Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The new geography of Colorado.

The votes are still being tallied. But we can say one thing about Colorado, it is not a midwestern state. Colorado seems to have changed dramatically over the last decade. It holds little in common with its neighboring states, and it seem to take its political leanings from the West Coast, California and Washington seem like the easiest comparisons.

In fact, to paraphrase Scoop Jackson, every vote you need to win in Colorado you can see from the top of Lookout Mountain.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

2010 Final US Senate Projection.

We project a GOP pickup of eight seats in the US Senate.

Here are the seats listed in order of how likely the pickup is.

Nevada 65%
Colorado 79%
Pennsylvania 90%
Arkansas 95%
Illinois 95%
Indiana 95%
North Dakota 95%
Wisconsin 95%

Other races of note:

Washington projects a Democratic win at about 55% probability. Should be close.
California should not be very close.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mile High Delphi looks at Obamacare.

We here at Mile High Delphi have four words to say about the Health Care Reform package that is going through congress; Much Ado About Nothing.

Obamacare, as it has become known, is probably unconstitutional, at least several key parts. We cannot find constitutional grounds for the Federal Government forcing private individuals to purchase private insurance. They could just impose a tax, or the states could impose the mandate. Also the accounting gimmicks in the bill make Lehman Brothers look like the bank from It’s a Wonderful Life. In all, the courts will hold up most of the bill from taking effect, at least until after the mid-terms and congress will never have the BALLS to enact the cuts and tax increases that the bill counts on. Our final verdict on the bill, it has been a fool’s errand for the Democratic Party. This whole saga reminds us of the story of Xerxes at the Hellespont. The great Persian king had built a bridge across the river in order to move his troops. A storm washed the bridge out. Xerxes flew into a rage and “he commanded that the Hellespont be struck with three hundred strokes of the whip.” Seriously, he had the river whipped because it wouldn’t bend to his will. It is too early to know if this is an overreach, but this health care bill is starting to look to us like the court packing scheme that FDR hatched in 1937.

National projection updates will be coming this week. As for Colorado, look for the 3rd CD to move into the toss up category, the 7th to become more competitive and Betsy Markey, the Freshman Democrat Representing Colorado’s 4th CD, put a fork in her, she’s done, the GOP could put anyone up and beat her at this point.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Colorado State Senate Projection Update Feb. 2010

The Democrats currently enjoy a 21-14 majority in the Colorado State Senate. In our last post we looked at some competitive races. Our original forecast hasn't changed. District 6 currently is our only race ranked as a toss up. Senator Schwartz seems well on her way to buying her reelection in SD 5. SD 16 should be competitive on paper. Joan Fitz Gerald won this district a decade ago, she turned it over to Dan Gibbs and he won the district in his own right in 2008. The independents break for the Democrats in this mountain district. Voter sentiment seems to be trending against the Democratic party this cycle, so a close look at candidate financing reports will give us an idea if this seat really is in play. SD 2 looks likely to remain in Republican hands. SD 11 has simply become too Democratic for the GOP to hope to pick it up. Macro events could push it into the toss up category however. Lastly, SD 20. The Republicans would love to win this district, but Jefferson County, especially in the old ring suburbs has trended Democratic over the last decade. Look for the Democrats to outspend the GOP by 3-1 or 4-1. The real fight will probably be the Democratic primary.

Rank 1.

District 6: Durango-four corners region. Partisan make up: D 29.2% R 39.8% I 30%

Bruce Whitehead (D) $19,410

Ellen Roberts (R) $42,160

Toss Up.

Rank 2.

District 5: Central Mountains. Partisan make up: D 34.7% R 35.6% I 29%

Wayne Wolf (R) $1,470
Robert Rankin (R) $35,865

Gail Schwartz (D) $79,160

Leans Dem.

Rank 3.

District 16: North Central Mountains. Partisan make up: D 32.4% R 32% I 34.6%

Jeanne Nicholson (D) No Activity

Mark Hurlbert (R) No Activity
Tim Leonard (R) 12,820

Leans Dem.

Rank 4.

District 2: South Eastern Plains. Partisan make up: D 36.2% R 38.9% I 24.4%

Kevin Grantham (R) $12,340
Matt Heimerich (R) $6,050

No Democrats Registered Yet.

