Senate PA: Joe "Sacrifical Lamb" Hoeffel, Dem. and Arlen "Magic Bullet" Specter, Rep. Specter is the senior Senator from Pennsylvania, having represented us for the last 24 years. He is a moderate republican, as opposed to Rick Santorum's funadmentalist, arch-conservative, socially oppressive, slippery-slope, "I don't hate Gay people, just Homosexuality" loonyness. Conventional wisdom says Specter takes this handily, but I voted for Hoeffel, because, I'd rather have a Dem to counteract Santorum.

U.S. Congress 2nd District: Chaka Fattah, Dem and Stewart Bolno, Rep. After the 2000 election, there was much redistricting across the nation and we were part of the trend. So instead of being in the 13th District with the much more interesting battle between State Rep Allyson Schwartz and her perennial challenger and personal nemesis Melissa Brown, we get lumped in with part of Philadelphia and get the bulletproof Chaka Fattah and the poor, dumb soul the Republicans nominate to "take one for the team." Fattah is a good, effective politician for the district and a decent human being, which makes voting for him a no brainer.

State Attorney General: Jim Eisenhower, Dem. and Tom Corbett, Rep. I could have gone either way on this one. Though Corbett's ads tried to paint Eisenhower as soft on crime because he was a defense attorney and actually managed to get some of his clients off. Donna and I split on this one, I think, mainly because we thought each one would have made a decent attorney general. So, I went with Eisenhower and I believe Donna went with Corbett, so we'll see how that turns out.

State Auditor General: Jack Wagner, Dem and Joe Peters, Rep. Reading through the candidates positions and statements, I'm going with Peters as Auditor General, as he looks like the better candidate.

State Treasurer: Bob Casey, Dem. and Jeanne Pepper, Rep. Casey is the son of former PA governor Bob Casey and is looking to possibly springboard a governorship in a couple of years. He is a tool, however, and Jeanne Pepper has the goods for the job. Also, I traditionally vote Republican in financial positions, since conservatives historically, tend to reign in spending as much as possible, and that's a good thing. Nobody should ever spend money recklessly, especially government.

State House of Representatives, 154th District: Larry Curry, Dem. and Jeffrey Belford, Rep. This one is also a no brainer, for me at least. I'm heavily biased toward Larry Curry, considering I've met him a few times, been over his house once or twice and went to school his daughter, Jackie. (She was one or two years my junior.) He's been our State Rep, for as long as I can remember, and every two years, I keep voting to send him back.

So those are my choices. Wait, what's that? What about the Presidential race? Well, we all know who's running and what they stand for. (At least we should after being repeatedly assaulted by their commercials for an entire year.) So, I voted for Giant Douche over Turd Sandwich.

My friend Matt sent out a election pool sheet he got at his work, and while I can't win, I did make some predictions based on their sheet for a couple local and national races. Here's the sheet and my predictions.

9 Senate Races

Dem. Joseph Hoeffel****** Rep. Sen. Arlen Specter

Specter wins, it's closer than polls suggest, but he still has a decent margin of victory.

Dem. Brad Carson ****** Rep. Tom Coburn

Coburn Wins

South Dakota
Dem. Sen. Tom Daschle******Rep. John Thune

Thune wins upset, in the sense of unseating an incumbent, not in the underdog sense. Thune is leading Daschle in the polls.
Matt says: "Looking at SD, there are more than enough undecideds to turn the thing around, and I think they'll go for the incumbent in that race. I almost picked Thune, but I think Daschle will survive in the end."

Dem. Betty Castor ******Rep. Mel Martinez

Martinez wins because Bush wins Florida handily this time around. Matt says: "In FL, I'll really kick myself if I got it wrong, because I really had a good hunch about Martinez, both for the reason you mentioned and because he's Cuban. But the polling on Castor is too strong for me to ignore, so I went with her in the end." My response: "Oh, there was polling putting Castor ahead? Hmm, oh well, we'll see I guess."

Dem. Tony Knowles******Rep. Sen Lisa Murkowski

Knowles win this one. Murkowski is battling a charge of nepotism, which is appropriate since her father, the governor, did appoint her, while Knowles is a popular ex-governor I think.

Dem. Nancy Farmer******Rep. Sen Kit Bond

I picked Kit Bond for this one. Missouri had a big Senate Race 4 years ago, you remember that one, where John Ashcroft lost the popular, but very late Mel Carnahan.

Dem. Ken Salazar******Rep. Peter Coors

I almost picked Pete Coors on this one, since he's the scion of the Coors Brewery and he's got name recognition, but it appears Salazar is a more popular figure in Colorado and has comfortable lead in every poll, so Salazar it is.

North Carolina
Dem. Erskine Bowles******Rep. Richard Burr

I picked Erskine Bowles to win by a razor thin margin. Matt thinks Burr is going to win. This one is all related to Clinton as Erskine Bowles was Clinton's Chief of Staff, I think. Bowles had a comfortable lead a few months ago, until Burr started running ads reminding North Carolinians that Bowles worked for Clinton, now it's a dog fight, and really too close to call.

South Carolina
Dem. Inez Tenenbaum******Rep. Jim DeMint

All the gay baiting propels Jim DeMint to join Rick Santorum in the looney, fundamentalist, right wing branch of the Senate. Way to go, South Carolina.

House of Representative Races

Pennsylvania 6th District
Dem. Lois Murphy*******Rep. Jim Gerlach

I said: "Hmm, Lois Murphy, I've seen more negative commercials against Gerlach than I have against Murphy, and we all know if you repeat something enough times, it becomes true. ;)"

Pennsylvania 13th District
Dem. Allyson Schwartz*******Rep. Melissa Brown

As I mentioned before, Melissa Brown is always running against Allyson Schwartz, it's like a personal vendetta with her or something. Anyway, Allyson Schwartz smacks the sleazy ho down like an angry pimp.

Texas 32nd District
Dem. Congressman Martin Frost ******VS******* Rep. Congressman Pete Sessions**

**These two experienced and partisan lawmakers are waging a North Dallas slugfest marked by massive spending and bitter exchanges. Both are incumbents.

You remember a while ago when all the Texas Democrats ran away to New Mexico and Arkansas to protest the redistricting in Texas instigated by Tom Delay, and you remember Tom Delay using the Office of Homeland Security to find them and bring them back, as if he was the Governor? Yeah, this is what they were protesting. My pick, Pete Sessions reaps the fruits of Tom Delay's meddling.

Who will win the Presidential Race?

Dem. Senator John Kerry******* Rep. President George W. Bush

My pick: Bush wins the Presidency by 10 electoral votes.

What Presidential Candidate will win the battleground state of Pennsylvania?

Dem. Senator John Kerry******* Rep. President George W. Bush

Once again, the Giant Philly Democratic Machine delivers the State of PA to the Democratic candidate, John Kerry, by the same margin Gore won the state in 2000.

Tie Breaker

What percent of the vote will the Barrack Obama, Senate Candidate from Illinois receive?

You remember Barrack Obama, darling of the Democratic National Convention and "potential superstar" for the Democrats, whatever that means. My pick: Barrack Obama 67%, Alan Keyes 30%, Other 3%. This one really is a gimme, though, as most polls are putting Obama between 62%-69% of the vote.

Matt thought the tiebreaker should have been the number of votes each Presidential candidate got in the Electoral College, but oh well. Tune in tomorrow to see how my candidates did and how my predictions panned out.

Oh, and don't forget to vote, if you haven't already. Remember, you've got to play to win. ;)


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