Monday, November 3, 2008

Predictions, anyone?

Forty-eight hours from now, Election 2008 will be in the books, unless, of course, they're still scrutinizing write-in ballots in Barkhamsted.
Barring a major surprise/widespread misreading by pollsters, pundits, the national media and all-around conventional wisdom this time around, few doubt the outcome of most races.
Under that thinking, Chris Murphy will be re-elected fairly easily to his 5th District congressional seat, and John Larson will cruise to a billionth term in the 1st District.
We'll have President Obama, a larger majority of Demcrats in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, if not a completely fillibuster-proof majority. Heck, our own Sen. Joe Lieberman might find himself as a pivotal 60th vote for breaking Republican filibusters, forcing the Democrats to take him back.
In Winsted, except maybe for the one dumping the town manager in favor of a strong elected mayor form of government, many think charter changes proposed by the present majority on the board of selectmen will lose big. After winning support for themselves at the polls, these guys haven't been able to get anything else passed, including a town budget on four tries so far this year.
In House District 63, we expect William Riiska to shock the conventional wisdom with the number of write-in votes he receives in his bid to replace the suddenly resigned incumbent Rep. George Wilber. But probably not enough to win.
The two races that are anyone's guess at this point are in House District 65, where you have to wonder whether Rep. Anne Ruwet is vulnerable due to how close the vote was two years ago, four years ago and six years ago (when she won by a single vote). Michelle Cook's lack of experience and lack of specific platform might have been a weak challenge to Ruwet in other elections, but this could be the year of the Obama Democratic sweep, and Dems have sunk a lot of money into a misleading sound bite propaganda war accusing Ruwet of everything from stealing children's breakfast from them to snatching wigs off the heads of cancer victims.
The other race that could go either way is in Senate District 8, where a Democrat with an incredible resume, Art House, and another well-funded and slick campaign operation, is facing state Rep. Kevin Witkos for the open seat being vacated by Republican Tom Herlihy.

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