Rank 5.

District 11: Colorado Springs. Parisan make up: D 34.8% R 32.6% I 31.9%

John Morse (D) $37,650

Owen Hill (R) $865

Leans Dem.

Rank 6.

District 20: Wheat Ridge. Partisan make up: D 37% R 30% I 32%

John Odom (R) $10,220

Cheri Jahn (D) $38,480
David Ruchman (D) $28,500

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Colorado State House 2010 Forecast...The Dirty Dozen Most Competitive Seats

Currently, the Democrats hold a six seat majority over the Republicans in the State House. This includes Rep. Kathleen Curry (I) of Gunnison who strangely changed her registration creating a saga of strange events that we don't really have time to go into. Luckily her district (61) is included in our list, so we get to hear more about that strange saga. The GOP needs to pick up six seats in order to gain control of this chamber. As MHD has reported before, the GOP has a very low probability of gaining control over the State Senate, so it looks like the big battle in 2010 will be for the State House.

Below is a map of the Denver Metro Region. We describe the suburbs around Denver as the ring of fire. It is this region where control of the State House is won and lost. Look for big battles in Jefferson county and Adams county this fall.

Our top 12 most competitive State House Races are listed below, ranked by how likely they are to result in a change in party.

Rank 1
House District 38. Joe Rice (D) Littleton. Joe Rice's district has a PVI of R +9, and as a veteran he must know that he is "behind enemy lines." In 2008 Rep. Rice outspent his Republican opposition by about 100K. No contribution amounts have been turned in so far for either party this cycle. Rice sponsored the hated FASTER vehicle registration fee increases, a fact he seems to be proud of. Unless he gets about 50K ahead of whomever the GOP puts up, we list this as a leans GOP pick up.

Rank 2
House District 33. Dianne Primavera (D) Broomfield. District 33 has a PVI of R +1. In the 2008 cycle Primavera outspent her GOP opposition by 100K. This race should be competitive in the 2010 cycle. So far the GOP has raised 8,500 vs. Primavera's 11,500. Mark as a Toss Up.

Rank 3
House District 17. Dennis Apuan (D) Colorado Springs. This District currently has a Partisan Index score of D +5. This district's demographics, including its large transient population from Fort Carson makes it competitive. During the 2008 cycle Rep. Apuan outspent his Republican opponent, but only by about $1,000 out of a combined amount of 80K. This far out, this race can only be looked at as a Toss Up. We will keep an eye on the candidates and the money race.

Rank 4
House District 27. Sara Gagliardi (D) Arvada. This district has a Partisan Index of R +5. Rep. Gagliardi represents a extremely competitive district. In 2008 Gagliardi outspent her Republican challenger by over $60K in a race with only 140K in total candidate expenditures. Gagliardi currently has a $14,600 headstart on any Republican challengers. We will see if the political environment erodes more for the Democrats here in Colorado, if Gagliardi doesn't outspend her opponent by basically 2-1 she will probably lose in 2010. We are listing this in the Toss Up category right now.

Rank 5
House District 61. Kathleen Curry (I) Gunnison. This district has a PVI of D +7. In 2008 the GOP and Rep. Curry (then a Democrat) raised nearly the same amount of money. So far there are no listings for fundraising. This is a toss up at its best.

Rank 6
House District 29. Debbie Benefield (D) Arvada. This District has a Partisan Index of D +1. District 29 is nearly evenly divided between Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. Rep. Benefield won in 2008 to only token Republican opposition. She spent nearly 79K on her election while the GOP spent a token 1.5K. For this cycle she has already raised 10K. There are no records of any Republican fundraising yet. Leans Democrat.

Rank 7
House District 30. Kevin Priola (R) Brighton. This District has a PVI of D +9. It is a traditionally Democratic district in Democratic Adams County. In the 2008 cycle Priola outspent his Democratic opponent by $27K, raising 67K to 40K. The power of money, or at least its function as a statistically significant predictor of the winner in competitive districts cannot be overstated. Priola has so far raised 29K for the 2010 cycle, his Democratic opposition has not yet sorted its field out. List this as leans GOP.

