[guest post by JVW]
As we head into the final weekend before the big Tuesday coming up (and the five weeks we will wait while votes are being re-counted and Georgia is holding their runoff), let’s traverse our fine land, west to east, and take a look at some key races:
Democrat Tina Kotek, former legislative leader, is locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Republican Christine Drazan. It’s been 40 years since a Republican was last elected governor of the Beaver State, but outgoing governor Kate Brown is sooo unpopular (“How unpopular is she?” / She is rated as the least liked governor in the entire United States) that Kotek, her former ally, is now attacking her for inaction on homelessness, policing, and school closures. This will be a fun one to watch.
Gavin Newsom, Alex Padilla, and virtually any other Democrat running state-wide will cruise to reelection. An interesting race will be for State School Superintendent, a job that has been held for decades by various Democrat stooges propped up by the teachers unions. With California being the state where children lost the most classroom time during COVID, and with even the donkey party suck-ups at the Dog Trainer acknowledging that the incumbent has “a weak record,” this could finally be a year when Democrat parents decide that the state education bureaucracy needs to change direction and break from union domination. The last few union-backed State Sups have all run behind their party’s gubernatorial and senatorial candidates, so maybe Tony Thurmond won’t cruise to reelection on the Newsom/Padilla coattails.
And in Los Angeles, there’s a chance that the recent kerfuffle on the City Council along with the meaningless tenure of Eric Garcetti and general malaise in the City of Angels might get Angelenos/Angelenas (Angelenx?) wondering if electing the same cast of characters from the same noxious urban machine is such a great idea after all. I think the betting money is still on Karen Bass to be elected mayor on Tuesday, but don’t be too surprised if Rick Caruso manages to swipe it away.
Republican Adam Laxalt appears to be holding on to a very slight lead over incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Mastro. A longtime Nevada political journalist named Jon Ralston is tracking the early voting patterns and he finds evidence that there might not be a large enough Democrat presence in the Clark County (Las Vegas) vote to offset the overwhelming Republican advantages in the smaller counties.
Kari Lake would seem to be cruising to a victory over the cowardly Democrat Katie Hobbs who refused to debate her. Say what you will about Ms. Lake and some of her more questionable stances, but as plenty of people have pointed out, she is absolutely fantastic on the stump and she parries hostile questions from journalists probably better than any other Republican candidate in quite some time. (Ms. Lake herself spent over 20 years as a television news reporter and anchor in the Phoenix area.) As I wrote in the other post, Democrats deserve to suffer though a Kari Lake governorship, since they were the ones who promoted her over a more moderate Republican thinking she would be easier to defeat in the general election.
But oddly enough, Republican Blake Masters lags behind incumbent Senator Mark Kelley. Several reasons have been offered for this: Lake is a more naturally charismatic candidate than is Masters, while Kelly (a former astronaut) is far more competent than Hobbs; Kelly continues to receive a measure of sympathy for the shooting which ended the Congressional career of his wife, Gabrielle Giffords; and voters have different expectations of their state officials than they do of their federal officials. But given that Mark Kelly has been a reliable vote for Joe Biden’s agenda (unlike his colleague Krysten Sinema) while President Biden’s popularity is tanking in the Grand Canyon State, it’s hard to see why a significant chunk of voters appear to be willing to split their ballot by voting Kari Lake for governor and Mark Kelly for senator. There are those who insist that Ms. Lake will win by a substantial margin and thus drag Mr. Masters across the finish line with him, but this could be a race that goes into overtime via recount and court challenges for the next month.
Future headlines we are bound to see:
Wednesday, November 9, 2022 — Abbot Cruises to Third Term with Blow-out Victory over O’Rourke
Tuesday, May 9, 2023 — O’Rourke’s Celebrity Donors and Supporters Prepare for Senate Rematch with Cruz
The guys at PowerLine would probably be telling us if they thought there was any chance of ousting the feckless Governor Tim Waltz, who so badly bungled everything to do with George Floyd. The fact that they are silent about it suggests that Waltz will cruise to reelection, just like Minneapolis’s clownish boy mayor Jacob Frey did last fall. The beatings will continue until morale improves.
It would be great to see the obnoxious Gretchen Whitmer, she of the same sense of entitlement manifested by our own loathsome Gavin Newsom, suffer a major upset loss to Republican political novice Tudor Dixon. The incumbent was looking pretty solid throughout the summer, but a recent surge by Ms. Dixon has the Whitmer team sweating, and unions along with other Democrat advocacy groups have been forced to pour in money which they no doubt would rather have spent in states like Georgia or Nevada. It will be interesting to see how this winds up.
All signs indicate that J.D. Vance will dispatch the melancholy Tim Ryan. You know what would be hilarious? If Senator Vance turned out to be in the Mitt Romney mold rather than the Josh Hawley mold.
Brian Kemp, who heroically performed his sworn duty while fighting off the oafish interference attempts from old what’s-his-name, deserves to win on Tuesday, and let’s hope he wins big. His opponent, on the other hand, has earned nothing but our scorn, and if the Democrats and their media allies had one ounce of introspection available within them then they would acknowledge that. With luck, this will put an end to her political ambitions and she can go back to writing trashy romance novels and complaining about non-existent election fraud.
Over at NRO, Dan McLaughlin argues that Georgia pro-lifers should vote for Herschel Walker. The subhead of his piece sums up his argument: Voters should not lightly support candidates of bad character, but a man who commits even the gravest private sin is still better than one who wants the very same sin promoted by the government and funded by the taxpayers. I suppose that would be good enough for me if I lived in the Peach State.
A Lee Zedlin victory next week would have two awesome ramifications: (1) it would demonstrate to upstate Democrats like Kathy Hochul that when you abandon the Blue Dog Democrat ethos (as Kristen Gillibrand did) in order to pander to New York City leftists, there will be consequences; and (2) it will remind everyone of just how much the wretched administration of Andrew Cuomo did to wreck the party in the Empire State. On the other hand, a Hochul loss might pave the way for a Cuomo return. Dumber things have been known to happen.
He may yet pull this out, but it doesn’t seem to be going all that well for John Fetterman, as chronicled here last week. It’s not really the stroke which is dooming his chances as Democrats would like us to believe; Teresa Mull at the Spectator plausibly argues that a healthy John Fetterman would be exposed as a fraud, having accomplished little as mayor of Braddock and being noted for nothing more than short workdays while serving as lieutenant governor. Combine that with his silly Sandersesque economics and his clunky and obvious flip-flop on fracking, and a healthy Fetterman would likely come across as a big dumb lug who advanced this far due to his family’s indulgence. And Dr. Oz played water polo at Harvard.
I probably left out the state race that you would like to discuss, so my apologies for that. But please do bring it up in the comments section and let us know what you think. I have retired from prognostication and thus will not be telling you how I think it’s going to turn out on Tuesday (or whenever it is finally settled), therefore you are invited to make those predictions on your own, again in the comments section. Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend and be sure to set your clocks back an hour on Sunday. In the meantime, Dana sends along some of her always amazing pictures: