I'm Emily Mills, and I approve this message
There's just one week left until Election Day -- aren't you just crazy excited? And not just because it means blessed relief in the form of an end to the constant parade of political ads on the teevee and radio, oh no! It also means we can all finally focus more exclusively on our ridiculously early holiday preparations like the good Lord intended.
For the next seven days, however, it's time to really batten down the hatches in preparation for the increased onslaught of ads, fundraising, campaigning, and people like yours truly going on and on about their Kreskin-like predictions for the results (also for the wind storm that's supposed to hit us today).
I've never been much of one for laying out a list of endorsements and predictions. Frankly, at this point if you've been following along I think you have a pretty good idea of who I support and who I wish would go quickly back to being anonymous schlubs like the rest of us. I also don't purport to be any great predictor of election outcomes, though I certainly have my ideas.
Today, however, I'm enjoying the altered state of an oncoming cold and feeling a little saucy, so just for funsies, I've decided to try my hand at seeing the future. Here's the breakdown.
I think the Feingold-Johnson race will be a squeaker but ultimately shake out in the incumbent's favor. This may be a bit of wishful thinking on my part because the thought of losing one of the very best Senators of our day to a substance-free, climate change denying, pedophile priest defending hack makes my blood boil. But polling suggests Feingold has enjoyed a significant uptick in support over recent weeks as more people are made aware of just how hollow Johnson is as a candidate. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Feingold supporters aren't the type to be polled in the first place (a.k.a. younger people without landlines).
I strongly suspect that J.B. Van Hollen will hold onto his Attorney General title, despite my not being a big fan of his. Scott Hassett has a lot of appealing characteristics and would, I'm guessing, run the office with a little less right-wing partisan flair, but unfortunately his campaign never quite found its footing. Plus, despite my several bones of contention with him, overall Van Hollen really isn't a terrible AG. Not good, but not awful. So if you want to win against someone like him, you need to do more than attack -- you need to demonstrate why you'd simply be better at the job overall.
Tammy Baldwin vs. Chad Lee? As usual, no contest -- Baldwin wins easily. I live in the 2nd District and have seen maybe one yard sign for the guy, heard little to nothing from him in terms of campaigning, and understand that Baldwin has some seriously ardent supporters round these parts. Lee, from what little I've been able to learn about him, appears to be another ambitious blank slate hoping to ride the alleged anti-incumbent wave to a GOP rubber stamp spot in the Congress. Baldwin has been a vocal and visible proponent of her constituents for some time and, though you may disagree with certain of her positions and such, has made no really big missteps to latch onto in a campaign. She's just good.
The race for governor is a bit trickier. I honestly have no clue which guy is going to win this one, though admit to a sinking suspicion that Scott Walker, Milwaukee County Executive of Fudging Numbers and Neglecting Mental Health Patients, might well pull this one out. Tom Barrett benefited early on from his folk hero status for an altercation with a mugger, but seems to have floundered a bit since then. I just haven't been picking up on much excitement over his candidacy from the left-leaning citizens of this fair state. The die-hards are dedicated to voting against Walker, yes, but that might not be enough to get others to vote for Barrett. Which sucks, of course, because anyone who enjoys the full-throated support of crazypants organizations like Pro-Life Wisconsin and comes as a package deal with Rebecca "Palin-O'Donnell Hybrid" Kleefisch should not be allowed behind the wheel of our government.
I want to take a moment to briefly comment on the more local race for the 77th Assembly district. I won't be voting on this one and therefore haven't been paying quite as close attention to it (there's only so much space in my noggin), but it would be hard to ignore the contest entirely. This run for a solidly left-leaning seat became a lot more interesting when Green Party candidate Ben Manski jumped in to challenge Democrat Brett Hulsey. The latter's recent egg-on-face moment regarding claims to endorsements he never actually received may have thrown a momentary hitch in things, but I'm guessing that Hulsey will still win this one. Which is a shame, I think, because Manski appears to be the more intriguing candidate. Sadly, it's still hard for third-party candidates to come by the necessary vote totals -- if for no other reason than that lots of folks still sleep through election season and end up voting a straight party ticket when they make it to the polls.
Sure, but what about the birth certificate?
Hey speaking of all that, you know what's fun? And by "fun" I mean "this makes me want to gouge my own eyeballs out with own two thumbs," of course. It's this! Eight myths that too many Americans believe are true in the lead-up to this election.
Seriously, read that.
There's plenty of blame to go around for why this kind of ignorance abounds -- pandering politicians, shameless lobbyists and interest groups, fear-mongering talking heads, sensationalist media. Placing blame can be a great way to blow off stem, yes, but the more important thing is to fight against such bad education, regardless of its source.