Rank 8
House District 31. Judy Solano (D) Brighton. This district has a PVI of D +3. Rep. Solano outspent her GOP opponent 2-1 in the last election. She has so far raised 15K, she has no listed GOP opposition. Leans Democrat.

Rank 9
House District 52. John Kefalas (D) Fort Collins. Rep. Kefalas was out raised by 50K by his Republican opposition in 2008, yet he still managed to win the very competitive district. So far he has raised 22.5K vs. no listed Republican challenger. Leans Democrat.

Rank 10
House District 23. Max Taylor (D) Golden. This district has a Partisan Index of D +5. Rep. Taylor took over the district from former Rep. Gwen Green, he is not a veteran of an election. This district has trended more and more Democratic since 2004, we list it as leans Dem.

Rank 11
House District 64. Wes McKinley (D) Walsh. This district has a PVI of D +7. In 2008 McKinley outspent his opponent 3-1. We list it as leans Dem.

Rank 12
House District 50. James Riesberg (D) Greeley. District 50 has a PVI of D +1. In 2008 he outspent his GOP opponent by 4-1! He has currently raised about 22K which is 22K more than his GOP opponent. List this as Leans Dem.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bayh, Bayh Senator Bayh. MHD's Nasty Nine Update for Feb. 2010

North Dakota: Previous Rank 1 New Rank 1
Open Democratic Seat. Projection Likely Republican Pickup

Indiana: Previous Rank 9 New Rank 2
Open Democratic Seat. Projection Likely Republican Pickup

Arkansas: Previous Rank 2 New Rank 3
Lincoln (D) inc. Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Delaware: Previous Rank 4 New Rank 4
Open Seat: Ted Kaufman - D retiring Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Nevada: Previous Rank 3 New Rank 5
Reid (D) inc. Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Pennsylvania: Previous Rank 5 New Rank 6
Specter (D) Inc. Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Colorado: Previous Rank 6 This Week 7
Bennet (D) Inc. Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Missouri: Previous Rank 7 This Week 8
Open Seat: Kit Bond - R retiring Projection Leans GOP Hold

Illinois: Previous Rank 8 This Week 9
Open Seat: Roland Burris - D retiring Projection Toss Up

Overall, something is happening behind the scenes in Washington, Bayh dropping out puts the Republicans within striking distance of 50 seats. It appears that the Progressive-Moderate Democrat coalition is fraying badly. It is now conceivable for the GOP to gain control of the US House outright, but lets look deeper. It doesn't matter so much which party is in control so much as if the progressives or the conservatives of either party have control. Effectively the stars are aligning in such a way that the progressive coalition that has controlled the Federal Government since Obama's inauguration will lose power this fall, with the conservatives being able to block effectively all legislation.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Feb 2010 US Congress Update.

As things stand right now, we are forecasting that the GOP will pick up 6 to 7 Senate Seats and 35-40 US House Seats.

If the political climate continues to trend negatively for the Democrats, the Liberal majorities will lose effective control of the Congress, with the Republicans being able to pull off enough conservatives and moderates to stop any big legislation.

Colorado updates coming in the next week.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mile High Delphi's "Nasty Nine" Top US Senate Races for 2010

North Dakota: Open Democrat Seat. Projection Likely Republican Pickup

Arkansas: Lincoln (D) inc. Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Nevada: Reid (D) inc. Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Delaware: Open Seat: Ted Kaufman - D retiring Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Pennsylvania: Specter (D) Inc. Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Colorado: Bennet (D) Inc. Projection Leans Republican Pickup

