Thune 51 – Daschle 49

That’s my prediction for the race for the US Senate in South Dakota. It’s still going to be a close race, but I see much more enthusiasm with the Thune people than I do with the Daschle people. Daschle is running against his own liberal record, and in a state that’s redder than Ted Kennedy’s face after 6PM, that’s the kiss of death. I also think the constant stream of Daschle attack ads have made South Dakota voters sick and tired of him. For more analysis on the South Dakota Senate race, see my piece at Red State.

5 thoughts on “Thune 51 – Daschle 49

  1. Unlike your irrationally exuberant Presidential race predictions, you may have hit the nail on the head for the South Dakota Senate. I’m more inclined to trust the KELO poll that shows Daschle slightly ahead than I am to trust the methodically questionable Rasmussen and Zogby polls from last week showing Thune ahead, but Daschle’s margin even in the KELO poll has been in freefall. Combine that with the usual late surge for the GOP in South Dakota and Daschle has his work cut for him. He needs 55% in Sioux Falls and a huge turnout on the reservations or he’s done for. As far as South Dakota being “redder than Ted Kennedy’s face after 6 p.m.”, that’s kind of an overstatement for a state that has an all-Democratic Congressional delegation. Nebraska, Idaho or Wyoming would be better suited for that designation.

    Anyway, here’s my final competitive Senate race predictions…

    Alaska–Tony Knowles by 2….Bush’s coattails in Alaska will be extreme, but I’ve yet to see a poll with Murkowski ahead and her liberalism (at least by today’s GOP standard) will hardly fire up the base. My guess is Alaskans will punish her father for shameless nepotism and the Dems will pick up a seat.

    Colorado–Salazar by 2….I was about to concede a probable loss in this seat, but Salazar has gained some steam (even excluding Zogby’s ridiculous outliers) in recent polls. Colorado almost always seems to disappoint for the Dems, but its status as a battleground state is likely to have invigorated Hispanics. Beyond that, Salazar is a much better politician than Coors, who was destroyed by Tim Russert last month on Meet the Press. He’d best stick to making bad beer and signing Mary Cheney’s paychecks. A pickup for Dems.

    Florida–Martinez by 2….this is a tough one to call, but I’m not exactly sure higher turnout will benefit the Dems in this race. Many of the new voters in FL are non-Cuban Hispanics who are likely to vote for Kerry, but then pull the lever for the Senate candidate whose last name sounds like theirs. This will be a good one to watch, but I have to give the edge to Martinez. A pickup for the GOP.

    Kentucky–Bunning by 5…Charlie Cook is predicting an upset here for Mongiardo, but I can’t see it. If Kentuckians haven’t seen enough evidence yet to dismiss Bunning as someone more in need of a padded room than a second Senate term, I struggle to believe they will by tomorrow. Mongiardo’s only hope is that voters repudiate the latest GOP character assassination of accusing him of being gay, or as they referred to him, “limp-wristed.” In homophobic Kentucky, however, that’ll be a tall order. Hold for the GOP.

    Louisiana–Vitter at 47%. A likely runoff here. John has the geographical advantage in the runoff if it comes to that, but the winner of the presidential election is likely to play the biggest role in deciding which party gets this seat in December. Too close to call.

    North Carolina–Burr by 3. Burr gained tremendous ground against Bowles in just a couple weeks after running a horrendous campaign in the early stages. Now he looks poised to win, but a high turnout of blacks and support for favorite son Edwards could still save Bowles. The odds are in favor of Burr though. A pickup for the GOP.

    Oklahoma–Coburn by 6….I always thought this was too good to be true. Unless the vast majority of undecideds, who are probably all planning to vote for Bush, end up going to Carson, Coburn should win comfortably despite being one of the worst candidates in recent history. Only in Oklahoma can a guy win on a platform of what he’s not gonna do for the state just because he has Republican attached to his name. Then again, South Dakotans voting for Thune are generally doing the same thing when you think about it. Hold for the GOP.

