10.31.2010

Final Predictions: The Assembly and the Senate

While I think that the Assembly will turn to GOP control, I don't think it will be by a lot. The individual races seem tilted in the Democrat's favor on paper and in the last week the Greater Wisconsin Committee has gone all out to paint some Republican candidates as just pure evil.

They've pulled out all the stops and I don't know what kind of impact it will have on voters.

Still, driving around Northeastern Wisconsin, it is very clear that there is an enthusiasm gap and that the momentum is clearly on the side of the Republicans. There is very little that state Democrats have to run on and most of the campaigns have been how extreme their Republican opponents are. I'm not sure how it will play, but it did work well for Doyle in 2006, and it's worked in other races around the state as well.

My hope is that the political climate is enough to swing some of the tight districts and that the big statewide races tip enough in Johnson and Walker's favor to provide the kind of coattails that Obama and Doyle had in '08 and '06.

I'm not going to go through each race, but the ones to watch for the balance of power in the Assembly are the 2nd, 5th, 42nd, 43rd, 45th, 47th, 51st, 57th, 68th, 74th, 75th and 80th. These races are going to be close and include the must wins the GOP needs.

As for the Senate, the GOP needs wins. They need to win in these districts to have any chance at taking back the Senate: 1st, 5th, 21st, 23rd and 31st. They need at least three of these seats and that's going to be a good night if they pull it off. The Democrats and liberal groups are spending a lot of money to save the 5th and 21st. We'll find out on Tuesday if it pays off.

My best guess though, is that the Assembly will be 52-46-1 in favor of the GOP (I'm also hoping that Rep. Ziegelbauer holds on to his seat as an Independent, though it may be a long shot). Also, the Republicans will pick up at least one, possibly two net seats in the Senate.