Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Speaking of Stats

Joe Lieberman needs a miracle. He made a deal with the devil and retained his senate seat in 2006, despite losing in the Connecticut Democratic primary. He went 3rd party, and took all of the GOP vote plus all of the socially conservative Dem votes, squeaking out a victory over his primary vanquisher, Ned Lamont. But Joe had a problem - he really had no place in the rethugs universe, and had he gone over to the dark side, he had no chance at any kind of plum committee chair gig. SOOOOOO, he went back to the Dems and promised to caucus with them in exchange for the chairmanship of the Homeland Security/Governmental Affairs committee. He got his wish, the Dems controlled the senate, and everyone kept their powder dry for the '08 election cycle.

This is where Joe made his SECOND deal with the devil... Understand that Lieberman despises Barack Obama with an undisguised passion. At a national level, Obama is everything Joe isn't: articulate, telegenic, transformational, substantive, and above all else - ELECTABLE. At this point the general election was up-in-the-air. Joe perceived that national security and other hawkish concerns would be the tipping point. This was his strong suit - the reason that Kerry had tabbed him to be his VP 4 years earlier. If this election came down to the nubs, the people would side with the warrior or the orator. He went "all-in" with Satan and endorsed McCain, agreeing to speak at the rethugs' convention in Minneapolis. Since then he has been a reliable "prop" in Florida during McCain's campaign stops there. Joe knew that if his buddy got elected, a mere chairmanship wasn't in his future. Joe was looking at the Homeland Security post or maybe even Defense Secretary...

It's funny how reality has a way of sinking in at the most inopportune times. Since Joe made that fateful decision, the economy has gone down the toilet, the wizened warrior tack has failed to gain any traction with independent voters, and the rethugs prospects in the next congress look worse than bleak -- but all is not lost for Joe the Turncoat!! All he needs is the aforementioned miracle...
Here is where things stand today: The Dems control 49 seats, the rethugs control 49 seats and the two "independents" [Lieberman and Sanders (I-VT)] caucus with the Dems, and while Sanders has absolutely no interest in working with the dark side of the force, Joe has made his bed with the rethugs. So how does he keep his gig? He keeps his gig by the Dems gaining EXACTLY 9 senate seats - turning him into the "Filibuster-buster." Is it possible? As Sarah Palin would say, "You betcha."

These current GOP seats are considered Dem locks this cycle (all stats h/t to 538):
Virginia (Warner wins)
New Mexico (T. Udall)
Colorado (M. Udall)

Now we're at 54 total seats (including Joe the Turncoat)

Add in these "all-but-assured" pickups:
New Hampshire (Shaheen)
Alaska (Begich)
Oregon (Merkley)

And we get to 57. Now if all goes well, and these leaners fall the right way:
Minnesota (Franken)
North Carolina (Hagan)

we sit at the magical "59" and all Joe would need is ONE of these to fall into the Dem column:
Georgia [Chambliss (slimeball rethug) vs. Martin];
Kentucky [ McConnell (fearless leader of senate rethugs) vs. Lunsford]
Mississippi [Wicker (unabashed rethug) vs. Musgrove].

Nate Silver at 538 puts the chances of a 60 seat majority at 1 in 3. These are far better odds than Joe the Turncoat deserves. It would be the only thing that could put a damper on a Grant Park celebration. So here's hoping against hope that all of the dominoes fall, and the Democrats take 2 of those 3 longshot seats. I can think of no better fate for Joe Lieberman than to be unceremoniously drummed out of his pretty office and his cushy chairmanship. Joe needs to retire in the wilderness, tearing out his eyes like Lear.


drmagoo said...

Yeah, I'd almost rather the Dems stop at 57 (58 with Sanders) and let Lieberman have to make his own decisions issue by issue than give him any leverage.

Carlos said...

According to a useful news tidbit at 538, the % early voting has far exceeded 2004 levels in 3 red states the Dems hope to turn blue in the Senate column on their path to 60: Georgia (180%), Louisiana (169%), and North Carolina (129%).

drmagoo said...

That was an interesting tidbit. I don't know if it means that a lot of the dems (and especially the african-american) voters are turning out early, making election day itself more of a republican affair, or if it's a sign of a significant upswing in minority and dem voting.