Missouri: Open Seat: Kit Bond - R retiring Projection Leans GOP Hold

Illinois: Open Seat: Roland Burris - D retiring Projection Toss Up

Indiana: Incumbent: Evan Bayh - D Projection Leans Democratic Hold

US Senate 2010 Projection Update Jan 2010

Other projection sites:
Election Projection 2010
CQ Politics Senate Map

Alabama (Richard Shelby - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Alaska (Lisa Murkowski - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Arizona (John McCain - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln - D) Inc. Toss Up
California (Barbara Boxer - D) Inc. Likely Dem
Colorado (Michael Bennet - D) Inc. Toss Up
Connecticut (D) Open Safe Dem
Delaware (D) Open Leans GOP Pick Up
Florida (R) Open GOP Hold
Georgia (Johnny Isakson - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Hawaii (Daniel Inouye - D) Inc. Dem Hold
Idaho (Mike Crapo - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Illinois (D) Open Toss Up
Indiana (Evan Bayh - D) Inc. Dem Hold
Iowa (Chuck Grassley - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Kansas (Sam Brownback - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Kentucky (R) Open Toss Up
Louisiana (David Vitter - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Maryland (Barbara Mikulski - D) Inc. Dem Hold
Missouri (R) Open Toss Up
Nevada (Harry Reid - D) Inc. GOP Gain
New Hampshire (R) Open Toss Up
New York (Chuck Schumer - D) Inc. Dem Hold
New York (Kirsten Gillibrand - D) Inc. Dem Hold
North Carolina (Richard Burr - R) GOP Hold
North Dakota (D) Open GOP Gain
Ohio (R) Open Toss Up
Oklahoma (Tom Coburn - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Oregon (Ron Wyden - D) Inc. Dem Hold
Pennsylvania (Arlen Specter - D) Inc. Toss Up
South Carolina (Jim DeMint - R) Inc. GOP Hold
South Dakota (John Thune - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Utah (Bob Bennett - R) Inc. GOP Hold
Vermont (Patrick Leahy - D) Inc. Dem Hold
Washington (Patty Murray - D) Inc. Dem Hold
Wisconsin (Russ Feingold - D) Inc. Dem Hold

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A look at the Massachusetts Special Election.

Here at two charts that demonstrate the dire straits that Democratic Senate Candidate Coakley is in.

From the intrade markets and the polls it sure looks like this race is going to go to the GOP. What an amazing change of fortune for the Democratic Party. Looks like the filibuster proof majority is about to become a part of history.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jan 2010 Election Forecast Update

Well, as we said about two months ago, Bill Ritter will not be the next Governor of Colorado. We are going to go ahead right now and label his administration as a Failure, that is right, your first and last source for Bill Ritter's place in history. Think of him as the Jimmy Carter or Richard Nixon of Colorado. We aren't anti-Democrat, our only goal is to predict the outcome of elections, at least for a few more days, so lets dive right into our new projections.

Federal Offices:

US Senate: Barely Republican Pickup.

You can't blame Democratic Senator Bennet. Really, you have to respect him, he said that he would vote for a health care bill even if it costs him his job. Looks like it will.

CD-1 (Denver): Safe Democrat
CD-2 (Boulder): Safe Democrat
CD-3 (Western Slope): Likely Democrat
CD-4 (North and East Colorado): Likely GOP Pickup
CD-5 (Colorado Springs): Safe GOP
CD-6 (Southern Denver Suburbs): Safe GOP
CD-7 (Northern Denver Suburbs): Leans Democrat

As we see it now, everything in Colorado depends on the national environment in a few months (duh!). If the GOP picks up a large number of seats then CD 7 and 3 will become competitive, if the GOP underperforms normal midterm patterns then only CD-4 will switch. Much remains to be seen, but we will call it now, CD-4 is gone for the Democrats.

Local Races:

Governor: Toss Up.

Bill Ritter dropping out and Hickenlooper jumping in make this race competitive again. However, 2010 isn't 2006. Hickenlooper has never run for office outside of Denver. He has never been vetted by true opposition. We think that we can remember great outrage years ago when we published a photo of Mayor Hickenlooper with a "cross dresser." We haven't bothered to look for that photo, but we are certain that voters won't see Mayor Hickenlooper as an outsider, he has been a part of everyday life in Colorado for the past decade.

Secretary of State, Attorney General and Treasurer. Forecasts won't be up until Summer.

State Senate: Likely Democratic Control

The math is just too difficult for the GOP as the numbers stand right now. We are confident that our model can predict these races; money will be the key, if you see huge GOP advantages in some competitive districts, look for our forecast to change.

State House: Leans Democratic Control

The math is actually better for the GOP here.

We are not as down on the Mile High State's Democrats as a recent LA Times story where the Times stated that "Analysts think Democrats could even lose their majorities in the Legislature."
We haven't met anyone who is not puffing some Medical Marijuana who thinks that.