The Skinny – Election Predictions Issue, November 7, 2022
By JCI and Associates
Well, we have been silent sce the primary, and for good reason. We were spot on in terms of election night calls on polling, but as the provisional ballots and day-of voting came in, we missed a few races. So not to be outdone, this time, we scoured our sources in campaigns around the U.S., and in California and pulled together an average of all the polling data we could find, and its sure looks messy. For those checking our sources, we were balanced, talked to campaign consultants on both sides of the aisle and some media sources in some key states. It is said that what happens in California, also impacts the nation, so we will start in our backyard, and then more fun as we tackle the nation.
The most expensive Mayor’s race in history.
(Yes, more than Michael Bloomberg spent) We canvassed a couple of polling firms that are tracking the race, because the mayor's race will in their minds impact turnout and has already impacted the number of absentee or mail in ballots that have been turned in. We tried to reach the election officials to assess if there are (more or less) ballots turned in than this time in June or in the last contested mayoral race. We got no response, but we did get anecdotal evidence from a number of campaigns that are calling voters and have found that a majority of the permanent absentee voters have already returned their ballots. We also checked in with campaign operatives on the ground, not the honchos because we did not want to be “spun”. The call from the ground game is that the $14+ million that Caruso spent building a precinct team is paying off. The conventional wisdom is that Bass and Caruso, split the westside, Bass takes south central and the east side (where she has to overperform) and the action then remains in the San Fernando Valley. According to our sources, the Caruso team has over 150+ local folks in the San Fernando Valley calling and making sure that every vote is brought in.
Our Prediction: So, based on the percentages of votes counted after election day, and the current polling, we think it will be so close that it may go to a recount. With the tide having turned in Caruso’s favor after the “tapes” scandal broke, some local political pundits think the scandal may have tamped down the vote in key Bass strongholds. Drumroll please… in the end, we think Caruso upsets Bass by less than .050%.
The Congressional Map giveth and taketh away.
We have been tracking a number of the national polls, but a local poll we heard about over the final weekend was very telling. Independent voters are breaking 2 to 1 for the Republicans.
Our Predictions: So, we think the biggest upsets of the night could be the districts 13 and 47. Where Adam Gray and Katie Porter Democratic candidates are fighting the good fight – Porter trying to hold on and Gray looking to capture an open seat. We think it will be razor thin, but don’t have a good feeling on either seat. We also think the hard-fought race in District 27 with Christy Smith going at Mike Garcia-- she is hoping the third time is the charm. We are not so confident. Nationally, we think the seat to watch that will call the night for the Democrats is the New Jersey 7th District. Where Tom Malinowski a second term Democrat is fighting a tough race to keep his seat. We will know if that seat goes Red at 7pm eastern, hold on its going to be a bumpy ride… for the Democrats. (Republicans – Net Gain + 17 House Seats and take control)
The ever so costly Senate races
Nearly $800 million and counting. The team at the Skinny was lucky to talk to campaign consultants in four key states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, and Arizona. And based on who we talked to, we think it’s going to be a rough night for Democratic challengers and at least one Democratic incumbent. If all the predictions hold, it will be a 50/50 Senate again (We're less certain on this prediction). With the Democrats and Republicans sharing the loss of one seat.
Our Prediction. But here we go…Cortez-Mastro (net Democratic Loss), John Fetterman - Pennsylvania (net Democratic win). Despite the polls, the health issues, and the Wizard of Oz, we think PA goes blue. We would love to say that Ohio would go blue, but Tim Ryan, while our pick for most likely to run for President in 2024, just won’t be able to pick off election denier and Trump acolyte JD Vance. And Georgia, well what can you say… We all have “Georgia on our mind”. We think that while Stacey Abrams will lose, Warnock will win. We all are going to be closely watching Iowa and just how close it is for Chuck Grassley. We think he wins and may end up being one of the longest serving members of the Senate.
Get the Governor on the phone…
This will be the most interesting part of the night. With a couple real surprises. And some shifts that will have a lasting impact on the slant of issues in the U.S., since we are looking at disfunction in Washington, DC for the next two years.
Our Predictions: Biggest change – Oregon goes Republican, and Kansas goes Democratic. These are two states that you would never expect to hear those words. But it's shifting in that direction. Of course, all the attention has been on Arizona and election denier, Kari Lake, but we think based on what campaign operatives are saying on the ground, she will beat Hobbs as she has run the better campaign. Wisconsin will be a net loss for the Democrats and Nevada will stay Republican.
California Ballot Initiatives
California Ballot Initiatives are always a mixed bag. Some campaigns seem to survive through mere aggressive spending, while others fail to sufficiently convince voters of their value. Recent polls show a couple of likely successes, while other initiatives probably won't pass.
Our Predictions: Only one or two propositions are likely to pass: Prop 1, which safeguards reproductive freedom and access to abortion in California, and Prop 28, which increases funding for art and music programs in public schools. Hopefully the success of Prop 1 will foreshadow progress toward abortion rights in other states. Prop 26 and 27 are unlikely to pass - both of which sought to legalize sports betting either online or in Tribal Casinos. Perhaps the $400 million directed toward the campaigns for these two propositions would have been better spent directly serving Indigenous communities.