    South Carolina–DeMint by 5…Like Coors from CO, Russert mopped the floor up with DeMint on Meet the Press, but still came out of the debate looking better than Tenenbaum because of Inez’s pro-choice stance on abortion. Not exactly an effective course to the Senate when you’re running in a state that’s home to Bob Jones University. It’s hard to see a scenario where Tenenbaum wins. Pickup for the GOP.

    South Dakota–Daschle by 0.2….I’ll be optimistic here and hope the Indians pull it out for Daschle, but only by a whisker. Of my nine predictions for Senate, I have the least confidence in this one. Hold for the Dems.

    Overall, a pickup of one for the GOP, with Louisiana still pending.

  2. Specific predictions on South Dakota races by county, although not as detailed as my Minnesota predictions…

    Harding County–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Butte County (Belle Fourche)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Lawrence County (Spearfish, Deadwood)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Pennington County (Rapid City)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Custer County–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Fall River County–Bush, Thune, Herseth
    Perkins County–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Meade County (Sturgis)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Jackson County (Kadoka, north Pine Ridge)–Bush, Thune, Herseth
    Shannon County (Pine Ridge Rez)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Corson County (Standing Rock Rez)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Ziebach County (Cheyenne River Rez)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Dewey County (Eagle Butte, Rez)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Haakon County–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Jones County (Murdo)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Stanley County (Fort Pierre)–Bush, Thune, Herseth
    Lyman County–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Bennett County–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Mellette County–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Todd County (Rosebud Rez)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Tripp County (Winner)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Gregory County–Bush, Thune, Herseth
    Campbell County (Mound City)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    McPherson County (Eureka)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Walworth County (Mobridge, Selby)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Edmunds County (Ipswich)–Bush, Thune, Herseth
    Brown County (Aberdeen)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Marshall County (Britton)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Day County (Webster)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Roberts County (Sisseton)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Potter County (Gettysburg)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Faulk County (Faulkton)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Spink County (Redfield)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Clark County (Clark)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Codington County (Watertown)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Hamlin County (Lake Preston, Hayti)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Grant County (Milbank)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Deuel County (Clear Lake)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Sully County (Onida)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Hughes County (Pierre)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Hyde County (Highmore)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Hand County (Miller)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Beadle County (Huron)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Kingsbury County (De Smet)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Brookings County (Brookings)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Buffalo County (Crow Creek Rez)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Jerauld County (Wessington Springs)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Sanborn County (Woonsocket)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Miner County (Howard)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Lake County (Madison)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Moody County (Flandreau)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Brule County (Chamberlain)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Aurora County (Plankinton)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Davison County (Mitchell)–Bush, Thune, Herseth
    Hanson County (Alexandria)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    McCook County (Salem)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Minnehaha County (Sioux Falls)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Charles Mix County–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Douglas County (Armour)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Hutchinson County–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Turner County–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Lincoln County (Canton, Sioux Falls fringe)–Bush, Thune, Diedrich
    Bon Homme County (Tyndall)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Yankton County (Yankton)–Bush, Daschle, Herseth
    Clay County (Vermillion)–Kerry, Daschle, Herseth
    Union County (North Sioux City)–Bush, Thune, Herseth

  3. Hmm… I’m guessing that SD will either go Daschle (by about 500 votes) or Thune (by 2000-3000 votes). Shot in the dark though. 🙂

    As for Oklahoma, even Dennis Hastert is saying that looks like a GOP loss, so I’m betting Carson’s cowboy populism will pick up another seat for the dems. I’m less certain about Salazar in Colorado- Coors is a big name out there, and his campaign has been picking up steam in the last few weeks. I won’t even venture a guess there.

    Of course, just about the most certain Senate race in the country is Illinois- and it wouldn’t suprise me at all if Keyes’ campaigning has actually hurt Bush in that state. Obama (reincarnation of MLK, or at least the media would make one think so) has been polling as high as 75-80% in Ill- I predict he’ll win by a landslide, with at least 72% of the vote.

    But these are all educated guesses. To quote Niels Bohr, “Predictions are hard, especially about the future.”

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