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Monday, September 11, 2006

Primary Predictions

Here it is 24 hours before the big show and I haven't made any guesses about winners and losers yet. Since all the other cool kids are doing it, I'd better get this out there now. Big races first:
  • US Senate, Democrat: Herb Kohl. I'm going out on a limb here that Herb will beat Ben Masel (whom I endorsed).

  • Attorney General, Democrat: I have endorsed the incumbent, Peg Lautenschlager, because, while I don't see significant differences in policy between her and opponent Kathleen Falk, I know Peg will do a good job as AG because she has done a good job as AG. Paul Soglin is less sanguine about Falk. But my prediction is predicated neither on my endorsment nor Paul's arguments: Falk has Madison voters squared away, and, even if she barely splits Milwaukee's votes, the Dane vote will be enough for her to win. I think Falk takes it with a few points to spare.

  • Attorney General, Republican: Southeast Wisconsin is supposed to be Paul Bucher's stronghold. Yet even when I drive through Waukesha County, the JB Van Hollen signs outnumber Bucher signs six or seven to one. I know yard signs don't vote, but neither do people unenthusiastic about your campaign. Van Hollen takes it.

  • Secretary of State, Democrat: This is a hard one to call. Scot Ross (endorsement) has been actively courting the activist community, the kind of people who could swing an election. On the other hand, LaFollette has the power of incumbency in a race for an office that few people really care about. Still, I can't help but think Ross will pull this out in a squeaker. I could be wrong--this is the race I'm least certain about--but that's what the Magic Eight Ball is telling me.

  • WI-08, Democrat: Steven Kagen (my endorsement) will win this one. As I noted when I endorsed him, there is meaning to the fact that only he has been releasing internal polls. If another Democrat had good numbers, we'd have seen them by now. There are rumblings of scandal--the Republicans have accused Kagen's campaign guru Eric Hogensen of campaigning on state time (it was after work hours) and they're also displeased that Kagen, sole proprietor of his own chain of allergy clinics, has language on his business website that mirrors the language in the campaign website. By furiously huffing and puffing, the Republicans have created smoke, but there's no fire there.

  • WI-08, Republican: Bob Dohnal (who has let his domain name lapse!) and I may agree on only one thing: People don't like John Gard. However, it's long been established that primary voters are not people, and therefore, John Gard will win in a walk.

  • WI-01, Democrat: Republican Paul Ryan has more money than god. But I think Steve Herr has run a good campaign and will be the one tasked with keeping all of that money tied up in the district, and not, for example, supporting Gard.

  • Milwaukee County Sheriff, Democrat: There's all kinds of voodoo out there in blogoland about how Republicans in Milwaukee County will vote on the Dem ballot just to re-elect David Clarke, forgoing the opportunity to vote for Bucher or Van Hollen for AG. But I don't think most voters are playing with that kind of calculus in their heads and, indeed, will stick to the R ballot. That leaves Vince Bobot (endorsement) an easy winner.

  • Milwaukee County District Attorney, Democrat: In the small-worlds department, I discovered that Larraine McNamara-McGraw's husband is a colleague of mine, so I've been getting a different perspective on the race than that which is portrayed in the media. However, I do not think she'll overcome the party machinery and media drubbings, and John Chisholm will win the primary.

  • AD-16, Democrat: I never got around to endorsing Leon Young over his pro-voucher challenger, but Leon should take this one.

  • AD-23, Democrat: As I said when I endorsed him, Bill Elliott has the ground game to win this primary.
There are other races out there that are too Republican or too far away for me to have a good sense of how they will turn out. But these eleven I feel I know enough about to at least guess. Tell me where I'm wrong in the comments.

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