Holy crap, it's a midterm that matters! Woohoo!
I like election day. I get to fill in boxes like I was taking the SATs, and I also get to talk to nice elderly folk. Thank god for the senior citizens working the polls. Their job is harder than it looks (I imagine, it has to be right?), and every single poll worker I've encountered around here has been very professional and quite good at their job. Well, most of them anyway.
It's been repeated over and over again all over the internet what this election means, so if you're coming here for analysis you're in the wrong place. Therefore, I'm simply going to give my predictions. If they're horribly wrong I'll cop to it tomorrow because it'll already be posted. Or I'll edit the post to look like I was right. Whatever.
Statewide, Deval Patrick is going to run away with the governorship. This is hardly controversial, given recent polls. He'll easily get 20% or more. I predict a 23-point victory, though really that's a bit optimistic. On the other hand, he destroyed his Democratic opponents in the primary and it was expected to be close then. With this kind of lead the Healey voters aren't exactly motivated to get to the polls.
Olver will predictably wipe the floor with the certifiably insane Billy Szych (though Szych may pick up all the Republican vote). Olver's a really decent guy, and seeing those Szych signs everywhere and not one Olver sign has been irritating. However, I'll get a perverse pleasure from knowing that Szych blew so much money on a defeat.
Of course Kennedy will win. That's just a given.
In the Sec. of State race, Galvin regrettably wins. Jill Stein will have a respectable showing, but an incumbent Democrat is tough to defeat in this state. I'd love to be wrong on this one.
Locally, DiNatale has it sewn up. Niemczura is a chump, and people know it. To be fair, DiNatale is a little bit of a chump too, but he's still better than Niemczura.
So all the local races are pretty straightforward.
Nationwide is where everything is actually interesting. So here are some totally unscientific and probably overly optimistic predictions for the future balance of power.
In the house, I'm predicting 28 seats shift to the Democrats. I picked this number out of my ass, frankly. I wouldn't be surprised if it went as high as 35, or as low as 20. Below that will surprise me. People are sick of the fearmongering and rubber-stamping. Playing to people's basest instincts only works for so long. Also, people who want change are motivated to go to the polls, while the Bush-lovers are demoralized.
Senate-wise I'm betting on 6 seats going Dem. This is perhaps optimism more than anything, but it's my feeling. Furthermore, I'm betting on Ned Lamont beating Lieberman in Connecticut. That's a tough call, as Lieberman has been ahead in the polls. However, he has a truly horrible ballot position, and Lamont's supporters will walk through fire for him while Lieberman's are mostly Republicans who may have been able to say they'll support Lieberman in the polls but will have a much harder time with the actual vote.
So that's it for the predictions. I'll cop to any errors and provide some sort of analysis tomorrow.
On a side note, I had a nice (albeit brief) chat with one of the poll workers. She thought turnout was very high, and looking through at least my (largely elderly) neighborhood's checkout sheet suggested she's right. I voted around 5:45 and easily 80% of the names had already been checked off.
High voter turnout is good for Democrats, even in this backwater part of the state.
Prepare for a lot of crying tomorrow from Republicans about how Deval is going to raise taxes and hug rapists. Try to have pity on these folks, they don't know any better.
Incidentally, if you want to follow the statewide races, Blue Mass Group is worth keeping an eye on. Nationally, the sometimes-irritating Daily Kos has a nice ticker at the top of the page that should keep you well informed.