New Orleans The ACORN Canada staff thought it would be fun if we had a first-time ever cheap thrill NFL football pool this year. It’s been pretty amazing how clueless most of us are including the fact that none of us seem able to not favor our home teams and the Saints slow start along with inattention has been our downfall. Most of us have given up on winning and simply hope not to be embarrassed at this point. The pool’s leader was on leave for a bit, and there are credible accusations that he was actually spending his time reading the sports pages unfairly.
All of which brings me to the much publicized fight to see which party will control the US Senate. There are eight to ten races that all seem almost too close to call, though all of the big time pollsters are saying the odds favor the Republicans, nothing is certain. The polls under counted eight of the ten battleground states in the race for President in 2012. President Obama bested the polls by 2%. In the last couple of shots at this goal the Republicans have never been able to unseat more than two incumbent Democratic Senators in any cycle. This time they need a pickup of six seats to take control, so that’s still a high mountain to climb. Early voting is up and breaking well for the Democrats in states like North Carolina and no one really knows what to make of so many mail-in and early voting experiences at this point. Almost all of these ten races are within the margin of error, so thank god we stuck with football rather than having a pool on these races.
Being in Louisiana for the last two weeks it is clear there is going to be a runoff on the Senate seat now held by Mary Landrieu, still nominally a Democrat. Politicos are dialing in, emailing, and hitting the ground trying to suss out what it would take to put together efforts in the runoff in the event that control of the Senate could come down to this one race. Louisiana is not alone though, Georgia also has a close race with Michelle Nunn, daughter of a former Georgia Senator from the Southern conservative Democratic side.
A political watchword should always be never to engage in “premature certainty,” as a former Regan OMB director called it years ago. The race in Alaska looks hard to call. It’s still a stretch for me to believe that Scott Brown, a former Senator from Massachusetts can carpetbag over to New Hampshire and unseat Senator Jeanne Shaheen. As much as I admire Nate Silver and the Times’ Upshot folks, I think nothing is certain this time across so many playing fields.
Here’s my bet on this pool. It won’t be over until all of the ladies are finished singing. I’m betting that the runoffs will still be very important, and could be in President George W. Bush’s famous words, the “decider.”