It is FINALLY Election Day, and all of the predictions will be put to the test. Some people think that Democrats are going to get killed. While I feel the Democrats will lose the House, I still don’t think it will be as bad as most people expect.
Of course, many of the races are close. And in those races, we expect to be up late watching the returns. But there might be some races to watch that we expect to go one way, but might in fact go another way. Lets look at a few of those races.
Florida Senate Race
Most of the polls have Marco Rubio winning this race. And in many of the recent polls, Rubio is leading current Governor Charlie Crist by nearly 10 points, sometimes even more.
But big question mark in this race is who the so-called “Meek supporters” are going to vote for. In many of the polls, they have responded by saying they are still going to vote for Meek. On the other hand, when Democratic voters actually walk into the voting booth, are they going to risk having Senator and possible VP candidate Marco Rubio just so they can vote for the Democrat in this race?
This is a number that we really can’t measure in polling. Many people might say in polling interviews that they will vote for Meek, just so they can stay true to the Democratic line. But on the other hand, they might actually intend on voting for Crist.
Looking at this race, the magic number to look for is 14%. If early results are coming in from big counties and we see that Meek is at or under this number, then Crist has a very strong chance at winning this seat. And with Meek only polling 18% in many of the recent polls, this means that only around 20% of those who identify themselves as Meek supporters will have to switch their vote to Crist. This is a very likely possibility.
If the number is between 15% and 16%, it will be a little harder for Crist to win, but he should still be able to keep the race going until the late hours of the evening, possibly forcing a recount.
But if Meek is at 17% or higher, more than likely Crist will be out of this race. Therefore, watching Meek’s numbers tonight is very important. Again, how Democratic voters will vote is a very large unknown, which makes predicting this race nearly impossible.
Illinois Governor’s Race
Another race that could actually be closer than expected is the race for Governor in Illinois. While State Senator Bill Brady is leading incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn by around 5%-6% in many of the reputable polls, independent candidates are also polling between 8%-10%.
Two of these candidates, Green Party candidate Rich Whitney and Democrat-turned-independent Scott Lee Cohen, will only take votes away from Quinn, which will lead to a Brady win.
Like in the Florida race, we have a core group of about 10% of the electorate that is basically an unknown. If both Cohen and Whitney don’t have a chance in hell of winning, will their supporters still vote? And if they do vote, and not for their candidate, their vote will likely swing toward Quinn. Still, Whitney was able to polls just over 10% in his last race for Governor. But, Blago was the expected winner in that race, which makes it easier for people to vote for 3rd party candidates.
Therefore, will Cohen and Whitney supporters abandon their candidate of choice? If so, it might be a good night for Quinn.
Florida’s 25th Congressional District
Again, this is a race that most pundits are giving the slight edge to Republican David Rivera. Rivera is a close friend of Marco Rubio. Therefore, one would assume that this would be a slam dunk in a district that is mostly Hispanic.
But noticed what I said there? Yes, I said Hispanic, not Cuban.
While Cubans make up a good majority of the Hispanic population in that district, there are also a number of people from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and many South American countries. These voter, contrary to Cubans, usually vote highly Democratic. This is one of the reasons that Mario Diaz-Balart, the current Congressman for this district, is running in the 21st District instead, which is currently held by his brother Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The 21st is much more Cuban than the 25th.
This is just one of the reasons why Democratic candidate Joe Garcia has a chance. In addition, just because Garcia is a Democrat, doesn’t mean he will not win any Cuban votes. In recent years, the younger generation of Cubans have registered and voted more Democratic. Also, Garcia has a great relationship with the Cuban community. Therefore, if he is able to get enough Cuban votes tonight, he has a good chance of winning as well.
These are just a few of the races to watch in just one to two hours time! Enjoy!!